June is here and I can hardly believe it! These past few months have truthfully FLOWN by in my world, but I have every intention of slowing it down and cultivating a bit more presence now that my favorite season has (almost, officially) arrived.
I find summer to be so intoxicating. Even as I've grown older and the definition of summer has shifted (you mean I don't get three months of work off?), I still find it to be the most magical and exciting time of year. Everything feels light and bright and sun-soaked, and the food (the food!) is just the best.
But, summer is an also incredibly taxing season for the body and mind. Since diving into the study of Ayurveda, I've come to realize how imbalanced we really do become during these intense few months. A foundational belief of Ayurveda is that we are one with nature, and our lives should reflect the changes of the seasons. The rising external heat creates a corresponding excess of internal heat within the body, and if we aren't mindful of how we eat and live, we can fall victim to a number of physical and emotional imbalances as a result. Think inflammation, cardiovascular stress, digestive upset, skin breakouts, and a mess of emotional highs and lows. We get extra fiery, and it's reflected in our disposition and our ability (or struggle) to manage the stresses of daily life.
What makes the art and science of Ayurveda so brilliant is that with each season comes its own set of guidelines, designed to help us live in harmony with (instead of resistance to) the ebb and flow of the natural world. And once we make the commitment to live in accordance with these natural laws, we open ourselves up to experience truly radiant and flourishing health in body, mind, and sol.
It only makes sense that our dietary and lifestyle practices during summer be focused on tempering our internal flames. As an extremely fiery Leo, I can attest to how out of balance I feel during summer when not living in alignment with these guidelines. In terms of food, think: light, hydrating, cooling, and sweet foods. Sweet, water-rich fruits and vegetables should serve as the basis of your diet, accompanied by easy-to-digest fats and proteins (ghee, avocado, coconut, sunflower seeds, brown rice, seafood, and chicken).
I also love to draw upon herbs and botanicals to support the cooling and tempering of body and mind. Today's recipe is a blend of my favorites in one ultra-cooling and refreshing summer tonic. Though not *technically* Ayurvedically-aligned, it also doubles as the base for a fabulous seasonal libation. I recommend tequila, if you so choose.
HIBISCUS | A potent source of bio-available vitamin C and antioxidants, hibiscus is an ideal immunity-boosting nutritive. It also reduces high blood pressure, balances cholesterol levels, supports liver function, flushes toxins from the body, brightens and heals the skin, soothes digestion, and decreases body temperature - all areas of health that fall into imbalance during summer. I especially love hibiscus infusions for their calming effect on the nervous system, helping to reduce anxiety, stress, anger, and other fiery manifestations within the realms of emotional health.
ROSEWATER | Roses for president. Really. I just can't get enough, and find myself adding a splash of this cure-all to nearly everything these days. I wrote a whole post dedicated to this botanical's healing properties a while back (which you can find here), but it's another ultra-calming and cooling plant that works wonders on the cardiovascular, skin, digestive, and emotional systems.
ALOE | Digestion-soothing, inflammation-taming, skin-nourishing, and a powerful adaptogen. Aloe supports the nervous system, helping to reduce emotional imbalances and restore clarity of mind for a more calm cool and collected internal state.
COOLING HIBISCUS ALOE TONIC
- 2 cups brewed hibiscus tea - cooled
- 2 tbsp culinary rosewater
- 1/4 cup aloe water
- Raw honey or liquid stevia, to taste (optional)
- Dried rose petals, to garnish (optional)
TO MAKE | Combine all ingredients, mixing together until well combined. I typically choose to keep my tonic unsweetened (unless making it a cocktail), as I find the flavors to taste best unadorned. Served chilled, and garnished with a sprinkle of dried rose petals. Makes two servings.
I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx