Inspired by Ayurveda, our list of cooling herbs for summer will help you find balance in mind and body during the hot weather.
According to Ayurveda, the traditional healing system that originated in India, summer is the season of pitta, which is associated with the elements of fire and water. Pitta is one of the three doshas, or energy patterns, that exist in our bodies. Each of us has a unique balance of these three doshas, usually with one or two dominating over the others.
The other two doshas are vata (air-ether) and kapha (earth-water).
One of the core principles in Ayurveda is that wellness comes when we balance the doshas. When we have an excess or lack of a particular dosha, we experience physical and mental symptoms and eventually become ill.
Ayurveda teaches us that we can balance our doshas through our lifestyles, especially our diets. By consuming foods and drinks that have the opposite effect, we can find equilibrium and wellness.
Each of us has our own specific constitution that is determined by our natural levels of each dosha. Understanding your own constitution can help you balance your doshas and stay well.
But the outside world also influences our doshas. And, as we’ve already seen, this time of year is the time of pitta – of heat. As a result, we may all benefit from using some cooling herbs during the summer to avoid excess pitta.
Soothing, calming, and cooling herbs can help us to weather the heat and take care of our bodies and minds during the summer months. Here are some options to try:
1. Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family, lemon balm is known for its soothing and calming properties. In Ayurveda, it is considered a cooling herb and helps to suppress excess pitta. It is also said to encourage sweating, which helps your body to keep cool when the weather is hot.
Chamomile is another calming herb that has a cooling effect on the body and mind. As an anti-inflammatory and a digestive aid, chamomile can help to offset some of the symptoms of excess pitta, which include inflammation and heartburn.
You can find both chamomile and lemon balm in our soothing NutraRelax herbal tea blend.
In Ayurveda, liquorice is described as being sweet, heavy, and cooling – exactly what we need to combat the fiery heat of pitta season. Like chamomile, liquorice supports the digestion and soothes symptoms like heartburn and indigestion, which are associated with excess pitta.
Another herb to cool your mind and body this summer is coriander, which is one of the most frequently used treatments for excess pitta. Coriander supports the digestive system and helps our bodies eliminate toxins. It is said to cool internal heat and reduce indigestion too.
A great herb for reducing bloating and gassiness, fennel is also a cooling herb that is used in Ayurveda to treat excess pitta. It has a soothing effect, helping us to cope better with the heat of summer.
You can find liquorice, coriander, and fennel together in our NutraCleanse tea – a classic blend for digestive support and the elimination of toxins.