Water is a first-class natural remedy - and also in the literal sense: water is nature. Drinking it, bathing in it, showering or swimming helps with countless diseases.
It protects against infections because it moisturizes our mucous membranes and thus viruses and bacteria get out of the body faster. If we already have an infection, we should drink a lot to wash the infection out.
Medicinal water helps the stomach. Those who drink too little often suffer from heartburn and gastric mucosal infections. Confusion and orientation problems in the elderly can often be solved by drinking water alone. Water lowers high blood pressure and thus prevents strokes and arteriosclerosis.
Water helps against disc problems because these vertebral bodies contain fluid; Herniated discs can be prevented by “filling up” these fluid reservoirs.
Drinking enough and pure drinking water reduces the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Headaches often arise because nerve cells do not get enough oxygen. The water transports the required substance.
When can water relieve symptoms?
Water helps against acne as well as against arthritis, against loss of appetite as against bruising, against flatulence like against chronic cough, against disturbed blood circulation like against colds, against eczema and sleep disorders, against wrinkles and boils, against fever and inflamed joints, against swollen feet and hair loss , against sore throat as well as lumbago, against racing heart as well as against skin diseases.
Medicinal water relieves colic and head eczema, it helps with low back pain and hardens against cold. It is a remedy for pneumonia, stomach cramps and menstrual problems, for migraines and sore muscles, for buzzing ears and for pimples.
Wassser relieves rheumatism pain, it tightens a sagging facial skin, it fights tensions on the shoulder as well as a cold, it helps against weakness in the veins and indigestion, against a stuffy nose and against strains.
The best preventive measure against diseases is to wash yourself. If we wash our hands with clean water several times a day, especially before eating, we protect ourselves from viruses, worms and skin eczema. We prevent gastrointestinal diseases and other infectious diseases.
Washes are also the mildest way to apply the wet element. Therefore, they are also suitable for babies, seriously ill, bedridden, paralyzed, weak and old. We can wash ourselves or the needy while lying, sitting and standing. The body reacts to cold washing by producing heat, so we get it going. The washed body should then be warm. If you are cold or whose skin is hypothermic, you should not wash yourself cold.
Cold washing should take no more than two minutes in total. Then we let ourselves be dried by the warmth of the body, lie down in bed or move to warm up.
With a full wash, we wash the entire body except the head, from top to bottom. We strengthen the natural warmth of the body, invigorate and relax the skin. We also stimulate the metabolism to remove toxins. We also support the healing of various diseases with full washing, because we strengthen the body as a whole.
Upper body wash
When washing the upper body, we wash up to the hips, chest and respiratory organs are better supplied with blood, and the better blood flow strengthens the heart. Washing your upper body also helps against colds, flu and bronchitis. If we only wash the lower body, we clean ourselves from the feet to the hips. This helps against cold feet, strengthens the veins and works against insomnia, as well as against poor digestion.
If we clean the body from the hip to the shoulders with circular movements of the rag, we start at the bottom right towards the top left. In this way we promote sleep, reduce bloating and constipation.
Cold or warm?
The same washes also work differently, depending on whether we use cold or hot water.
Hot water warms the skin, body and organs directly. So it is ideal for all ailments related to hypothermia. Warm water also relaxes and soothes, so it is suitable for all symptoms that are expressed in cramps. Chronic inflammation can also be treated well with warm water.
However, the situation is different with acute inflammation, which causes the temperature to rise. Warm water is inappropriate here.
Cold water firstly dissipates excess heat, but at the same time warms in the second step. It increases blood circulation and the body warms itself up. Cold washes have an invigorating effect, but very nervous people find this disturbing at the same time.
Cold healing water is ideal for all problems associated with excessive temperature: acute inflammation as well as burns and scalds. It hardens the body, strengthens it and activates the self-healing powers.
However, people who shiver and very thin people should prefer warm water, while more robust natures can use cold washes. People with a lot of muscles and / or a lot of fat who sweat a lot are more likely to be well served with cold water.
Swimming in the water improves the fitness of the whole body. Firstly, we demand all parts of the body when swimming, secondly, our own weight is reduced by buoyancy.
People with joint problems should therefore swim instead of jogging or lifting weights. Obesity or people with a heavy physique are also relieved by the buoyancy.
Cold water hardens, strengthens the immune system and accelerates fat burning. The water pressure strengthens weak veins and has a beneficial effect on swollen feet and varicose veins. Above all, this pressure on the veins strengthens the activity of the heart.
We consume a lot of calories when swimming, so it's good for losing weight; however, the energy consumption and the change in temperature make you hungry at the same time.
With slow breast swimming we consume 400 calories per hour, with fast breast swimming 1000, but beginners in particular should pay attention to their hip and knee joints when swimming with their breasts quickly. The cervical and spine can also be damaged by movements that are too hectic.
If you have problems with these joints, you can switch to aqua jogging. Those affected run, more precisely, they run while they are upright in the water. The buoyancy comes from light foam swimming aids. The water pressure relieves the heart.
