Updated: Dec 5, 2017
The summer heat is a welcome relief for those of us who struggle with cold throughout the winter. However, we all need to manage the intensity of summer temperatures and for those people who are of a more hot and fiery constitution, or for those folks who are inflamed due to imbalances, the summer can be almost unbearable at times. Here are my go to remedies and some Ayurvedic Wisdom to avoid overheating.
1. Eat more cooling foods. We tend to do this instinctively in the summer anyway. If we eat seasonal foods, we will be eating more leafy greens and summer veg. The summer is the time for more fruits (eaten separately from other foods for the most part), and lightening up on meats. Cold water fish and chicken is more appropriately than eating a lot of red meat if you tend to overheat in the summer.
2. Use Cooling herbs and Spices. Cilantro, dill and mint are easy to grow or purchase. Turmeric is a powerful anti cancer and anti inflammation spice. You can make a turmeric lemonade just by adding it to a naturally sweetened homemade lemonade. I often add turmeric to my tea. Add a pinch of black pepper and you increase your body’s ability to utilize the turmeric by up to 200%. Eat your curries, just go easy on the hot chilies!
3. Aloe Vera Gel or Juice. I always like to have a bottle of this in my fridge. Whenever I feel any symptoms of heat (burning sensation anywhere in the body), I will have a drink of the gel mixed with water. The gel is lumpy but is made from the whole leaf whereas the juice is more like water but is only made from the inner portion of the leaf. Both will do the trick. It is also very useful topically for burns and inflammation from insect bites. Aloe has the added benefit of helping to heal a gut or intestinal lining that is inflamed. It cools things down and heals the skin both inside and out.
4. Be aware of heating foods and proceed with caution if you are inflamed or overheated. Coffee, alcohol, salmon, red meat, lamb, pork and shellfish are particularly heating, so if you are going to consume these foods, they are better to have in the cooler part of the day (or on a day that is cooler) than at the peak of the noon day sun. Cooking these foods or eating them with anti inflammatory herbs and spices can help balance them somewhat but best to avoid if you struggle with overheating or if you are ill. If you like a nice cold beer on a hot day but tend to find it bloating or you tend to swell in the heat but insist on drinking beer anyway, do add a squeeze of lime or lemon. The astringency of the citrus will help to counteract the bloating effect of the beer.
5. We love the summer BBQ but balance it’s heating effects with lots of the above remedies and use in moderation. BBQ is not for people who are chronically ill. 6. Avoid the sun as much as possible of course, particularly the noonday sun, but also avoid anger. If you find yourself getting irritable or blowing up in a temper tantrum, you are inflamed and should cool yourself with the above strategies. If anger is a consistent problem for you, learning management strategies can help to protect your health.
Wishing you a Wonderful Summer!