Marvelous mints make hydrating summer coolers
While I do sometimes still reach for a tall glass of water on a sunny day, I've found that drinking plain water can actually leave me thirsty, especially in the heat of the summer. I have come to realize that when we drink mineral-rich herbal infusions or other nutrient dense liquids, our bodies can more effectively absorb the water and quench our thirst.
During long summer days, a cold herbal infusion hits the spot–iced oatstraw infusion is one favorite around here. Steeping the oatstraw (or another favorite herb) overnight allows the nutrients to come out into solution for a strong, medicinal tea. And of course, drinking herbal brews is much more nutritious than the sodas and fruit juices that are so widely available.
In the summer, however, I especially love to turn to quick and easy teas with the mint family plants that I have growing outside my door (dried herbs work too).
Hydrating herbal summer cooler
1. Take a handful of anise hyssop, peppermint or lemon balm and place it in a jar or mug.
2. Pour boiling water over the fresh herb and cover with a lid or small plate.
3. Let steep for 5-10 minutes.
4. Refrigerate or pour over ice for a cool and refreshing herbal tea.
5. For even more hydration packed with electrolytes and vitamins, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a spoonful of raw honey and a pinch of sea salt.
Known for a wealth of culinary and medicinal herbs, the mint family includes anise hyssop, peppermint and lemon balm–three of my favorites for summer coolers. As well as holy basil, aka tulsi, another beloved of wise woman herbalists. Mints are also especially appealing in the summer because they are cooling in nature (and for us menopausal women, they help cool the hot flashes!).
Mint-family plants extract well with just a short brewing time because they impart their aromatic properties easily into solution. The essential oils in the interstitial fluid between the cells of the plant come out readily in liquid. So there is no need to brew it for a long time. You can even skip the hot water step and just grab a sprig on your way out the door to pop in your bottle of water.
One way or another, the herbs are happy to help you stay hydrated this summer . . . So let's drink up!~
Corinna Wood, teacher of the Wise Woman Tradition for 30 years–from herbs to self love
"I became an herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradition at the tender age of 22, initiated by Susun Weed and a beloved patch of nettles. Today, I support women with earth-based, woman-centered tools to ground you in your own innate wisdom, needs and desires. My teachings draw on earth wisdom of our foremothers–the shoulders on which we stand–to navigate the challenges we face as women in the world today."