Summer’s Here, Ready or Not!
In our “upper left” corner of North America, this spring has been exceptionally cool and damp. Many other parts of the country have been much hotter! Long-term weather forecasting is tricky, but as the National Weather Service image above shows, the predictions are for quite a hot one. Note that our Bulk Herb Sale continues through the end of June—so right now is a perfect time to order up some cooling plant friends to help you cope with the heat!
In traditional herbal medicine systems, like classical European, Chinese, and Ayurvedic ways of healing, our mind-body system is understood in terms of a balance of hot/cold/wet/dry (fire/earth/water/air) qualities. Few of us are ever perfectly in balance, and herbal prescriptions are typically based on which of these elements predominate in our individual constitutions at a given time.
When the weather heats up, environmental temperatures can strain or overwhelm your body’s capacity to maintain this balance, even if your usual tendency may be on the cooler side. Expressions of excessive fire energy may include sensations of heat, pain, redness, and swelling (the classic inflammatory signs, known in Latin as calor, dolor, rubor, and tumor); acid reflux, loose stools, painful menstrual cramps, burning eyes, hot flashes, dizziness; insomnia, racing thoughts, agitation, worry, anger, recklessness, and so on.
Some herbs, like Elder Flower, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, and Chamomile (known as diaphoretics), have an additional effect of increasing perspiration—which also helps you cool down.
It’s also worth mentioning that most of our tea blends contain one or more of those cooling herbs. Hibiscus Cooler Tea is outstanding that way, and specially formulated to star as a delicious iced beverage for summertime!
Consider too that cooling down inflammation, in various forms and parts of your body, is the key feature in a great many herbal strategies. So, for example, we offer Time Out Tea, for chilling out overheated states of mind; Aller-Geez Tea, for itching, burning allergy symptoms; Happy Tract Tea, for acute intestinal ailments; P.P. Tea, for bladder irritation; and so on. Remember, you can add ice to any well-brewed tea, and enjoy it cold.
Have fun this summer! And be sure to take a little time to cool down when you need to… find a shady spot to relax in, and sip a nice cooling cup of tea!