Khus Sharbat: A Traditional Indian Summer Cooler Since Ancient Times

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


As the Indian summer stretches its limbs, bringing with it sweltering heat and scorching sun rays, a traditional remedy that has been quenching thirst and cooling systems for centuries is Khus Sharbat. This ancient beverage, deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of India, particularly in the desert areas, offers a refreshing escape from the relentless summer heat.

The Origins of Khus Sharbat

Khus, known scientifically as Vetiveria zizanioides, is a type of grass native to India. Its aromatic and medicinal qualities have been recognized in Indian Ayurveda and folk medicine for thousands of years. The essence derived from the roots of the khus grass is the main ingredient in khus syrup, which is used to make the revitalizing khus sharbat.

Historically, the practice of using khus to make a cooling drink dates back to ancient times when it was popular among the royalty and common folk alike. The natural cooling properties of khus made it an ideal choice for the arid regions of India, where the climate demanded a beverage that could provide relief from the intense heat.

How Khus Sharbat is Made

The preparation of khus sharbat begins with the extraction of the essential oil from the vetiver grass roots. These roots are washed, dried, and then distilled to produce a thick, fragrant syrup known as khus syrup. This syrup is vibrant green in color and has a sweet, earthy aroma reminiscent of the wet earth during monsoon.

To make khus sharbat, the syrup is mixed with water and often a bit of lemon juice and sugar to enhance its flavor. It can be served chilled or with ice, making it a perfect drink to cool down with on a hot day.

Health Benefits of Khus Sharbat

Khus sharbat is not only known for its delightful taste and cooling effect but also for its health benefits:

  • Cooling Properties: Khus has a natural cooling effect on the body and is known to regulate the body’s temperature, making it ideal for hot climates.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The roots of vetiver are rich in antioxidants which help in protecting the body from oxidative stress.
  • Digestive Benefits: Khus sharbat can aid in digestion and alleviate symptoms of acidity and nausea, making it a soothing summer drink.
  • Skin Benefits: Vetiver is known for its regenerative properties that can help in rejuvenating the skin.
Cultural Significance

In the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat, khus sharbat is a staple during the summer months. The drink is also popular during festivals and special occasions, symbolizing hospitality and welcome. Serving khus sharbat to guests is considered a gesture of care and respect, acknowledging the harshness of the climate and offering a respite.

Sustainability and Tradition

The cultivation of vetiver for khus is also linked with sustainable agricultural practices in India. The vetiver system of cultivation helps in soil conservation, water retention, and preventing soil erosion, making it beneficial for the environment as well as the economy of rural communities.


Khus sharbat is a testament to the ingenuity of traditional Indian practices in creating solutions that are both sustainable and beneficial for health. This summer, as you seek respite from the heat, consider embracing this ancient beverage — a cool sip of history, flavored with the essence of the earth, and a delightful remedy passed down through generations.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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