On those summer days when no amount of water seems to quench the thirst, there’s nothing more satisfying than a refreshing, minty beverage. A glass filled with a little sweet, a little tangy, and a whole lot of cooling hydration. To rebalance the five elements, nourish the tissues, replenish electrolytes, and pacify pitta dosha. During a season where mineral depletion and heat accumulation are common imbalances, reaching for a cooling mineral-rich drink can recharge the system, while reducing internal heat.
Summertime well-being has a lot to do with the balancing the water and fire elements in the body. Staying hydrated and cool are essential practices in cultivating a balanced pitta dosha. To sustain energy levels and prevent imbalances related to dryness and heat. In a season when the body is prone to rapidly lose water and minerals, dehydration is a common imbalance. Depleting the tissues of vital nutrients and moisture. Dryness in the body can also play a role in imbalances related to blood pressure levels, the flexibility of the joints, muscles, and be one of the factors that cause heat to rise in the body.
Excess heat not only has a drying effect, too much of the fire element can also be the source behind acid-reflux, skin imbalances—acne and boils, headaches, burning during urination, eye sensitivity, nosebleeds or angry outbursts, to name a few. In the summer months, its common for heat to accumulate in the body. Especially in the small intestine, liver, and blood. For optimal balance, reducing heat from the body is as necessary as preventing dehydration. Both go hand and hand. Together determining the quality of pitta dosha in the body.
At times, flushing out heat and replenishing minerals to support hydration can require more than water. On these occasions, an alkalizing, natural coolant is the elixir the body-mind needs. With this in mind, we curated a hydrating, aromatic elixir with all six-tastes and mineral-rich ingredients—aloe (bitter), cucumber (sweet, astringent), mint (pungent) and lime (sour) with a touch of heating honey (sweet), and rock salt (salty). To recharge the physical, emotional and mental bodies on the hottest of summer days
The primary ingredients have a gentle cleansing action, extracting heat from where it tends to accumulate—the small intestine, liver, and blood. While also having an inherently cooling energy or virya, according to Ayurveda. Without ice, they can counterbalance the heat and cool the body. While still supporting the digestive fires. In gently cleansing, cooling and hydrating, this elixir nourishes the skin, replenishes electrolytes and alkalizes the body for that summertime glow. Zinging up a relaxing moment after a day of fun in the sun. Happy drinking! Happy digesting!
The Summer Cooler
Dosha: PKV* Season: Summer Qualities: Light, Cold, Clear, Moist Tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Astringent, Bitter What you need: a blender, strainer, citrus press/juicer
- 1 aloe leaf filleted
- 1 cup mint leaves* + 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1 large cucumber peeled & seeded
- 1 cup fresh lime juice (10-12 limes)
- 5-7 cups water*
- a two-finger pinch of Himalayan salt or black salt
- 1/2 cup raw, preferably local honey or raw sugar*
1. Add 1 tightly packed cup of fresh mint leaves to a bowl with 3 cups hot water. Let steep until the water cools. This step can be completed a day ahead if desired.
2. In the meantime, blend cucumber and 2 cups water until smooth. Strain to remove pulp (optional) and add the juice back into the blender. If you are not removing pulp, add the aloe, lime, salt, and honey along with cucumber and blend until smooth.
3. Then add in 1/2 a cup mint leaves and blend using the pulse mode until mint is finely chopped, but not pureed
4. In a jug, add the blended juice and mix in the cooled and strained mint tea. Let mixture infuse for 2-4 hours in the fridge. Remove from fridge an hour or so before serving. Serve slightly chilled but not cold.
*Notes from our test kitchen:
- 3 cups of mint tea can be used if fresh mint leaves are not available.
- Depending on the size of the aloe leaf, an additional 1-2 cups of water may be needed to cut the thickness and/or bitterness of the aloe
- The drink is slightly tangy, a tad bitter, with a sweet touch. Adjust the amount of honey or raw sugar according to personal taste
- Since this drink is naturally a refrigerant, serving over ice or extremely chilled is not recommended from an Ayurveda perspective
- For decor, a few slices of cucumber can be peeled prior to slicing cucumber in half
- Individuals with a vata constitution or dosha (imbalance), monitor the quantity; use sugar versus honey; a big pinch of ginger powder or 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger when blending ingredients