In the summer it often seems as if everything is bursting and heavy with life. Even summer days, beginning so early and ending so late, seem full of potential. Carrying a baby in the summer often feels like this; bursting full of life, joyous, rich, but also heavy, humid, and hot.
The ancient medical system of Ayurveda has a system for categorizing the functional principles of kapha (earth/water), vata (air), and pitta (fire). These principles are present in everything and everybody. Tissues, organs, time of day, people, and seasons, all have these three elements to varying, unique degrees. Summer, as you can imagine, is a predominately pitta season.
Pregnancy is a time of incredible openness and perceptivity. For this reason, pregnant mothers are often more sensitive to the vicissitudes of life, particularly the changing of the seasons. This is why this article focuses on pregnancy during the summer months; pregnant women usually feel the heat more than the rest! On the other hand, this sensitivity also helps pregnant mothers accept and use simple remedies to alleviate the heat. Here are a few for you to try.
Nettle Sun Tea
Nettles are a cooling herb, unrivaled for the nutritional, nourishing and overall beneficial effects in pregnancy. They also happen to be good for women with too much pitta, or in this case, for everyone during a pitta season. Below is a delicious and fun way to utilize the summer sun rays to make nourishing nettle sun tea.
1 ounce of dried nettles
1 bunch of fresh mint
2 quarts of water
Lemon (or honey) to taste
Place nettles and mint in the sun tea jar along with water. To make the nettle tea strong and really cooling, put the tea jar out in the morning and bring it in at sunset. The gentle heat and light of the sun will steep a good strong pot of nettle tea. At the end of the day, strain the herbs and put in the refrigerator to chill. You may have to strain twice to get all of the nettle leaves strained out. Add some fresh squeezed lemon or honey as suits your taste.
Red Raspberry Leaf Spritzer
Red Raspberry leaf is another Western herbal tonic well-suited to pregnancy. By itself it is not a necessarily cooling herb, but with the addition of fresh squeezed lime juice it becomes a pitta pacifying delight. So put those swollen ‘cankles’ up and enjoy a summertime treat!
Red raspberry leaf
Sparkling mineral water
Juice of two limes
Basil or mint leaf to garnish
Brew a cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Let it steep for at least 20 minutes to get the maximum medicinal benefits. When it has steeped, and cooled some, transfer to a glass. Add sparkling mineral water and the juice of two limes. Place a basil or mint leaf to garnish.
Shannon Staloch is a midwife and lactation consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has two lovely children, neither of whom she was blessed to carry through a summer! She blogs about midwifery and related topics at hakimamidwifery.