Chill Out With Herbs: Natural Remedies For Summer's Heat

A photo of Mel Mutterspaugh, clinical herbalist, and a photo of a field of sunflowers, one sunflower has sunglasses on.
 
 
Summer is here, and it's time to have some fun in the sun while staying cool and refreshed. As moms, we're always looking for natural remedies to keep our families healthy, and herbs can be a great solution. So let's dive into the world of herbs and discover how they can help us beat the heat and enjoy the summer to the fullest!

 

First things first, July is a busy month for many of us. With birthdays, parties, and family gatherings, there's no shortage of excitement. The hostess responsibilities may fall on our shoulders, but the joy and excitement of our loved ones make it all worth it. This year, I celebrated my daughter's 10th birthday, and we decided to make it extra special by giving her bedroom a makeover. The preparations and planning may be time-consuming, but the smiles and happiness make it all worthwhile.

 

When the summer heat hits, finding ways to keep cool becomes essential.
 

One of my favorite activities is floating down the beautiful Clackamas River. It's a refreshing and fun way to beat the heat and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you have access to a river or a forest, taking advantage of nature's cooling power is always a great idea. The combination of water and shade can provide much-needed relief from the scorching sun.

But what about herbs? How can they help us stay cool during the summer? Herbal medicine has a long history of using herbs with cooling properties to combat excess heat in the body. Traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Western herbalism all categorize herbs based on their temperature and energetic qualities. These cooling herbs are particularly useful in times of excess heat, such as hot weather or conditions like fever or inflammation.

 

One herb that immediately comes to mind when it comes to cooling is peppermint.

 

Its refreshing and invigorating qualities make it a perfect choice for staying cool. Peppermint contains menthol, which triggers cold-sensitive receptors in the skin, creating a refreshing sensation. Not only does it provide a cooling effect, but it also aids digestion and relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. You can enjoy peppermint in various forms, such as tea, essential oil, or even blended in smoothies or infused water. The possibilities are endless, and the taste is incredibly delicious.

 

Another herb with fantastic cooling properties is marshmallow root.

 

Yes, you read that right, marshmallow! But we're not talking about the sugary treat. Marshmallow, scientifically known as Althea officinalis, has gelatinous mucilage in its root. This gelatinous substance, when mixed with water, forms a protective and cooling coating on inflamed or irritated tissues. It works wonders on sunburns, providing relief and hydration to the skin. You can create a cold infusion by steeping marshmallow root in water overnight and applying it to the affected area. Trust me, the slimy consistency may seem strange, but the results are incredible.

 

Hibiscus is another herb that deserves a place in our summer arsenal.

 

With its beautiful tropical flowers and tart cranberry-like flavor, hibiscus is a natural choice for cooling down. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Hibiscus tea is a popular choice, and you can even blend it with other herbs like mint or tulsi (holy basil) for a refreshing and healthful drink. The vasodilating properties of hibiscus help improve blood flow and disperse heat throughout the body. You can enjoy hibiscus tea as it is or get creative by incorporating it into mocktails or popsicles.

Speaking of popsicles, creating herb-infused popsicles is a fun way to keep your kids cool while sneaking in some nutrients. Combine herbs like mint or hibiscus with fruits, greens, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, blend them together, and freeze them into delicious and nutritious summer treats. The possibilities are endless, and your kids will love them.

 

If you're new to herbs or feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of options, remember that it's perfectly okay to start with just one herb.

 

By focusing on a single herb and exploring its various uses, you can build a solid foundation of herbal knowledge. Take the time to get to know each herb's properties and benefits, and you'll be amazed at how versatile they can be. In fact, you may find that you only need a handful of herbs to address a wide range of health concerns.

To further deepen your herbal learning journey and explore more recipes and ideas, consider joining the Herb Safe Kids Club (Coming Soon). This club focuses on herbs that are fantastic for kids but are equally beneficial for adults. By studying one herb each month, you'll develop a deeper understanding of its medicinal properties and how it can support your family's health. The journey of herbal learning is exciting and rewarding, and it's never too late to start.

As we embrace the summer season, remember to stay hydrated, find ways to stay cool, and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you're floating down a river, exploring a forest, or simply sipping on a refreshing herbal drink, make the most of this vibrant and energetic time of the year. And don't forget to tag me on social media @theherbalistspath if you try any of the recipes or if you have your own creative herbal creations to share. Let's make this summer epic and full of health, joy, and herbal goodness. Cheers to a beautiful and refreshing summer and thank you for helping herbalism #spreadlikewildflowers!

We Love the Mission and Sustainable Herbs available through Oshala Herb Farm, WishGarden Herbs & Mountain Rose Herbs and receive a small commission when you purchase through our affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our small business, and others on a mission to make this planet a better place to live!
 *Always remember to contact your healthcare provider when considering the use of botanical medicine as a possible treatment option and the medical considerations. While the information in this article is absolutely relevant, herbs work differently for each person and each condition.
 **I am a trained herbalist and not a licensed or registered healthcare practitioner. I cannot diagnose health conditions, nor prescribe medicines legally; I am not a medical doctor. However, I will recommend or suggest medicinal herbs for various health complaints, as I do believe in the safety and efficacy of botanical medicine.
 ***The information I’ve provided is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing.

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Each month we'll do a deep dive lesson on one herb and its many medicinal uses. Plus, you'll get lessons on the foundations of herbalism, plant identification skills, and sustainability in herbalism. Plus, every month we'll do a live Herbal Show & Tell in the community! All for $7!

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