I’m always looking for healthy drinks when the weather begins to heat up. Despite our intuitive sense of hot tea being a good option when we’re overheated, it does actually help to cool down the body. This is true of green tea as opposed to coffee. The amount of caffeine in coffee, however, causes it to be dehydrating while green tea is considered hydrating, due to its lower caffeine level, so it’s as beneficial for hydration as water (assuming you’re drinking it straight up without sugar or milk).

There are a number of tisanes that aren’t as common as others such as peppermint, ginger, and chamomile. New ones that I’ve discovered are barley tea, fennel tea, and coriander tea. All of these are hydrating and perfect for summertime cooling when the body will benefit from a hydrating, cooling brew.

Barley tea – You can make this brew by adding a handful of barley grains to a few cups of boiling water. Strain out the barley after 5-10 minutes. Feel free to add lemon or honey if that would appeal to you.

Fennel tea – These seeds are typically available after a hot meal at an Indian restaurant. They make a delicious tea as well. Legend has it that they help to calm one’s nerves and instill a sense of well being.

Coriander tea has been used in traditional folk remedies for centuries and is a typical spice in Ayurvedic cooking preparations. It’s hard to find an Indian recipe that doesn’t use Coriander. The seeds are available at most health food stores. Simmer in boiling water as you would any tisane for 5-10 minutes. Adding lemon and/or honey is always an option if the flavor isn’t sufficient for your enjoyment.