3 favourite cooling herbs for summer

29 Nov 2022 | Food and Herbs

3 cooling herbs for summer + recipes

Summer – does any other word conjure up such light-hearted nostalgia as summer!? We daydream of delightful days at the beach, exploring local creeks or BBQs with loved ones.

There’s the idyllic summer nostalgia, and then there’s the hot, sweaty, cranky, exhausted-from-humidity reality that can sometimes intrude into our idyll.

Luckily for us, there are tonnes of plant allies and simple home herbal remedies here to help us thrive during the summer months.

 Summer goal: Stay cool

Before we dive into the herbs, let’s touch base with our goal, which is to stay cool.

One of the cornerstone concepts in herbal traditions is to create balance in the body. If it’s hot outside and you add more hot (via food, beverages, being out in midday sun etc) you’ll create excess heat in the body. In summer, this can cause a myriad of effects such dehydration, heat rashes, sunburn, feeling overheated, irritation and anger etc.


However, just like being on a see-saw, if it’s hot outside (or internally in the case of inflammation, but that’s a different story), then you want to add cooling, moistening foods to move towards balance. Note – it’s not just the physical temperature of the food or drink that counts in herbalism, but what we call the ‘energetics’. This roughly means the effect a herb or food has on our body. They can be cooling, heating, drying, moistening, tense or relaxing. Energetics can apply to food and herbs, but also to people and conditions so it’s a really useful framework.

If it seems quite intuitive, it is! On many levels, you’re already probably doing this –by cooling off with a swim, or eating more raw salads in summer. Having more of an awareness of energetics though, and being familiar with cooling herbs and herbal preparations allows you to be more pro-active and also to use what you’re already doing more intentionally.

So, let’s dive into herbs we love for summer. In summer, we’re aiming for herbs which cool and refresh the body. There are several ways they do this, primarily through lowering the body temperature and inducing a light sweat.


About the Author

Cat Green

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