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How To Beat The Heat With Cooling Botanicals

Many of us wait all year for the summer to arrive and have fond memories of the days spent relaxing under the sun far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, summer is associated with the element of fire. In Ayurveda, summer is associated with the Pitta Dosha that often has characteristics like excess body heat, irritability, and sweating. Symbolically, summer is linked to passion, freedom, and relaxation. However, the flaming energy of those long days combined with strong humidity and the intense heat can makes things quickly uncomfortable. Try these cooling teas, herb infused ice cubes, botanical popsicles, and relaxation techniques to beat the heat on those sweltering summers days.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinesis): This beautiful magenta flower is also a potent medicinal botanical with cooling properties traced back to ancient Egypt. Rich in phytochemicals including anthocyanins, polysaccharides, and organic acids-this healing plant has both nutritional and therapeutic applications. Hibiscus is the perfect mix of sweet and sour for a balancing taste that will quench your thirst.  Simply infuse dried hibiscus flowers into water, add some ice, a slice of lemon, and enjoy!

Wild Mint (Mentha longifolia): Wild mint is a powerful and hardy plant that grows in the Mediterranean, Europe, Australia, and North Africa. Menthol, a constituent found in wild mint, has long been associated with that cooling flavor and invigorating feel. Rip the mint leaves to encourage the release of the natural oils and soak them in water overnight.  In the morning add ice and a slice of peach to sweeten the taste.

Sage (Salvia officinalis): This popular culinary herb has been used in many ancient cultures for its diverse medicinal properties from promoting digestion to fighting colds.  Sage is considered a sacred plant is often used as a symbol for purity and cleansing. As a member of the mint family, its rich essential oils also contain menthol which provides its unique cooling taste.  Mix the leaves with lemon and water, then add a hint of honey.

Herb-Infused Ice Cubes:

Looking for a fast way to cool down? Try these easy-to-make ice cubes.

Directions:

  1. Make a pitcher of your favorite cooling tea
  2. Pour infusion into a ice cube tray (make sure it’s plastic and silicon-free)
  3. Add some mint leaves into each cube
  4. Freeze & Enjoy

Botanical Popsicles:

What’s more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than an ice-cold Popsicle? Try this simple recipe to cool off quickly.

  1. Blend 3 cups fresh watermelon, a 1/2-cup peach, and 1/2 cup infused hibiscus tea
  2. Pour into Popsicle molds (make sure it’s plastic and silicon-free)
  3. Freeze & Enjoy

Find Ways To Slow Down:

  • Read a book
  • Go on a digital detox
  • Take a nap
  • Go barefoot
  • Walk in nature

 

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Riaz, Ghazala, and Rajni Chopra. “A Review on Phytochemistry and Therapeutic Uses of Hibiscus Sabdariffa L.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29597091.

Mikaili, Peyman, et al. “Pharmacological and Therapeutic Effects of Mentha Longifolia L. and Its Main Constituent, Menthol.” Ancient Science of Life, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171855/.

Hamidpour, Mohsen, et al. “Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Medicinal Property of Sage (Salvia) to Prevent and Cure Illnesses Such as Obesity, Diabetes, Depression, Dementia, Lupus, Autism, Heart Disease, and Cancer.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003706/.

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