Water aerobics is suitable for very fat people. They can do exercises in the water that would be too difficult for them on land. The movements in the water are even more strenuous than on land, which is why they use more energy and consequently lose more weight.
Winter swimming means swimming in water below 15 degrees Celsius. The cold strengthens the immune system and the circulation gets going. But jumping into the cold water "just like that" overwhelms the organism. Therefore, it is better to start swimming in cold water in the fall and get the body used to the falling temperatures.
Winter swimmers may chop up the ice to swim in the water below, or use rivers. In contrast to swimming in summer, you should only stay briefly in the water in winter, a few seconds are enough. In addition, the face and hair should not be submerged. If you swim in winter, you shouldn't be alone - if the circulation causes problems due to the unusual cold stimulus.
If you get air, you should immediately dry yourself thoroughly and put on warm clothes so that the body does not get too cold. Now the body provides us with plenty of heat, we are talking about an excessive reaction that is extremely healthy for the immune system.
Treading water is one of the easiest exercises to get our body going. We do not have to be able to swim or be trained to do this, and we only need an area with cold water that reaches down to our calves.
In streams or on the lakeshore, in fountain basins, even in the bathtub, we can step around in the water. However, we have to be able to hold on in order not to slip.
We pull out and take off our shoes and socks, then we roll our trousers over our knees, step into the water and "walk". So we take our feet out of the water with every step so that we can expose the feet to different stimuli. We walk for half a minute or two, then let our feet dry in the air and put on our socks and shoes again.
Nature lovers also love to go barefoot in the morning dew on the grass or in fresh snow, also up to two minutes. When treading snow, as with winter swimming, we should quickly put on warm clothes.
Water showers work particularly quickly. We use water hoses or a watering can. There are arm castings, knee castings, thigh castings, bottom castings, back castings, breast castings, top castings, head castings, face castings, ear castings, full castings, flash castings, warm neck castings, showers.
The “right” castings for the respective complaints are a science in themselves. The following points must be taken into account:
- cold casts only on warm limbs,
- Give casts only in warm rooms,
- wait at least half an hour after meals for meals,
- the water shouldn't put pressure on the skin,
- the casting should run evenly,
- always start at the outer parts of the body and go from there to the middle of the body,
- start on the right and then turn left, for example with arms and legs,
- the muscles should be relaxed and the breath should be even.
The face cast
Facial castings serve beauty, they have a refreshing effect and promote blood circulation. But they also relieve minor complaints, they wake up tired people, help against headaches, strengthen concentration, and alleviate hot flashes. Cosmetically they help against wrinkles on the face and pale facial skin.
Avoid facial castings if the nerves on the face are inflamed or if you have eye problems.
Procedure for a facial cast:
- Put a towel around your neck, bend over the bathtub or the shower basin.
- Unscrew the shower attachment from the shower hose or pour water into a watering can.
- You pour the water over your right temple first.
- Then slowly circle your face to your right temple.
- Then let the water flow over your forehead - several times in a row.
- Then pour the water lengthways over the face.
- At the end you circle the whole face again with the beam.
- Dry the face carefully.
Have a shower
Showers to heal and harden against diseases are either cold or alternating showers and the easiest way to use water for health. If you suffer from varicose veins, you should avoid showering.
Exchangeable showers are recommended for sensitive people because they harden and strengthen the circulation, but are not as terrifying as cold water.
Alternating showers help particularly sensitive people to endure cold; they strengthen the immune system and increase low blood pressure.
Alternate showers are best started warm, then shower for a few minutes, then change to cold for a few seconds. Then shower again for a few minutes, then cold again. You can also repeat the change several times. In the end, take a cold shower.
Tip: A quick shower of the whole body is also recommended after warm baths. The opened pores close again and prevent cold skin, are less susceptible to infections and less chill.
Bathing cleanses the body, but bathing in cold or warm water also serves health. We differentiate between partial and full baths, warm, hot and alternating baths.
Cold baths should only last a few seconds, but we can take a warm bath in 20 minutes. Before cold baths, we should definitely warm up, for example with gymnastics. We can also just sit in a warm room or by a fire.
As with showering, it is best to end hot baths with a short cold bath so that the pores close again.
- The full bath: We sit up to our necks in the water.
- The half bath: We sit up to our belly in the water.
- The hip bath: The abdomen is in the water, but the feet are dry.
- The foot bath: We only bathe our feet.
- The arm bath: We only dip our arms into the water.
The full bath
In the full bath, we lie completely in the bathtub and only keep our heads out of the water. A cold full bath is the most intense way to use water. It serves to toughen us up and strengthen us. If we have problems with the circulatory system or a generally weak constitution, we should avoid cold full baths and instead use half and half baths.
In a cold full bath, we soak in cold water for up to 20 seconds. Then quickly put something on (for example a bathrobe and pajamas) and move until you are warmed up. It is better not to dry off with a towel because this dries the skin unevenly, which can lead to irritation.
