Lemon & Tulsi Iced tea


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. 


Tulsi and Rose



I've been posting on here for almost the past week with recipes and little snippets here, a touch of history there, maybe a mention about my life but really, without saying very much outside the post topics. I guess I was just trying to get some information up on here to give you several things to look at rather than me, you know, just talking about myself. But this is tea. Tea is my calming, collecting, balancing ritual that, with any luck, I do several times a day. And do I ever need calming, collecting, and balancing right now. Sometimes as I sit with a cup of tea I just temporarily live in the moment of "it doesn't matter, I have tea" and look down happily at my full mug. As I keep sipping and the tea dwindles from the cup, reality comes back and I know I have to start addressing things once that last sip goes. In August Ty (my boyfriend) and I moved away from Athens, GA, a place we both loved to Charlottesville, VA. Ty was starting his first year in graduate school and I was freshly graduated from undergrad and wanted a new experience and to figure things out as I went. After getting my degree in a design major and reflecting on the exhaustive amount of time and stress it took me (no matter how much I love the subject) I felt like purging myself from all things related. Being free from all of it was like skinny-dipping for the first time.. you keep looking over your shoulder, afraid to get caught. Like one last project or presentation was going to pull up in a cop car and bite me in the naked moon. But I got away with it.

Moving to Charlottesville I decided to fill my time with a bunch of things, right away, I was in a new place with all this time and wanted to do everything and anything but get my first traditional landscape architecture job. I started working in a bakery since I love it, needed money, and I worked in a bakery/coffee shop all through college and it was my second home. I enrolled in an 6-month herbalism course, which I have always wanted to do, drink tea, make medicine, and learn. Then I got an internship at the Center for Historic Plants at Monticello, meeting lovely people and playing with plants, what could be better? I was sure that doing a variety of things would give me clarity on what I wanted to do with my life and maybe it has helped. After about 6 months my internship ended and I left my job at the bakery with ideas about opening a food cart but after a few forward strides, and a few more leaps backwards, that faded too. I am stuck in these huge swaying differences of opinions about my life, worried that I am potentially making the wrong move. I have equal love for several passions and that is ripping me in several directions. I wish I could just grab them all as easily as cake ingredients, throw them in a kitchen-aid, pop it in the oven and present it to you; frosted. But right now, I can't, I'm just living. Right now, I drink tea and think. 


Tulsi and Rose tea is quickly become one of my favorite teas. A friend in my herbalism course mentioned that he was drinking tulsi and rose in the mornings instead of coffee and this blend has stuck for me. Personally, I do not choose it in the mornings but for whenever I want something that melts the stress, gives you clarity and rubs you with a strong, loving energy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a sacred plant to the Hindus and in sanskrit it translates to "the incomparable one." I am told that it is grown all over India, most homes have a tulsi plant growing for protection. Tulsi will do many things for the body but in this blend it is chosen as a tea to reduce anxiety and stress. I chose roses because they are very connected to your heart. Drinking rose tea soothes your heart as well as your emotions. It also helps to quiet and balance your mind while  having an uplifting, cooling affect. This is tasty and aromatic, just a scent of it will make you feel better, I promise. I made another posting about rose here, if you'd like to to the origin of rose and its uses. I happen to have some rosehip syrup in my refrigeration from a little while back. I made this from steeping rosehips in water and then dissolving in honey or sugar. I pour a little spoonful into the tea but it is great unsweet or with a little honey.


To make 2 large cups

2TB Tulsi

2TB Rose petals.

Heat water to boil and add tea into a tea pot or pitcher. After water boils let cool for about 1 minute and then pour over tea. Let infuse for 5 minutes and then pour into cups through a strainer. Sweeten if desired. Relax.

I choose to get a lot of my tea/herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs (including tulsi and rose) but you can find bags of tulsi at your local health food store, whole foods, or earthfare.

"The sun should be a giver of happiness, the sky should be a giver of happiness, all trees and plants should be givers of happiness. All these should give us peace of mind ( shanti ) and even the peace should give us peace." - Rigveda