Sweet relief from this hot hot summer heat.
There are so many truly special things about roses. Roses are an iconic symbol of love. Their enchanting floral fragrance can fill a room. They come in almost every color of the rainbow, and their delicate petals are like silk to the touch. Not to mention, For centuries, roses have been included in cosmetics, medicines and therapeutic treatments, across many different cultures. Ayurveda, utilizes roses during these hot dry summer months for their hydrating, mood-lifting, and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Back to roses in a bit, but first a little background on Ayurveda. Ayurveda, developed in India over 5000 years ago, is one of the oldest medicinal systems still being practiced today. Directly translated, Ayurveda means the “knowledge of life” or the “science of life.” This ancient medicinal system, focuses on preventative medicine to avoid disease. Ayurveda suggests that we follow simple lifestyle, ethical, and dietary recommendations in order to achieve and maintain health.
Balance is fundamental to staying healthy and happy. In order to access and enhance the self-healing capability of our bodies, we must learn to balance the constantly fluctuating doshas. There are 3 Doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Dosha are bio-energies, that circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. These bio-energies are made up of a combination the pancha mahabhutas or the 5 great elements. Vata is governed by elements of air and space, Pitta -fire and water, and Kapha- earth and water. All three Doshas are present at all times, however the ratio of these 3 doshas is subject to change according to many many factors. To achieve and maintain health, we must do our best to cultivate balance. This is a very simplified explanation of Ayurveda, I hope if nothing else it might spark your interest to learn more.
Because of the excess heat and dryness in the atmosphere during the summer months, Vata and Pitta accumulate in our bodies. Vata peaks mid-summer and Pitta peaks late-summer/early fall. Therefore, it is especially important for us now to bring hydration, as well as, coolness to our system to create balance and maintain health. When excess Pitta builds up in our system it can cause inflammation or other disease associated with excess heat, such as, skin rashes, diarrhea, irritability. At this time of year Pitta is our main concern, but excess Vata may still be lingering from early summer, which causes dryness and also fatigue.
Rose’s hydrating, anti inflammatory, and mood-lifting qualities, make rose tea the perfect elixir during summer months. Some other benefits of rose include; high vitamin C content, so if you are trying to prevent or fight off that nasty Summer cold that has been going around, drink rose tea. Roses calm the mind and lifts your mood, so If the heat of summer makes you irritable or cranky, put roses around the house or in your office. Rose also pacifies all three doshas, so you don’t have to worry about aggravating the Kapha Dosha with rose. However, if you are concerned with excess Kapha dosha add less sweetness to your tea. Signs of excess Kapha, are weight gain, excess mucus, lethargy, etc.
General recommendations for late summer months
- Choose a cooling/less vigorous workout routine like swimming or yoga, instead of running or kickboxing.
- Eat lighter foods/less food. Our appetite decreases in summer because our ability to digest food also diminishes.
- Avoid excess spicy, sour or salty food.
- Take time to relax: go on vacation, meditate, try restorative yoga, work less.
- Sip on rose tea with friends and family or alone at home with a good book.
- Select about 3 cups of organic pesticide-free petals. I used 4 large roses. Place in a bowl of cool water to and move around with your hands to remove anything on the petals, like dirt or bugs, sediment will settle to the bottom of the bowl.
- Remove petals from bowl and combine 3 cups fresh rose petals and 5-6 cups of water in a sauce pan.
- Bring the water and the petals to a simmer. Simmer five minutes. The petals will loose their color*. Remove from heat to cool to desired temperature.
- Strain and pour into cups or mugs. This amount of water will make about 4 cups of tea, enough to share or keep in the fridge and drink cool.
- Optional, sweeten* with jaggery, turbando sugar, coconut sugar, etc. to taste.
*only colorful roses make the tea colorful. If you are using white roses, it still works but tea will be light.
*Sweet flavor pacifies both Vata and Pitta dosha, but aggravates Kapha. So use your discretion.
Happy Summer! XO