Warm full baths can also be carried out by weak people. For diseases that are aggravated by cold, such as rheumatism, a warm full bath is also the right choice. A warm full bath does not serve to strengthen, on the contrary, it weakens. It relaxes the body and relieves tension.
An advantage to the cold bath is that we can add healing additives such as essences, earths, herbs, essential oils and bath salts, because these can soak into the skin due to the longer duration.
This is how complaints can be treated in a targeted manner: Spruce needle baths, for example, improve breathing and promote blood circulation, oat straw baths help against gout.
How do we bathe?
A warm full bath at about 30 degrees can take 25 to 30 minutes and a hot full bath at 36-40 degrees can take about 10 to 20 minutes. Then we should take a cold shower and best place under a warm duvet. We rest there for about an hour and the bathroom can take full effect.
The foot bath
A water bucket or a small tub is sufficient for a foot bath. We dip our legs over the calves into the water.
A cold foot bath dissipates heat build-up from the head and other organs and thus relieves headaches or hot flashes, for example. It helps against insomnia and helps relaxation. We stand in cold water for a maximum of one minute. Then we wipe the wetness off the feet, put on warm socks without drying the feet with a towel and move the feet until they are dry and warm.
Warm foot baths warm the feet when they are hypothermic, they relax and help against nervousness. Bath additives in the foot bath are used to treat diseases of the foot, for example oak bark athlete's foot and rosemary help against low blood pressure. The temperature and length of the warm foot bath are the same as for the full bath.
Alternating foot baths with warm and cold water strengthen the blood vessels and the circulation. They help well against chronic cold feet and against poor circulation. We stay in hot water for up to ten minutes, in cold water only ten seconds and carry out the change at least twice - at the end with cold water.
Water vapor is particularly helpful for breathing difficulties. We can use an inhaler that atomizes water, or a steam bath. At the steam bath, we bend over a bowl of hot water that gives off steam. We put a towel over our heads so that the steam does not escape and take a deep breath. In a full steam bath, for example in a sauna or an oriental Haman, we sit with our whole body in a chamber with hot steam.
Steam baths work as follows:
- They loosen mucus on the head, clear the airways, clean the skin and help against cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, sinusitis and acne.
- In the ears, they relieve inflammation of the ear canals.
- They help on the arms against inflamed wounds and insect bites.
- On the feet they relieve sweaty feet, swollen and sprained feet and blisters.
- They reduce bladder infections and cramps on the abdomen (for example, for period pain); help against white flow and kidney stones.
- Full steam baths relieve inflammation of the skin, cleanse skin wounds, help against lichen, skin fungi and gout.
Water helps against bloating in various applications:
- A warm bath with oat straw relaxes the abdomen.
- A bath with hay flowers also relaxes.
- A cold application on the abdomen strengthens the body heat there.
- A cold application over the entire body helps because heat is generated as a reaction.
- Circularly washing the torso is also relaxed.
- A warm bath with mint clears the airways and relaxes.
- Warm abdominal wraps relax all organs in the abdomen.
- A warm rest on the abdomen also relaxes.
- The same applies to a warm application on the whole body.
- A warm hip bath relaxes the digestive organs.
Help with sleep disorders
It helps against sleep disorders:
- a bath with valerian,
- a cold leg or calf wrap (pulls excessive heat out of the body),
- a cold short wrap from the armpits to the thighs,
- a warm lemon balm or lavender bath (soothes),
- wash the body in circles (relaxed).
Cool burns with water
Cold water is ideal for first aid in the event of burns and scalds. Minor burns (maximum palm size) should be immediately cooled with cold or lukewarm water to relieve the pain. However, the water must not be too cold and under no circumstances should ice be used. This also damages the wounded skin. In the case of large-scale burns, cooling with water should be avoided. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Chr. Gutenbrunner, G. Gundermann, R. Wendt, D. Grebe, A. Gehrke: Comparative clinical investigation the effect of spa drinking cures with a hydrogen carbonate medicinal water in patients with hyperuricemia; in: Physical medicine, rehabilitation medicine, health resort medicine, Volume 7, page: 257-259; 1997, thieme-connect.com
- Herbert Willems: Knowledge of water - Studies on ecological sociology, Springer-Verlag, 1st edition 2019
- Diehl A .: Levico healing water for exhaustion, convalescence and menopausal symptoms; in: Swiss Journal of Holistic Medicine, Volume 29, Issue 30, 2017, karger.com
- Bernd Jochen Hilberath: "Water and Spirit" as a source of life; Water as a source of life. Springer-Verlag, 2016, springer.com
- Ritin Fernandez, Rhonda Griffiths: Water for wound cleansing; Cochrane Systematic Review, February 15, 2012, cochranelibrary.com
- Ping Zhou, Bing Lin, Peng Wang, Tao Pan, Shun Wang, Weisi Chen, Shaowen Cheng, Sha Liu: The healing effect of hydrogen-rich water on acute radiation-induced skin injury in rats; in: Journal of Radiation Research, Volume 60, Issue 1, pages 17-22, January 2019, academic.oup.com