Can’t take the heat?

Posted on June 1, 2011


A lot of my friends and clients are already reporting having trouble taking the spring heat and we have not even hit the higher temperatures yet! So what can you do, other that crank up the air conditioner?

There are dozens of easily available foods and easily integrated herbs that can actually change your heat tolerance, foods we refer to in Constitutional Medicine (such as Chinese or Ayurvedic) as having a Cold or Cool energy. You might think i’m talking about ice cream, a big glass of fruit juice, an iced cappucino, or maybe a frosty beer? Sounds great, but the actual effects of these may be to heat you up and not cool you down. Sugar, caffeine, dairy products, alcohol, and even many fruit juices have the effect of heating up and congesting your physiology reducing the body’s ability to manage heat and stay comfortable.

For many, this “Heat” can become pathological, resulting in more than just discomfort. Symptoms can include general grumpiness, anger, frustration, rashes, acne, aggravation of skin disorders, recurrence of herpes (or cold sores), insomnia, dehydration or water retention, dizziness, headaches, summer colds, and various infections. Unfortunately in our society we tend to treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

Five tips to turn on your body’s natural air conditioning

Cooling foods include almost all raw veggies but not all fruits! More melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are a perfect option. Apples and pears are in, while strawberries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines may be out if you having trouble with the heat.

Cut the coffee in favor of tea. Tea has a more cooling and calming overall effect. If you are drinking iced tea however, watch the sugar content. Try it unsweetened or with a bit of honey or raw Agave syrup. Green tea (unlike coffee) promotes more efficient sweating and blood circulation, your built in cooling systems.

Decrease dairy and red meat. These can heat you up, promote mucus production and sit around in your digestive tract making you feel heavy and lethargic.

Fiber cools you down? Yes, by increasing healthy elimination you decrease the work your digestive tract has to do and reduce your body’s toxin load. This can make you feel cool, light, and energetic surprisingly fast. Use a natural fiber supplement if you can’t seem to get things really moving with just high-fiber food.

The right herbs for you can make all the difference. The herbs found in many “energy drinks” and smoothie powders could really make you feel awful or even harm you if they are wrong for the season and your specific constitution. Try cooling medicinal herbs and spices like cilantro, fennel, mint, or chamomile, as an iced tea or in a salad.

Everyone is unique. I help my clients optimize and get healthy by learning how to manage their constitutional type in every season, build health, and optimize individiual wellness.

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