The United States is currently in a heat wave nicknamed 'The Great Heat Wave of 2021'. When I say there is a heat wave in the United States…. I MEAN there is a heat wave! In Seattle it is over 100 degrees instead of its normal 65 degrees and rainy.
These conditions are being caused by a heat dome.The NOAA defines a heat dome as, “when the atmosphere traps hot ocean air like a lid or cap.” When the air starts to fall to Earth it heats up even more making it even hotter. On top of it all, the heat dome blocks out clouds and storms which could provide relief.
Enough about the nitty gritty about heat waves. What can we do to stay cool, calm, and hydrated during this time?
We all know that one of the most important things to do during the summer is to remain hydrated. This is even more important during a heat wave. Here are some suggestions:
Tremella acts as a lubricant in the body, keeping you hydrated from the inside, out. Add this magical herb to an iced coffee (or coffee substitute) for a cooling hydrating boost.
Chrysanthemum tea: Brewed from the yellow flowers, this tea is understood to have "cooling" properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The tea can taste a little bitter on its own, so adding sweetner (honey, maple syrup or sugar), berries or dates might be your jam.
You can buy the flowers to brew (or better yet - if you have any growing in your garden, use those!). Be sure to source flowers that are 'spray free'. Usually the kind you purchase at the florist are not intended for consumption, and are sprayed with chemicals whilst growing. However, most health food shops sell organic dried chrysanthemum flowers.
Fruit juice/Smoothie: A variety of fruits are considered "cooling" in TCM, such as watermelon, mangosteen, pineapple, starfruit, and grapefruit. Eat whole, freshly juiced, or in a smoothie for a yummy boost.
Coconut water: Either fresh and cut open or from a high quality brand (with no added sugar), coconut water is low in calories and it has more potassium than a sports drink. Also in TCM, it is a cooling fruit.
Podcast: We also have a wonderful podcast on hydration. Turn on that cool cool A/C, put those headphones in, and enjoy this chat with Tracy Duhs.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to take a smoothie and turn it into a popsicle, using a silicone mold or something similar. It's also fun to add a heap of ice to the blender just after blitzing the ingredients, turning it into a super icy frappe.
How about making an icy cold treat? Below are some of our favorites from the blog:
Keeping Stress Levels Low
When it is extremely hot, we all know how hard it can be to spend time outside. With Summer Break and the kids at home, things can get a little crazy. Tensions run high and you might need to chill out a little bit.
Areas in the United States unused to these conditions are not prepared for it (who has air conditioning in Alaska???).
Good thing we have the herbs to help us chill out a little and reduce stress!
Reishi: The second herb we suggest to help you chill out during this heat wave is reishi. Reishi has several calming benefits:
Because it contains adaptogenic triterpenes that help harmonize the immune and circulatory systems, it assists with mental tension, memory, and general stress.
Additionally, Reishi has a calming effect on the central nervous system to help with insomnia, restlessness, and helps promote feelings of peacefulness.
(For some people, Reishi can be heating. It’s super helpful for managing stress though, so we think it’s worth a try. If it’s too warming for you, try it in a frappe or smoothie - the cold will help manage the energetics of the warm reishi).
Ensuring Your Herbs Are In Tip Top Shape
Keeping yourself cool is important, as is keeping your mushies cool. In this heat, your precious tonics can get clumpy and hard. So, always use a dry spoon, and keep them in the freezer while the mercury is so high. Caring for your herbs properly is really important. We made a blog post about it, check it out here!
What is your plan to stay cool during this heat wave?