My favorite herbal tea for hot weather is Ayurveda Summer Tea Ayush ProPita Tea.
Ayush ProPita tea is a naturally cooling tea that is mildly relaxing. ProPita tea combines cooling herbs and spices like Tulsi, Sandalwood, and Cardamon, with sweet soothing spices like Licorice and Cinnamon. This combination of cooling and sweet tastes pacifies Pitta dosha, which is the dominant dosha of late Spring and early Summer.
What’s great about ProPita tea is that the mild pungent qualities of Cardamon, Tulsi, and Cinnamon promote act to stimulate our Agni Digestive Fire, which tends to weaken in the Summer both from the heat and from the large amounts of liquids and cold foods we naturally eat at this time.
The Effect of Summer on Agni Digestive Fire in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine
This is interesting–our digestive fire is strongest in winter, when we eat heavy warming foods, and weaker in summer, when we eat so many cooling fruits, vegetables, and beverages. Its easy to lose your appetite in the hot weather, but who loses it in winter? Because in Winter our fire goes deep to the center to protect from cold, whereas in Summer our fire is dispersed as we sweat.
So the problem is that as our Spleen Hun Hua in Chinese Medicine, or Agni Digestive fire in Ayurveda weakens due to the season, we further “attack” it with cooling foods that tend to douse digestive fire.
Even water is innately cooling, so when we drink so much our digestive fire is weakened. Enter spices in general, and ProPitta tea in particular. They both digestive fire, Agni, Spleen/Pi Hun Hua in Chinese Medicine, to prevent summer digestive problems, and consequent colds and flus in autumn and winter.
Use of Spices to Fire Up Agni
This is why in India they add spices like cumin and even green or red chile to Salt Lassi, to protect and stimulate the Agni damaged by summer heat and cooling, heavy, sweet foods like yogurt.
For this reason ProPita tea is a wise choice for hydration in summer, unlike iced teas and iced beverages, which damage Agni. Drink it at room temperature or slightly cool.
I often mix 8 oz of room temperature ProPita tea with 1 oz. of Pomegranate or Sea Buckthorn juice. Pomegranate pacifies Pitta with its Astringent flavor, and has valuable potassium. As an exercise drink or natural “Gatorade” add a pinch of sea salt.
A fantastic summer cooling beverage is Coconut Water, called Young Coconut in India to distinguish from the water of the mature, dark brown coconut that has different taste and qualities. But Coconut Water is high in sugar (though not at high as fruit juice) and also weakens Agni if taken in excess. Try mixing your coconut water with ProPita tea in whatever ration you like. If you are going to be out sweating or exercising, feel free to add a dash of salt, as Indians do with Limeade.
Coconut Water ProPita tea Summer Exercise Drink
6 oz Coconut Water
10 oz Ayush Brand ProPita Tea
2 oz Knudsen Brand Pomegranate Juice
1/8 tsp Salt
Ayush ProPita Tea as an adjunct to Pitta Pacification Therapies.
I prescribe ProPita tea year round to patients with Pitta excess manifesting in either body or mind. As its also a tea that aids digestion I like to prescribe it in cases where there is Ama excess/digestive toxins, showing up as greasy tongue coating and digestive problems like heartburn, GERD, and IBS. As Pitta tends towards tension, Ayush ProPita tea’s mild relaxing quality helps further pacify Pitta.
Ayush ProPita Tea is an especially good tea for people that dislike the heat of summer, that get sunburned easily, or that find it difficult to be in the sun for an extended period. It is excellent for those who get headaches from walking in the noon day sun. It is a very good tea anytime of year for people with hot type skin diseases, like hives or eczema, or with digestive complaints involving burning, such as GERD and Gastritis. Also excellent for Colitis and IBS with diarrhea.
Vata and Kapha in Summer
Vata and Kapha dominant types can safely drink this tea at room temperature in summer, because it is cooling, not cold and its digestive spices protect anyone’s Agni. All doshas need some cooling in the season dominated by Pitta Fire.
Anyone’s Pitta can elevate in Summer, so the key is knowing how your doshas appear in your unique terrain of body and mind. You also want to know which of your doshas suffer elevations. Even a Vata-Kapha can have a Pitta elevation if the diet, lifestyle, and life situations engender it.
Vata-Pitta, and Kapha-Pitta will suffer more in summer than Vata-Kapha, since both Vata and Kapha are cold and crave warmth. So only a Vata-Kapha or Kapha -Vata has to be careful with this tea. However, Ayush ProPita tea is a thousand times less aggravating to Vata and Kapha than ice cream or frozen yogurt or iced drinks.
So even a VK or KV can drink plenty of ProPita tea at room temperature in the season when Pitta dominates. By the end of the summer as the days shorten and the weather turns dry, then its a different story, especially for VK and KV types, who will now have to be much more careful about overcooling.
Mixing ProPita tea with Ayush ProVata and ProKapha tea
You can also combine a bag or two of ProPita tea with a bag of ProVata or ProKapha tea, according to your dosha make up. When I was on a retreat in summer a few years back in Quebec, which was a bit cool in the a.m., and we were getting up at 5 a.m., I mixed ProKapha with my ProPita.
Sometimes I like to add some fennel seeds or fresh ginger root to my ProPita tea; that adapts it to both Kapha and Vata nicely, and I am a Vata-Pita with a current Kapha elevation.
Ayush ProPita Tea contains
- Cardamon–cooling, sweet, excellent digestive, pacify pitta
- Cinnamon–sweet, soothing to the digestive tract, pacify pitta and vatta
- Tulsi/Holy Basil–cooling, antibacterial, purifying, pacify pitta and vatta
- Licorice–sweet, cooling, soothing, pacify pitta and vatta
- Sandalwood–cooling, calming, purifying, strongly pacifys pitta
copyright eyton shalom, june 2012, all rights reserved use with permission