During Summer, the Ayurvedic Pitta dosha is at its strongest, meaning the element of fire within all of us is likely to be stronger right now. If you’re a predominantly pitta type person (which you can learn by taking an online dosha test here) then Summer is when symptoms of inflammation, headaches, heartburn and acidic indigestion, ulcers, stress, anger and frustration can be at their highest. According to Ayurveda, each season is governed by a different energy and element, and being the hottest, driest season, Summer is linked to all things fire. Accordingly, our diet and lifestyle ‘should’ reflect this change in environment, and if you take a look at Ayurvedic lifestyle books or any other holistic systems like Chinese Medicine, you’ll notice that everything from daily routines to herbs, foods and exercise needs to change a little in order to be optimally healthy during each season.
If we still lived more hunter-gatherer-style lives as our ancestors did, we’d naturally change our lifestyles from season to season, meaning we’d be consuming a great variety and quantity of foods, be getting natural forms and amounts of movement each day, and naturally alter our sleeping pattern to align with the rhythms of day and night. If you want to move towards a more natural, environmentally-aligned and intuitive lifestyle guided by the principles of Ayurveda, looking at the foods, herbs and spices you’re consuming is a great place to start. Many herbs and spices can remedy seasonal health issues, and help with daily occurrences of bloating, indigestion, fluctuating energy levels, sleep and much more. To balance the amount of heat and fire in the body and mind during Summer, let’s start with this cooling yet digestion-supporting tea blend.
Chamomile: A popular herbal flower for promoting relaxation, chamomile holds the tastes of bitterness and pungency, which both help reduce Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (earth and water) energies in the body and mind. Chamomile is great for indigestion, inflammation, headaches and menstrual issues (both dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea), and most Pitta-related issues, including irritability, anger and stress. It’s a sattvic herbal flower, helping balance the emotions, and if you tend to suffer with sore, inflamed eyes, 2 cotton pads soaked in cooled chamomile tea can be placed over the eyelids for 15 minutes to provide remedy and relief.
Cardamom: One of the most effective and safe digestive spices, cardamom is great for maintaining agni, the digestive fire, as well as removing heavy Kapha issues from the body, such as heaviness, mucus and phlegm in the stomach and lungs. Cardamom promotes a soothing flow of prana (energy) throughout the body’s systems, and when added to coffee, prevents the jittery effects. In the Middle East, spiced coffees with cardamom (and lots of sugar!) are traditional, and the spice has actually been used for thousands of years to help heavy or acidic foods easier to digest.
Calendula: Much like chamomile, calendula is cooling, calming, and has the taste qualities of bitter and pungent. Calendula is another great pitta-balancing herbal flower, and importantly, it can also be used as a gentle adaptogen, helping restore the body’s natural balance, promoting vitality and harmonious functioning of the systems.
To make your own:
(makes 1 large pot of tea)
- Add 1 tbsp of dried chamomile flowers, 1 tbsp of dried calendula flowers, and 2 crushed cardamom pods to a large tea pot
- Pour over hot water (not completely boiling)
- Leave to steep for 5 minutes
- To serve, add a squeeze of lime juice and honey – the lime juice adds a lifting, zesty kick whilst also cooling the Pitta dosha, and the honey helps stimulate digestion.
To order a ready-made organic pack for yourself online, email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy 8 servings for £5 + p&p.