Summer Sun Tea

As summer heats up the earth I find myself craving refreshing and cooling beverages. I created this summer sun tea a few years ago to quench my thirst, cool down system while delivering the amazing benefits of herbs to my family and myself. My children now love to help put the herbs in a large glass jar, fill it up with water and watch the colors change in the sun. After a short time the tea becomes a gorgeous deep red color. It’s simple and delicious. The recipe is below. Here is some interesting info about the herb in the tea.

Hibiscus is sweet, astringent and cooling. It is wonderful for relieving summer heat. The Yoga of Herbs (one of my desk companions) states that hibiscus flowers “ help purify the blood and heart, and they also improve skin complexion and promote hair growth. They are effective in menstrual difficulties, particularly excess bleeding.”

Even though peppermint is pungent, it is cooling to the system and wonderful tasty addition to summer time teas. Mint’s soothing and calming actions work wonders on the nerves and digestion.

Nettle leaf is one of my go-to herbs for many women’s health conditions. It is super high in iron (excellent in pregnancy and during/after menses to build blood) and other minerals. Nettles are cooling, astringent and pungent, with an earthy taste. They have a wonderful alterative and hemostatic action.

Rose petals are a delicate, delightful addition to this tea. Rose is excellent for reducing Pitta by cooling the blood, reducing inflammation and relieving heat. Its affinity for rakta dhatu and the blood make it useful in many female health conditions from menorrhagia (excess/heavy menses) to dysmenorrhea (difficult menses) to endometriosis and fibroids. Rose is also known as the flower of love and devotion, helping to lift the spirits and heal the heart.

Rose hips are the end result of a rose’s life and actually the fruit of the rose. I love to find them on wild rose bushes in the mountains and many moons ago I harvested them from the wild and dried them for tea. These fruits are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available.

1/4 c. hibiscus flowers
1/4 c. rose hips
1/4 c. pink rose petals
1/2 c. nettle leaf
1/2 c. peppermint leaf
10 c. filtered water
2 c. unsweetened apple juice (if desired)

In a large glass jar place all the herbs. Cover with water and shake well. Place jar in the sun for 4-6 hours. Strain the herbs well from the liquid into a clean pitcher. Add apple juice, if desired. Enjoy!

*You can purchase the herbs in bulk from a natural foods store, herb shop or on-line from Mountain Rose Herbs.