When the mercury is high, cold foods and iced drinks aren’t the only way to cool your body down. Many herbs have cooling actions too!
Just as certain fruits and vegetables, like celery, watermelon, cucumber and lime, have cooling properties, herbs that helps us remain cool do so by protecting body fluids and restoring Yin. This category of herbs is called refrigerants. Tea herbs like Lemongrass, Chrysanthemum, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Spearmint, Peppermint and Chamomile are all refrigerant herbs. Add in Rose petals, Hibiscus flowers or horsetail and the list of cooling concoctions can be endless. Many refrigerant herbs’ leaves and flowers work well as overnight infusions you can enjoy throughout the day.
Try cold brewing for maximum flavor and cooling. To make an overnight infusion is easy. Just add fresh mint, lemon balm or other favorite leaves to a pitcher of spring water and leave in the fridge overnight. That’s it! In the morning you will have a cold, refreshing, Yin balancing herbal infusion.
Here’s another great tip: Freeze your favorite herbs or flower petals in ice cube trays. Just plunk the cubes in your glass when you’re ready to pour some tea for extra flavor and a visually pleasing drink.
You don’t only have to drink or eat refrigerant herbs to cool down. You can also soak the heat away. Combine your favorite cooling scents, like Lavender, Chamomile and Mint, in a cloth bag tied tightly to prevent herbs from spilling out. Toss the bag in your bath, or hang it under the faucet and fill the bath with hot water. Let it it steep just as you would a cup of tea. When the bath has cooled to your liking, step into a pool of fragrant, cooling herbs.
Chamomile and Lavender are both calming and cleansing, while Mint aid circulation and therefore perspiration which helps clear toxins. An even more cooling addition is Blue Malva flowers. It will turn your water sky-blue (how cool is that?!) but won’t stain your skin or the bathtub.
You can also add some drops of the flower’s or herb’s essential oil, for an especially exquisite relaxation experience.