The long warm days are calling for us after months of being indoors and isolated more than usual. Whatever your comfort level with normalcy is during recent changes, it feels so good to experience more ease, the joy of the summer sun and the transformation that nature provides during this season.
Ayurveda recognizes that we are nature and that we should observe our surroundings to understand what is happening in our bodies. Perhaps we are starting to feel more heat, less hydrated, drier and maybe more of the emotions of impatience, irritation or anger. Nature provides us berries, greens, and juicy fruits and vegetables to help balance our bodies, minds and our digestion. Digestion really is the foundation of Ayurveda and in the summer, the digestive fire becomes weaker due to blood moving out to the periphery to cool us down. In the ancient Vedic texts, the sages recommended spending time in cooler places, especially by water, wearing flower blossoms, taking naps, exercising, working less and taking moon baths. As refreshing as it may seem, continual consumption of iced beverages is not recommended, as it dampens the digestive fire. This herbal tea made with digestive herbs is so delicious that you may not miss your ice cubes. It can be drunk warm or hot and ideally with meals.
Hibiscus is a wonderful and refreshing herb for the summer season since it is not only great for digestion but it is also cooling for our bodies; a rare combination. Did we mention that it also improves mood? Lemon grass is also cooling, calming, great for the nervous system and has the most delicious taste. It, too, is recognized as a digestive stimulant. Ginger brings flavor and does most of the heavy lifting in this formula. The ancient sages of India and China revered this pungent root as the “universal medicine.” Paradoxically, it brings heat to the digestive system and once digested, it is cooling for the body.*
Cooling Digestive Tea
2 tablespoons of Dried Hibiscus Calyx
1 teaspoon of Lemon Grass C/S
1 teaspoon of Orange Water (AKA Hydrosol)
Sweetener of choice to taste, optional (a little sweetness is very balancing for heat and also the astringency of the herbs)
1. Boil the water and add to all the dried herbs and cover
2. Stir, and leave to infuse for 5 minutes
3. Strain the herbs
4. Add orange water and sweetener
5. Give gratitude for your digestive system and the appreciation for your meal!
Makes three cups. If you have any leftover tea, it makes a tasty lassi, which is a great way to get some good probiotic yogurt into your system without the heaviness that yogurt can sometimes cause. Just blend four parts tea, one part plain yogurt and a pinch of cardamon for even more digestive support. This is a great way to support your digestion and for those with a slower metabolism/constitution, makes a great breakfast.*