Wednesday, May 13, 2015


This is a guest post by the lightsource Megan Patiry, who is the founder of Hinterland, a holistic wellness blog dedicated to fusing the principles of Ayurveda with ancestral nutrition [the Paleo diet] and crafting vitalizing herbal tonics. She can be found sipping green juice, weaving a flower crown, or practicing an inverted yoga pose [and you can bet she’ll be photographing it all].

As we emerge from the dimly-lit recesses of winter and into gilded days of spring, we begin to desire a feeling of lightness - of new beginnings and clarity of action. This is our body, ever in tune with the rhythms of nature, calling on us to release the heaviness associated with winter, and begin gravitating toward lighter fare during mealtimes.

However, sometimes it isn’t just our digestive systems that require an awakening, but our minds as well. The recipe below uses Gotu Kola, one of Ayurveda’s most treasured herbs, that is ironically shaped much like a human brain. Used for thousands of years as a rasayana, or “rejuvenator,” in Ayurvedic therapies, Gotu Kola has demonstrated a remarkable ability to restore balance to the mind and body, heal the nervous system, and improve blood quality and circulation. It is also often referred to by many yogis and monks as the “Herb of Enlightenment” due to its profound cognitive-enhancing effects and ability to harmonize the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Legend has it that the Sri Lankans observed elephants (who have been associated with possessing a working memory surpassing that of any other mammal) routinely munching on Gotu Kola leaves, and decided to give it a try themselves. The cognitive-enhancing effects they discovered are now backed by science. 

Peppermint, the second main ingredient in this awakening tea, serves as a pacifying and cooling complement to Gotu Kola, and indeed pacifies all three doshas, or constitutions, in Ayurveda. It is especially beneficial for supporting digestion, and for clearing stomach stagnation. It also works to relieve congestion in the nose and throat, and helps sooth cough, both of which may be present in the form of seasonal allergies during springtime.

To round out this tea with a touch of sweetness, raw honey, a true superfood reflecting the golden energy of the sun, is added, lending nourishment to this recipe. It’s packed with amino acids and minerals, and is classified as a Yogavahi in Ayurveda, meaning it holds the ability to penetrate into the deepest tissues of the body and enhance the medicinal qualities of herbal preparations. 

4 teaspoons dried peppermint

2 teaspoons dried Gotu Kola // also known as Brahmi
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 liter alkaline water

Instructions | Boil 1 liter of water. Remove from heat. Immediately place fresh mint and Gotu Kola in your pot and steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain (if you don’t have a loose-leaf tea infuser) and let cool for a few more minutes before stirring in raw honey. Sip right away or let chill in the fridge.