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TRAINING SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONERS

Cooling Herbs to Beat Summer Heat

Refreshing ways to infuse herbs into your daily routine

As summer temperatures rise, staying cool becomes a top priority. Incorporating cooling herbs into your daily routine is a natural and effective way to beat the heat while reaping numerous health benefits.

Discover five locally accessible herbs renowned for their cooling properties, how they can enhance your well-being and keep you refreshed throughout the summer.

Summer cooling herbs

Peppermint

Peppermint is a fragrant herb known for its refreshing flavour and cooling properties. It contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on the body and can help alleviate headaches, reduce fever and improve digestion. Peppermint is also anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants, helping to combat oxidative stress from toxins and environmental factors and support overall immune health.

How to use it:

  • As a tea: Brew fresh or dried peppermint leaves in hot water for a refreshing tea. Add a slice of lemon and a touch of raw honey for extra flavour.
  • Infused water: Add fresh peppermint leaves to a pitcher of water along with cucumber slices and lemon for a cooling and hydrating drink.
  • Peppermint essential oil:
  • Dilute with a carrier oil (like coconut or almond oil) and apply to the temples, neck and chest for a cooling sensation and relief from heat-related headaches.
  • Apply diluted peppermint oil directly to insect bites to reduce itching and inflammation. Its antimicrobial properties may also help prevent infection.
  • For sunburn relief, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to aloe vera gel apply to sunburned skin for a cooling sensation and to aid in healing.

Coriander

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is a versatile herb commonly used in cooking, where both its seeds and leaves are utilised. Coriander has diuretic properties, which help reduce water retention and promote detoxification. It is also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it highly beneficial for aiding digestion, lowering blood sugar levels and supporting heart health.

How to use it:

  • Coriander chutney: Blend fresh coriander leaves with mint, green chilies, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt for a zesty and cooling chutney.
  • Coriander infused water: Crush a handful of coriander leaves and add them to a jug of water. Let it infuse overnight in the refrigerator and drink it throughout the day.
  • Coriander salad: Add chopped coriander leaves to salads for a fresh and cooling twist.

Basil

An aromatic herb with a sweet, slightly peppery flavour, Basil has natural cooling properties that help reduce body heat in the hotter months. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and support respiratory health.

How to use it:

  • Basil pesto: Blend fresh basil leaves with garlic, pine nuts and olive oil for a versatile sauce that can be used on pasta, salads or as a dip.
  • Infusedoil: Infuse extra virgin olive oil with basil by placing fresh basil leaves in a bottle of olive oil. Let it sit for a few days to allow the flavours to meld. Drizzle the oil over veggies, salads or dips.
  • Caprese salad: Combine fresh basil leaves with tomatoes and mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a classic and cooling salad.

Fennel

Fennel is a flavoursome herb with a mild, licorice-like taste, used both in cooking and herbal remedies. Known for its cooling and hydrating properties, it offers digestive benefits by reducing bloating and gas. Rich in antioxidants, fennel also boasts anti-inflammatory effects.

How to use it:

  • As a tea: Brew fennel seeds in hot water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Add a splash of lemon juice for extra zing.
  • Fennel salad: Thinly slice fresh fennel bulbs and toss with orange segments and a light vinaigrette for a cooling and crisp salad.
  • Fennel and apple slaw with avocado dressing: Combine thinly sliced fennel, apple and red onion in a bowl. Toss with a dressing made from blended avocado, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and garlic.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb in the mint family, known for its calming and soothing properties. Often used in teas and essential oils, lemon balm has natural cooling effects that help reduce anxiety, promote better sleep and improve digestion. It is also rich in antioxidants and has immune-supporting properties.

How to use it:

  • As a tea: Brew fresh or dried lemon balm leaves in hot water. Chill and add raw honey and lemon for a refreshing iced tea.
  • Infused honey: Infuse honey with lemon balm leaves by placing a handful of fresh leaves in a jar of honey, sealing it, and letting it sit for a few weeks. Use the infused honey in recipes or as a natural sweetener for various dishes.

Healing herbs to boost health

Incorporating these cooling herbs into your diet and daily routine can help you stay cool and refreshed during the hot summer months. Not only do they provide relief from the heat, but they also offer a multitude of health benefits, making them a valuable addition to your wellness regimen. So, beat the heat naturally this summer with the power of peppermint, coriander, basil, fennel and lemon balm.

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Blog/Article content reflects the author's research and diverse opinions, not necessarily CNM's views. Items may not be regularly updated, so represent the best available understanding at the time of publication.

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