Keeping Cool in Summer Heat

Using the Tastes to Stay Cool in Summer

In Ayurveda, one of the ways we can choose foods and herbs to stay in balance is by understanding the six tastes. The tastes are both literal, what you taste on your tongue, and energetic, meaning they have an effect on body and mind.

The Doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—have a direct relationship to the six tastes. To get an overview of the tastes and their relationship to the doshas, see the chart at the end of this article. For our purposes today, we are going to look at the tastes that decrease Pitta, or Fire, in the body and mind.

The tastes are: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

Each taste has either a cooling effect, or a heating effect on the body and mind.

Generally Sweet, Bitter, and Astringent have a Cooling effect

And Sour, Salty, and Pungent have a Heating effect


To reduce Pitta, and Heat, in the summer, we want to focus on those tastes that have a cooling effect.

As we are entering into the dog days of summer, knowing what foods help to cool and refresh can be an enormous help!


Remember that no person, and no food, is just one kind of energy. What works for me may not work for you! Please experiment and get to know what your body needs. I’ve gathered a few fruits and vegetables to get you started, both from my own experience and from collective Ayurvedic wisdom.

Here are a few foods to eat more of to keep cool!


Sweet and Astringent Fruits:

Figs, Dark Grapes, Sweet Plums, Melons, Sweet Oranges, Coconut, Peaches, Most Berries (especially Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries), Apples, Bananas


Sweet and Astringent Vegetables:

Summer Squash, Leafy Greens (Kale and Arugula are slightly bitter), Lettuce (also bitter), Peas, Green Beans, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery


Cooling Herbs (great for iced tea!)

Rose Buds, Peach Leaf, Marshmallow Leaf, Hibiscus Flower, Blue Vervain, Spearmint, Lavender


And here are a few recipes to try!

peaches fruit

Peach Salsa

3 ripe peaches

juice of ½ lime

½+ cup roughly chopped fresh spearmint leaves

pinch of Celtic grey sea salt


blueberries fruitMixed Berry Smoothie

1 cup whole milk yoghurt

1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

¼ cup Sunflower seed butter

1 tsp cinnamon pwd

Milk to thin as needed


concord grapes

Blue Juice Spritzer

2 parts pure Blueberry Juice

1 part pure Concord Grape Juice

2-3 parts Sparkling Water

splash of lime juice



If you’d like to know more about Ayurveda and the tastes, check out the chart below, and let us know in the comments if you’d like me to write more on the subject!

Intro to the tastes shorter

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2 Responses to “Keeping Cool in Summer Heat”

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  1. Antwinique says:

    You did a great job! I’d love to learn more on this subject.

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