Today, the “dog days of summer” are known as the hottest days of the year, that part of summer when all we want to do is lay around like hot canines on the porch—but did you know that the original meaning of “dog days” had nothing to do with actual dogs? Or even the laziest days of summer? To the ancient Greeks and Romans, the dog days referred to the time when Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, appeared to rise just before the sun. Sirius is known as the “dog star,” and its appearance in the morning sky marked the dog days of summer. And with it, they also believed, came fever, war, or disaster.1
While some of its meaning may have changed over the years, in these last dog days of summer, we may all be feeling some tell-tale signs of elevated pitta. We may be uncomfortably hot, impatient, and irritable. We may feel excessive heat in our eyes, bellies, or joints. Or we just may feel a bit like those canines on the porch. Regardless of how pitta may express itself at this time of year, Ayurveda assures us that we can counter this expression. We can add a calming influence on pitta’s fire, so that we can shine bright—like a cool morning star.
The following recipe is a refreshing and restorative tonic for pitta dosha, incorporating all three of its balancing flavors.
Pitta-Balancing Hibiscus Cooler
The following ratios are for a quart-sized jar. Adjust to your liking.
- 1 teaspoon hibiscus powder
- ½ teaspoon brahmi/gotu kola powder
- ½ teaspoon tulsi powder
- The juice of one fresh-squeezed orange
- Cup of mixed berries
- Handful of fresh mint
- Rose petals (optional)
- Sweetener of your choice (optional)
- 3 ½ cups hot water
Place the herbs in a jar, add the hot water, and let sit. Add orange juice, berries, mint, and rose petals after the water is no longer hot. The longer the herbs and fruit steep, the more flavorful the tea. Allow to cool, chill slightly, and enjoy.
Here’s to pitta dosha, the dog days of summer, and shining bright! Cheers!