With temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in parts of the world, and even England feeling the heat, many people feel physically challenged by it.
Excessive heat can cause energy levels and blood pressure to fall, muscles to cramp, and our mental agility to suffer too.
Traditionally, as hunter-gatherers, we would have made our way to the coast in the summer months to take advantage of the sea breeze, cool water, supportive minerals, and negative ions. Electrolytes in seawater and shellfish would have been beneficial, and seaweed gel would be used to nourish the skin.
With busy lives, it can be hard to get away, take a well-earned break and allow your body to cool down and relax, so how can we best support our body and manage these extremes in temperatures and the stress it afflicts on our body?
Hydration might be obvious, but it is critical. If you are anything like me, water can become dull sometimes, so at Bedstraw + Madder, we love to jazz things up with freshwater infusions and smoothies.
Try our favourite rose and watermelon cooler.
Using the cooling properties of rose water, rose petals and fresh pureed watermelon blended together.
The flesh of 1 x small watermelon, including small pips (kept in the fridge before use)
25 ml of rose water
3 x ice cubes
Mint sprig for decoration
Combine all ingredients in a nutribullet and blend until watermelon is smooth. It doesn’t matter if there are still chunky bits of ice as this will keep it cool.
Serve in a glass and top with mint sprig. Enjoy a very refreshing drink.
When it is hot, we sweat; for many people, it isn’t just a case of drinking more water to replace any lost fluid. It is often time to consider replacing electrolytes.
Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge and are needed to regulate nerve and muscle function while maintaining fluid balance.
Sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium are all electrolytes, and you can find them in various foods. Banana is a well-known source of potassium, and honey contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Other good sources to incorporate into your diet are:
Spinach, kale, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, beans, almonds, peanuts, and coconut water.
Some herbs have naturally cooling properties in the same way that the vegetable cucumber does. These are mint, chamomile and lavender as a few examples. Try making an iced tea with one of these as an alternative drink.
Rose hydrosol is water distilled with rose petals. It can be a cooling mist spray for the face and neck while nourishing the skin. I always keep it in my handbag. You can buy it from most health food shops.
Whilst maintaining a balanced diet in the heat, it can be helpful to boost your body with a vitamin tonic from supplements.
A combination of Magnesium for temperature regulation, muscle relaxation and adapting to stress
Vitamin C - to boost immunity and for anti-inflammatory effects
Vitamin B complex and B12 – are essential for your nervous system to cope with stress
As a homoeopath, this is often my first choice for health and wellbeing issues. Homoeopathy is a complementary medicine that uses small amounts of a substance that, in normal quantities, would usually produce the symptoms of the ailment. It is always best to consult a professional homoeopath for accurate prescribing, but here are a couple of remedies that can be helpful to keep in our cabinet to help with heat-related symptoms.
Glonoinum: This is often the first remedy for sunstroke. Agonising congestive headache after exposure to sun and heat. Hot face and cold extremities, irritability and confusion. And it was Pounding pain, compared to Belladonna.
Belladonna – This remedy is often used for fever, particularly if flushed with bright red skin and dulled mental activity. The people needing this are generally not thirsty even though their mouths and skin are dry.
Gelsenium – Used with symptoms of drowsiness, headache in the back of the head, no thirst, weakness, comatose, sunstroke symptoms.
Carbo Veg: Collapse from excess heat with clamminess of the skin and stomach complaints. The individual wants to be fanned and needs to feel moving air.
As a parting note, try keeping a wet flannel in a bowl of iced water next to your desk and apply it to the pulse points on the wrists, at the backs of the knees and the back of the neck. Suppose there is more space; place your whole feet in some cool water. These can all help cool you down.
Stay cool this Summer…