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5 Cooling Herbs to Beat the Summer Heat
By Angela Willard, Cl.H
Angela Willard is a Clinical Herbalist and Co-Founder at Harmonic Arts. She’s passionate about growing herbs, herbal consulting, and sharing her love and knowledge of plants. Angela finds balance between nurturing Harmonic Arts' vision and raising a young family.
Plant medicine traditions around the world categorize the energetic properties of herbs into hot or cold, and damp or dry. Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is at its hottest. Since we’re acclimatized to cooler temps, the August heat has us seeking relief. Cooling herbs are one of the best ways we can support our bodies through the intensity of the summer cycle.
Here are the cooling herbs that I use at home to keep me and my family comfortable during the height of summertime:
Cilantro is a summer garden staple, often found in the traditional dishes of hot-weather regions of the world. This aromatic herb adds fresh flavour to dishes in summertime, and helps kick the heat.
Cooling Mint is a widely available plant ally that brings instant relief from sweltering summer heat. Mint-infused ice cubes are an easy preparation that can be added to any herbal tea or smoothie.
Commonly used in aromatherapy and as an infusion in tea, this lovely scented flower provides a cooling effect when consumed or used topically. I love to cool off with lavender spray: add a few drops of lavender essential oil to distilled water and use it as a face and body spritz during the heat of the day. I also enjoy adding lavender bitters to my soda water as an afternoon refreshment.
Used as the base ingredient in a popular Central American drink called “Agua de Jamaica”, this tangy perennial flower keeps the body cool by moving out excess heat. According to TCM, the sour, slightly astringent properties of Hibiscus make it ideal to clear summer damp-heat.
This dainty flower can prevent overheating. Chamomile is a gentle diaphoretic, and helps the body release internal heat through sweating. Prepared as a tea, it can either be sipped or sponged over the skin.
Weaving herbs into your daily routine brings the body into a balanced, healthy state. This is an integral part of holistic living. As we tend to them in our beloved gardens, the plants tend to us with their health-enhancing elements!
What energetic properties do you pick up from the herbs growing around you?