A Cooling Ayurvedic Limeade Recipe for Summer
The summer season is ruled by pitta dosha, comprised of the elements of fire and water. Once you learn how to stay in balance and cool the fires of summer, you and yours can experience the joy of summer all season long.
Ayurveda holds that when we become overheated in the summer, it can provoke emotional flare-ups like anger, rashes, and inflammation. It can also encourage excess focus on work, and on doing instead of being. However, when we are supported by the warmth and heat of the season, we find ourselves coming into full bloom like the landscape around us. We can cultivate this support by balancing our internal fires of digestion, intelligence, and intensity—all of which can become excessive in the summer heat.
One way to cultivate balance is through the use of foods. My family and I have hosted master teachers Indu Arora and her mom, Rani, to help the wider community bring the wisdom of ayurveda into their own homes. In these ayurvedic cooking classes, students learn how food truly can be medicine when used with knowledge of the foods’ own natural qualities and the constitutional makeup of those consuming it, and in harmony with the present season.
The traditional ayurvedic beverage below, which Indu and Rani taught the students to make, offers a way to stay hydrated and to replenish minerals and nutrients during the summer.
Ayurvedic Electrolyte Summer Drink: Makes Four Eight-Ounce Servings
- 2 organic limes (Their quality is cooling and sour, whereas lemons, though also sour, are heating by nature and can aggravate pitta.)
- 2 pint-size mason jars filled with filtered water
- 2 tsp. organic raw sugar, or mishri—candy sugar with a low glycemic index (Their qualities are cooling and sweet.)
- 2 pinches pink Himalayan salt (Its quality is—of course—salty, and salt replenishes minerals and nutrients.)
- Optional: Mint and lime slices for garnish and a splash of color
Directions: Cut the limes in half and squeeze them into the jars of filtered water. Add the sugar or mishri and the salt. Stir. Add mint and/or a slice of lime to garnish if you choose. Serve either at room temperature or chilled (refrigerated or with ice cubes).
A modern-day twist on this classical ayurvedic drink—Popsicles!
Fill an ice tray or Popsicle mold with the electrolyte beverage, freeze, and voilà—homemade Popsicles!
Ayurvedic Tips for Keeping Your Cool in the Dog Days of Summer
To cool the intensity that can come with the searing rays of summer, let the water element balance and nourish your fires when you find them too high. In addition to drinking cooling drinks, find other pleasurable ways to incorporate the element of water into your day—such as being near or in water. Choose activities that help keep you cool (like swimming) and provide rest and relaxation in the pitta heat of the afternoon.
If you can’t get to a body of water, soak your feet in a baby pool or a bucket of water. Or sit by a body of water under the moonlight while you gaze at the moon’s reflection on the waters, letting the lunar energies soothe and calm you. Play in the coolness of the earth and dirt, and plant things—growing something will help to ground you.
And when you’re finished, cool off and replenish yourself with the ayurvedic beverage above. Relax, replenish, and enjoy!