Summer is described as “pitta season” in Ayurveda.
With a dominance of fire and water elements, it’s the season when the border between fun and intense starts to blur (like that relative who turns a friendly board game into a battle scene, with at least one person injured or crying by the end).
I’ve designed these small batch, homemade Ayurvedic products to support the quest to keep yourself calm, cool, and collected this season. Enjoy them as part of your daily routine, and notice if your response to the heat changes at all—and, more importantly, how you feel when fall comes around. This “kitchen medicine” may seem simple, but when it comes to correcting and preventing imbalances, Ayurveda always prefers the simple route—and especially when it comes to anything having to do with pitta.
Orders open through June 30, 2023
Will be shipped on July 7, 2023 // Shipping $8 (USPS)
Open to U.S. residents only
Brahmi Coconut Oil
4 ounce jar // $10
(NOTE: Photo shows an 8 ounce jar for clarity; product may contain small amounts of plant matter, and this is fine—it’s not bad!)
Ingredients: Organic unrefined coconut oil, organic gotu kola (Centella asiatica)
Brahmi, or gotu kola, is a renowned medhya rasayana in Ayurveda, which means an herb that rejuvenates the mind. It is often called upon when the mind has reached a state of burn out or depletion, restoring a sense of stability, focus, and endurance to cognition and emotions. It can be taken internally (usually in the form of brahmi ghee at bedtime, which helps the herb pass the blood-brain barrier and support healing during sleep), but this oil does a similar action externally. Used to massage the scalp, brahmi coconut oil soothes frayed and racing thoughts that can lead to hair loss and graying. (Since the head is hot, we never want to apply heating substances or oils to the head.) It also keeps the hair shiny and lustrous.
It is also excellent to use for abhyanga in the summer, or when there is excess pitta; brahmi coconut oil glides on the skin smooth and light, providing instant cooling and moisture (especially useful after days out in the sun, or at the beach or pool, which can make the skin feel parched).
Note: There are two plants called “brahmi” in Āyurveda: Centella asiatica and Bacopa monnieri. They are different plants but have such overlapping qualities that they are used interchangeably. This oil uses Centella asiatica.
Directions: Warm the coconut oil until it becomes liquid (place the jar in a bowl with boiling water).
For head massage, gently pour oil over the scalp (easier than pouring in the hands), and use your fingers to massage from the hair line to the nape of the neck, like when you get your hair shampooed at the salon. Leave the oil on overnight, then wash your hair in the morning.
For body massage, apply the warmed/liquid oil to the whole body, using gentle downward strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints, belly, and chest. Relax with the oil on for 5 to 30 minutes. Take a hot shower and wash all the oil off with soap and a loofah or wash cloth.
Summer Herbal Tea
1 ounce bag // $5
4 ounce bag // $10
Ingredients: Dried hibiscus flowers, dried lemon balm, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, dried rose buds (all organic)
Use ½ tablespoon tea per 1 cup water. Pour boiling water over the tea, and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. To make “sun tea,” place 2 ½ tablespoons of tea in a quart mason jar with room temperature water (preferably cooked water). Place the jar in a sunny windowsill and let steep for 3 hours (max 4). Can be enjoyed chilled as well (no ice, per Ayurveda!)
Summer Spice Blend
4 ounce bag // $10
Ingredients: Organic coriander seed (toasted and ground), fennel seed (toasted and ground), turmeric, ginger, and clove
Use this spice blend in all of your summer cooking—simply warm ghee or coconut oil (preferred oils for summer) in a pan, add the spices (about ½ teaspoon per serving of your recipe), and temper for 1-2 minutes. Then add your vegetables, grains, or other ingredients. Tempering helps to break down the spices and release more of their volatile oils and other nutrients.