Juicy pile of peaches and plums to hydrate in hot weather.

Summer Strategies to Beat the Heat, by Jenny McCartney, Medical Herbalist

As the summer continues to heat up, I want to bring some attention to a couple of my favorite strategies to beat the heat, because even in mild Victoria, summer heat can still drag you down.

Summer heat conditions can be no laughing matter.  Most of what we experience will likely be the exhausting effects of too much time in the sun, but if you are experiencing strong symptoms you might be experiencing a medical situation and should go to your doctor.  Generally these conditions are acute with a range of symptoms running from mild exhaustion to extreme exhaustion, irritability, diarrhea, sunburn, sweating and extreme thirst.

Interestingly, many of the best preventative measures for heat conditions are foods.  My favorites among these are watermelons, mung beans, black soybeans and cucumbers.  In addition, any kind of juicy, nectar filled fruit is useful for heat exposure, peaches and nectarines being two of my favorites.

As for herbs, my most used herb under theindex
sun’s beating heat is none other than Hibiscus.  Hibiscus produces a beautiful crimson drink, that most people will think is either cranberry juice or Kool-aid!  Hibiscus is called Japa in Indian traditions and it’s name points to it’s ability to strengthen devotion in mantra based meditation. Hibiscus is protective to the heart and lowers the blood pressures; it also works to strengthen the 1st and 2nd chakras, and nourish skin and hair.

To make, add a bit of dried Hibiscus to a small pot of water and bring it to boil for a few minutes, then let it cool, and eventually add a bit of raw sugar and ice cubes. Drink at room temperature throughout the day.

Jenny McCartney, Medical Herbalist, www.heartwoodbotanicalmedicine.com

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