Drink Water When Using Herbal Remedies for Healing: 5 Reasons Why!

Drink Water When Using Herbal Remedies for Healing: 5 Reasons Why!

It has been said that the last thing a fish discovers is water. This may be the case with people, too. For example, it has been estimated that up to 75% of Americans experience mild dehydration regularly! There are good reasons our body is comprised of about 65% water, as electrolytes (even our muscle tissue is 75% water!). Water plays a part in transporting nutrients, body fluids, oxygen, and moisture to all body parts and muscular-skeletal system; it flushes out toxins and cellular debris; aids in digestion, moderates body temperature, and more. (Read more about water’s benefits HERE)

In this article, I’ve identified Five Key Reasons to drink good water, especially when injured and taking medications and herbal supplements. The stress an injury places on the body robs it of essential micronutrients (especially magnesium) and moisture during the healing process that must be replaced. The toxicity of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter pain relievers demands higher water intake so that the liver and kidneys don’t drastically suffer. Herbs are more benign, but they too need plenty of water to transport herbal nutrients throughout the body, and in helping the lymph system flush away cellular debris and toxins during healing.

At Cortesia Herbal Products, we always tell customers to try to increase water intake, especially when commencing use of our oral tinctures for injury support. A simple reason is the fact that each day we lose around two and a half liters of water through urine (1500 ml), feces (150 ml), sweat (350 ml) and simply breathing (400 ml). We need to balance that loss to keep our system well-hydrated. This means paying particular attention to hot weather and other times when we experience fluid loss such as when exercising intensely. We also need to be well-hydrated during healing from an injury or health condition.

Okay, so we know we need to replenish the daily natural loss of water from our body. Here are five very good reasons to up that water consumption when healing!

5 Key Reasons to Consume Water When Using Herbal Remedies


Regulates Body Temperature

The human body is made up of about 65% warm water (technically, the water in our body exists as electrolytes, not just plain water!). One of the important roles that water plays is that it helps regulate everything in our bodies, most importantly, body temperature. Without enough water, the human body will not be able to stay at a regulated temperature, either causing a fever, headache, or throwing the body into a too-low temperature. Usually, with a lack of proper hydration, the body gets too hot, unable to perspire and release the heat. So, think of water as the coolant in your car’s engine. With so many negatives to being dehydrated, it’s surprising that approximately 75% of Americans are actually suffering from mild dehydration regularly. That would be like thinking it’s okay to drive your car while the temperature gauge is riding HOT.

Application to Herbal Remedies

An injury, disease, or chronic condition almost always affects body temperature, at the least in the affected area. This is because the initial stage of a healing response — Inflammation — is activated in the body, causing a rush within our immune system of specialized blood cells, nerve energy, and chemicals to commence restoration.

It is critical to increase water intake when recovering from injuries. Water especially allows the herbs in an oral or topical remedy to saturate and penetrate tissues and joint areas, helping to control the flame of inflammation.


Helps Kidneys Eliminate Waste

Nearly everything put in your body — food, drink, medicine, even herbal supplements — must be filtered through the kidneys to pull and filter toxins. Fortunately, most of these toxins are expelled if you are properly hydrated. This is because water helps the kidneys function properly without duress. If your body is functioning on too little water, the kidneys can’t pull out toxins properly, which will eventually make you sick. You will always know your water intake is adequate if the color of your urine is clear to slightly yellow.

Application to Herbal Remedies

Medicine and supplements of any kind, either synthetic or natural, are filtered by the kidneys and liver. A toxic build-up can occur if these invaluable waste- and toxin-filtering organs are not supplied with generous amounts of water, especially when using a healing protocol of medicines and/or herbs.

Most herbs (in tinctures or tonics) are benign to the kidneys and liver, when prepared and taken properly. An experienced herbalist can ensure safety and caution. However, you should still increase your water intake.

Water drop on flower petal

 

Keeps Joints & Muscles Lubricated

The water in your body will help keep the numerous joints and muscles in your body lubricated and working properly. If joints are not properly lubricated, they will ache, click, or feel stiff or swollen. Internally, the joints will get worn down around the cartilage area and the buffering membranes (bursae and synovial) will not be adequately buffered.

Joint and muscle pain is also an indication that you are NOT drinking enough clean water regularly. Since water composes 75% of muscles tissue, it is very clear it needs to be constantly replenished.

