I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me ’bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon-tree

~Fools Garden

When I think about summer, I think about the Delhi loo, the dry, debilitating winds with dust devils curling from the ground. I remember parched throats and withered trees, each leaf coated with dust. Grīṣma (ग्रीष्म, “summer”) is one of the six seasons of the year, starting from April and lingering till June, till the season slides into Varsha Ritu, when the first drops of rain melt into earth.

The summer speciality

During summer, the sun sucks the nutrients out of the living, squeezing every single drop in the gut-wrenching heat. Plants and vegetables lose sap, moisture and nutritive element in summer, becoming dry and extremely light. Water loses its natural coolness and nutritive properties. Thus, whatever you eat and drink leads to an accumulation of wind or vayu dosha.

The desi nimbuka

Step in the lime,the small desi sibling of the more robust lemon, from the Citrus Aurantifolia tree ( Nimbuka in Sanskrit) , found widely in India.  The acidic fruit comes from the short, squat, shrub like tree with short stiff twigs and many small prickly thorns. These tiny thorns have a spiritual meaning, says Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium. You can’t just pluck it, it takes mindful appreciation to gather the fruit. This self-protectiveness is reflective of real-life relationships, which one should approach with mutual love and admiration for those around us.

With pale green leaves and tiny clusters of white flowers, the fruit of a lime tree is tiny hardly 3 – 4 centimeters in diameter, a tiny globe or oval, with a small protruding apical nipple. Go beneath its thin green-yellow peel and you find a tender juicy fruit a pale lemon green in colour, a few seeds and a whole lot of acidic punch.

Lemons (desi limes) are a good source of vitamin C, support weight loss and leave your skin glowing. An integral digestive aid, before meals eat some raw ginger with a squeeze of lemon and some rock salt to stimulate the agni. A breath freshner and mood elevator, it is an energy booster too. Limes contain bioflavonoids, which are anti-histamines, and have pectins that reduce cholesterol.

Stay fresh by having lime water with masala. The late renowned nutritionist Vijaya Venkat of the Health Awareness Centre consumed the juice of around eight lemons a day. The reason was lemon juice has an alkaline effect on the body, in spite its Acidic pH. What’s essential to know is that food’s effect on your body has little to do with its pH before it is digested. Once digested, the very acidic lime proves to be alkaline with many health benefits.

Nimbuka in Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, lime is sour or amla (taste/Rasa). It is light to digest and it has a calming effect on Vata and Pitta, but stimulates Kapha and an aggravated Pitta. It has a cooling effect on hot spicy, Pitta foods . A lime is a sour, bitter and a cooling food, but once digested in sweet.

An anti-inflammatory lemonade

Come summer and cool down with a very refreshing lemonade with a pinch of turmeric for an anti-inflammatory effect

Lime: ½ freshly squeezed

Water: chilled, one glass

Honey/ Jaggery: according to taste

Ginger: half an inch of a sliver

Turmeric:  a pinch

Mint: a few leaves


  1. Blitz the ginger root, mint, lime juice with water in a blender
  2. Remove and pour in glass and add a pinch of turmeric and honey/ jaggery as per taste
  3. Garnish with a few slices of lime and a sprig of mint