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Cool Down on Hot Days With Fresh Herbs

By Stephen R. Farris

It's that time of year again when we trade the cool for the heat. As always, we look for ways to keep cool during the summer months, especially when the temperature rises above the 90 degree mark or higher.

Luckily, there are a few things we can change or add to our daily diet that can help our bodies stay cool and comfortable.

Naturally, we should stay hydrated while working or playing out in the summer sun. Keeping our bodies hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids, especially water, can help keep our bodies cool. But did you know there are natural ways you can stay cool? The natural way I'm talking about is through the use of fresh herbs.

According to acupuncturist and Five Flavors Herbs co-founder Benjamin Zappin, he points out that there are two types of cooling herbs. Those listed under refrigerants, and those listed under diaphoretics.

Herbs considered refrigerants include lemongrass, chrysanthemum, lemon balm, lavender, spearmint, peppermint, and chamomile. Herbs considered to be diaphoretics are peppermint, lemon balm, catnip, elderflower, and chamomile. You see that three herbs are listed in both categories.

Refrigerant herbs help keep your body cool, while diaphoretics promote perspiration and sweating, which also helps cool the body.

If you're worried about sweating profusely when using herbs under the diaphoretic category, there's no need as the effect is produced in a gradual manner. It's not like consuming a plate of jalapeno peppers and you start sweating after eating two or three.

Benefits of Cooling Herbs

Some herbs you may have heard of or even use on a daily basis. Those may include the following.

Cilantro - Not only is cilantro considered a cooling herb, it also contains antioxidant, anticancer, neuroprotective properties.

Mint - If you've chewed spearmint gum, or enjoyed a peppermint stick, one of the first things you notice is a cooling sensation. Mint also provides a few health benefits besides helping cool your body.

Rose - Rose contains anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in aromatherapy, or consumed as a tea.

Lavender - Lavender has long been used to help calm the nerves and help in relaxation. Lavender can be found in many household products from soaps, shampoos, and in air fresheners.

Dill - Dill contains antioxidants, antiprotozoal, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. Dill can also be used in soups and other dishes. There's nothing better than consuming a cold dill pickle!

While staying inside chilling in the air conditioning on a hot day is fine, if you do have to be out in the hot sun then consider adding some fresh natural herbs and cool down the natural way. Plus, it's a good way to save a little on your energy bill.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Inglewood, Calif.

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