Application to Herbal Remedies

For herbs to work well within joint areas, water is essential. This is because these herbs help add moisture to the critical cartilage area so that it does not harden with calcium deposits. Calcium deposition in joint and connective tissues areas is often an outcome of too little moisture, magnesium deficiency, not enough range of motion exercise, and the use of oral supplements or medication.

Water is also necessary in joint areas to replenish buffering membranes — bursae and synovial. These cushiony, pillow-like membranes help buffer bone-to-bone, and muscle-to-bone areas around joints so that there is adequate shock-absorption and fluid replenishment during healing.

In all conditions of bursitis, increased water intake is important while the affected buffering membranes are healing and being replenished with newer fluid. (muscles’ need for water discussed below)

 

Increases Oxygenation

Water helps the body oxygenate more efficiently, period. As oxygen goes through the body, it is water that helps carry it to every cell. When you become dehydrated, the oxygen your body needs to survive isn’t going to get around properly. This can lead to several problems. Lack of oxygen to the lungs will make it feel like it is difficult to get a proper breath. In fact, on average we expel almost 16 ounces of water each day just by breathing, so we need to replenish that, too. In short, if you have trouble breathing, make sure you’re getting enough water.

Water’s effect on soft tissue like muscle is noticeable, since it composes 75% of muscle tissue.  — tissues that also need plenty of oxygen or they will ache and not function properly. Deoxygenated muscles can ache, not function properly, die or atrophy, causing you to be unable to use those muscles. This is one of the many reasons that it is crucial to drink enough water when you are exercising. Without it, the muscles won’t get the oxygen they need to repair after the exercise. The brain also needs a good water supply, otherwise we risk headaches or migraines because if the inadequate supply of oxygen.

Application to Herbal Remedies

Because tissues need a constant influx of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), water and oxygen, it makes sense that you would naturally want to drink of plenty of water when taking herbal remedies. This allows them to fully saturate deep cellular levels of muscles, organs, joints, buffering membranes and the like.

 

Aids Digestion

Water helps with the digestion process in several ways; one being to ensure that waste is processed through the body correctly. Without water, the acids in foods would destroy tissues and cause ulceration. The GI tract (a critical part of our immune system) importantly needs water to mellow out the harsh duty of waste management, and properly filtrate nutrients for use.

One of the most important actors in digestion is Saliva. Without saliva, your body is unable to break down food, making it difficult to eat and digest. Have you ever had a dry mouth that made chewing and swallowing food difficult? This is because of dehydration. Your body doesn’t have enough water to create the saliva. Saliva helps break down the food enough to ensure that your stomach is able to continue the digestion process.

Application to Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies allow the body to naturally assimilate the therapeutic phytonutrients of the plant. The key word is: Assimilation. It takes time for the body to benignly integrate herbs into tissues, organs, joint areas, etc. Water is a vital carrier during this process of taking-in. However, the healing process also dislodges a lot of cellular debris and endotoxins and exotoxins associated with an injury. So, it is also vital to drink plenty of water to allow this natural flushing-out and cleansing to happen.

There are a lot of other benefits to drinking enough water (weight loss, headache relief, skin health, heart health, and more). Staying properly hydrated will keep your body functioning at its best.

Woman's hand holding class of water with orchid on surface for tips for wellness

Quick Rules of Thumb for Drinking Water

  • Drink at least 60-80+ ounces daily to ensure replacement of normal daily water loss
  • Carry a water bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking. When working at a desk, pour water into an 8-ounce glass with a straw and casually sip. Each good sip is about 2 oz of water — you can casually consume a lot of water that way, without effort!
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water, live enzymes, and micronutrients. They also alkalinize your body for health, serving to dramatically dissipate acidic levels in the body.
  • Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light color. As your body adjusts to a higher water intake, you will find that your need to pee often will diminish.
  • Avoid bottled water. It may not be as pure as you think, nor its source. Vitamin water is a total waste of $$. In either case, think twice before using, especially because of the plastic bottle waste. Use bottled water, however, if your home source is fluoridated or chlorinated.

At Cortesia Herbal Products, we promote reverence for life and health. Please visit us at: Cortesia Herbal Products

Forrest McDowell

C. Forrest McDowell, PhD provides his 50 years of expertise in wellness care and advocacy to Cortesia Herbal Products. He is responsible for the white paper Blog articles, posts promoting practical health strategies, maintenance of accurate website information, and more. An accomplished performing guitarist and composer, author, and passionate outdoorsman, he has dedicated himself to natural wellness and the cultivation of quality organic products.

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