Oh my—the dry, sun-piercing 100º Colorado days are here! But with the many tools and tricks of Ayurveda, staying cool and hydrated is within our reach, even when summer (and Pitta) is at its worst. If you are experiencing excessive heat, inflammation, anger, irritation, fatigue, and simply too much FIRE, this super simple, super refreshing drink is for you!
This chilled herbal tea recipe is one of my most enjoyable ways for keeping cool, hydrated, and energized throughout the summer, and in fact, I have been using this recipe for many years. It is simple (only 2 to 3 ingredients), quick (10-minute steep time), and easy to make. When I need a little sweetness I make this recipe with a touch of honey, as even a small amount makes a lovely difference! But for those avoiding sugars, I have made this tea countless times without any sweetener with just as much enjoyment!
Lemongrass and Peppermint are a couple of the most delicious and effective Pitta-soothing herbs for the summer months. They are cooling, invigorating, and energizing but in a very relaxing way (if that makes sense). They are great for balancing the digestive fire (Agni) during these excessively hot summer months when our appetites and digestion can get smothered. And best of all, this tea is so well-taken, you can easily sneak in this herbal “medicine” for your whole family to enjoy (great for over-heated, irritable loved ones of all ages!)
There is no question that this tea will keep you and your Pitta cool this summer, but lemongrass and peppermint possess so many other health benefits. Here are some other great reasons to drink this tea!
Lemongrass & Peppermint Health Benefits
- Tridoshic: cools Pitta, soothes Vata, energizes Kapha
- Naturally caffeine-free
- Improves digestion without increasing heat
- Relieves gas, bloating, and cramping
- Relieves nausea and upset stomach
- Gently detoxifies the body
- Promotes sweating and urination (diaphoretic and diuretic)
- Beneficial in UTI and other conditions with urinary inflammation
- Soothes and relaxes the body, mind, and nervous system (nervine)
- Promotes clarity, concentration, and focus
- Promotes healthy energy levels during the day; promotes healthy sleep at night
- Relives painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Reduces fever and soothes sore throat
- Soothes hot flashes
- Soothes anger and irritability
- Doshic Effect: Vata ↓*, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↓
- Makes: 7 cups (about 56 oz total)
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Chill time: at least 6 to 8 hours
*May increase Vata in excess; Vata types should avoid during the fall and winter seasons
- 8 cups filtered water
- 1/3 cup organic lemongrass, cut and sifted (purchase a high-quality brand here)
- 1/4 cup organic peppermint, cut and sifted (purchase a high-quality brand here)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons honey* (optional – I prefer using a small amount of honey but enjoy it without sweetener just as much)
- Lime wedges (optional for individual servings)
*Some of you may be wondering why I add honey (which is considered heating) to a Pitta-soothing drink. I love honey and do not find it Pitta-provoking when I use it in small amounts, especially when it is paired with these intensely cooling herbs. If you are not able to take honey, you are welcome to omit or replace it with any sweetener of your choice.
1. Boil the water in a large pot.
2. Once boiling, turn the heat to a low simmer and add in the lemongrass and peppermint.
3. Stir well and cover, leaving a small crack. Steep here for 10 minutes.
4. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the herbs into a heat-safe vessel with a very wide top. I often use my glass 8-cup measuring cup or another stainless steel pot. The extra wide opening makes it easier to strain and allows the tea to cool faster than if you strain it directly into your ball jar.
NOTE: Even with a very fine mesh strainer you will likely get some tiny herbal sediment left in. If it bothers you or your family members, you may prefer to place a thick paper towel or cheesecloth over the strainer before straining.
5. Let cool here until it is slightly warm but not hot. Stir in honey (if using) until it is fully dissolved and evenly dispersed.
6. Poor the tea into a large glass jar with a lid. Finish the cooling process in the refrigerator. This will generally take 6 to 8 hours minimum but should be fully chilled by 12 hours.
7. Once chilled to your liking, pour into your favorite glass, add a squeeze of fresh lime (if using), and enJOY!!
NOTE: Since Ayurveda does not recommend drinking cold beverages, I always pour a glass of this tea and let it sit for about an hour or more before drinking. It is still cool at this point (and very cooling) but not refrigerator-cold. Please avoid adding ice as this will hamper your digestion.
8. Drink 8 to 16 ounces at least once daily during the hot seasons (or anytime Pitta is elevated). It is a great way to stay cool and hydrated and prevent Pitta imbalance throughout the late Spring and summer months!
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