September 13 2017
Water Quality and the RISHI Days
for Tibetan friends
Did you know that the quality of water changes along with the seasons?
– The spring water is heavy. It is influenced by the winter cold, and is melted by the spring sun, which makes it difficult to be digested by the digestive fire. It is said to be unhealthy for the Phlegm humor and disorders. This water needs to be boiled until one quarter of it evaporates.
– Summer in Europe is hot with humidity evaporation. The water quality is better than in spring but it is like a stream, which mixes good and bad qualities together. Therefore water needs to be boiled and should be allowed to evaporate until only half of it remains.
– Autumn cools down water that had been heated by summer, and filters it by earth. This naturally distilled water has the best quality to heal the body that has been burnt by the summer heat, and is tired by stress, tensions and overuse. This water needs to be boiled until one quarter of it evaporates.
– Winter makes water cold, dense (frozen) and heavy. It decreases the digestive fire, and makes the digestion difficult, especially in children, elderly or weak people. This water needs to be boiled until only half of it remains.
Generally speaking, drinking unfiltered cold water of low quality is naturally harmful to the digestive system, therefore mildly warm or boiled warm water is ideal for the digestion and health.
Between the seasons, the autumn water is the best quality, but during a period called the ‘seven Rishi days‘, which falls between August and September (autumn season in Tibetan medicine), it is said that it even turns into nectar that cures Bile, chronic fever (inflammations) and especially chronic liver disorders. During this period, water bears eight good healing qualities: 1. Cooling 2. Delicious 3. Light 4. Gentle 5. Clean 6. Good smelling 7. Easy on the stomach (digestion) and 8. It doesn’t produce stomach and throat disorders like goiters.
Autumn Rishi healing bath tradition
This tradition is described in Tibetan astrology, medicine and popular literatures. Tibetans generally respect these seven days and go to the hot and cold spring baths, and are used to drinking this healing water. During these special healing days, patients are particularly keen to see the doctor and take medicine.