Summer is well and truly here in New Zealand with long, hot days and busy social schedules. We thought we’d share a few yogic tips and a fantastic recipe for a Pitta pacifying tea to help keep you cool during the summer heat.
In Yoga and Ayurveda (which is the sister science to yoga, also known as the science of life) the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space can be found all around us in our external environment as well as present within our physical bodies.
In Ayurveda these elements combine in the body to create the three main doshas or constitutional types. Vata is composed of Space and Air, Pitta of Fire and Water, and Kapha of Earth and Water.
The elements of Fire and Water combine to create the Pitta constitution and Summer is considered Pitta season, a time of heat and movement with long days filled with extra activities and busy schedules. Both in Yoga and Ayurveda we try to work with the seasons as opposed to against them, so here are a few simple tips for keeping Pitta under control during summer!
Avoid Pitta aggravating foods
During the summer, avoid eating foods that are hot, spicy or salty. These qualities all increase the Pitta dosha. Red meat, red wine and hard liquors are also all very heating and should be avoided or at least minimised during the summer months.
Favour Pitta pacifying foods
Instead, eat foods which are sweet, bitter or astringent as these tastes are all pacifying for Pitta.
Examples of cooling and Pitta pacifying foods are fresh coriander, cucumbers, coconut, milk, yoghurt, ghee, fresh leafy greens, dates, plums, apples.
Avoid ice cold drinks and foods
As tempting as it is, eating or drinking icy cold foods is actually not very helpful in summer and tends to disrupt our digestion and decrease our already lower digestive fire. Favour drinking room temperature drinks rather than ice cold.
Ensure you are drinking plenty of water daily (avoiding iced or chilled water) along with other cooling beverages like the CCF tea recipe below or a homemade electrolyte drink to replenish you after a lot of sweating (to a glass of cool water simply add 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of pink salt).
Here is our favourite tea for the summer months. It’s refreshing, cooling and surprisingly enjoyable on a hot day.
Pitta Pacifying CCF Tea Recipe
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon food grade rose water (we use Cortas Rose Water)
1 cup boiling water
- Mix the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds together.
- Add the boiling water.
- Steep for 5 minutes, covered.
- Strain and discard the seeds.
- Add the rosewater, starting with half a teaspoon and adding more to taste as it is a strong flavour.
Serve this tea at room temperature, lukewarm, or cool. Do not serve hot or iced as both of these will take away the cooling benefits of this drink.