Lemon & Tulsi Iced tea

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Summer is strongly associated with citrus, especially lemon. Adorable children selling lemonade for 25cents at the bottom of their driveway, sharing a lemon italian ice purchased from a push-cart off the sidewalk, all the creative, scented lemonades that appear during summer bbqs, these all play an important role in summertime. Strangely enough citrus is ripe in winter and that is the last time of year we need to be consuming something so intrinsically cooling. My star cooling herbs for warm weather are citrus (lemon specifically), hibiscus, rose, and mint. When you consume herbs that are either cooling or warming it doesn't only work for external feelings of warmth/coldness but also internal. Cooling herbs really help with internal discomforts such as hot inflammation, spasms, anxiety, digestive heat, tension, etc. Cooling herbs also slow down. You know that feeling you get after you come inside dripping sweat from summer heat, pour a glass of lemonade, and take a big gulp? Almost immediately after you feel it circulate through your body, you sigh in relief... yeah that feeling is the cooling herb helping your body to slow down/calm down. 

Tulsi, other than being fabulously delicious, is another great herb to be adding into your diet regularly. I wrote a little more on tulsi in this posting. It pairs well here for reducing anxiety/stress, since those are heat creating disturbances. 

The first time I had a lemon tulsi pairing was from a bottled honest tea and boy, did they have the combo right. Thanks honest tea :).

Recipe (For 1/2 gallon)

Water - to fill a 1/2 gallon pitcher

Lemon - 1 lemons

Dried lemon peel - 2tsp

Tulsi - 4TB (dried) 

Honey - 4TB (add more or less depending on desired sweetness)

Bring water to a boil. After it boils, let it cool for 2 minutes and then add it into the pitcher with the tulsi and dried lemon peel. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Leave the lemon halves in the water to steep. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the tea and discard the spent tulsi/lemon. Stir in the honey until dissolved. Place in the refrigerator and then serve once cool. Stays good in the refrigerator for 1 week.