Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The Magic of "Nimbu Pani"  

We in Canada are still enjoying the nice spring weather with cool wind and some rain, unlike some other countries in the World. The southern states of America, Mexico, India, Africa and many other tropical countries are facing the sun's heat. Heat tends to make more and more individual look out for cooling drinks like pop, juices, ice cold water. In India one can see at each and every corner the Nimbu Pani vendor during such months. So is this site of lemonade stall even on the busy streets of New York. Why is this simple juice so famous during such hot days? The answer is not just in its cheap availability, but lies somewhere in the actual contents and its properties. Let us read more about it ...

What is Nimbu Pani or Lemonade?

A simple mixture of water, lemon juice, salt and ice in some cases is what called as "Nimbu Pani" or Lemonade. Although the recipe may be different all over India as some may add different types of herbs like mint, rock salt to vouch for their customer. Even here in North America it is pretty much the same style of lemonade that one can get. Early Natives here used to make a potion called as pink Lemonade made with the help of red sumac berries fruits of a local species Rhus typhina. But whatever it is the urge to grab lemonade remains the same.

Why Lemonade or Nimbu Pani?

Summer is a season that is known to have certain effects on the human body. A person tends to drink large amount of fluids as he loses a lot due to perspiration or sweating, due to that intake many would see decreased appetite. The heat, the dehydration all makes one to reduce once efficiency to work making a person face fatigue very easily.

The need of the hour is basically to rehydrate the body quickly, not just hydrate but also nourish the body with needed nutrients and lastly something that would cool the body off.

Lemonade or Nimbu Pani luckily offers all the three requirements stated above. It can cools one body easily, the lemon juice in it provides a lot of Vitamin C thus refreshing a person very quickly. Water drank in such a way thus can be a great elixir for a fatigue individual. 
According to Ayurveda lemon juice is known for its power to increase appetite and digestion. Makes sense of having it when our appetite is really low do not you think?

Sweating would make one lose lot of sodium from the body, so as water. The salt and water are something in this combination that keeps the balance of sodium and water in the body.

Lastly the best way to boost one when having low energy is by boosting with some glucose which is provided in this combination with the help of sugar. Maple syrup/Honey is something used by the Natives too in this combination.

Lastly according to Ayurveda the three tastes that provides the utmost nourishment to the body as Sweet taste {Madur ras}, Sour taste {Amla ras} and Salty taste {Lavan ras}. Sugar in the lemonade represents the sweet taste, lemon represents sour taste while the salt represents the salty taste.
 Thus one can say this is one of the best remedies for a person to nourish the body instantly, it is like Gatorade in the good old days for many...

What not to have in Lemonade?

If all this is good in this amazing combination, the 21 century has added certain things that can make the combination unhealthy like adding Ice. Avoid ice if possible to your Lemonade.  It is a topic in itself but ice can actually make a person thirstier than just normal water. Thus avoid it as much as possible.

Water from earthen pots covered with soaked cloths are still used by many vendor in India to keep the water cool. Check those out for a nice Nimboo Pani for all those who stay in India. For others prefer just cold waters but no ice in it for more benefit. 

So this summer make sure to have some nice lemonade if you are really thirsty or fatigued and be aware of the fact why you are drinking it. 

Posted by Sudeep

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