Yesterday I had a bit of a crisis with heat stress. It was the second day in triple digits here in Portland, and it got to me. My wife noticed a rather large red streak in front of my right ear. That’s not good. It was not blood above the surface, but below it.
Red colorations in flare-ups on the body always indicate heat that is either toxic or dangerous to the balance of the body, especially the cardiovascular system. We both had been taking Wormwood, a good blood cooler for summer heart and blood purifier/pain reliever for skin conditions/joint pains. I was just not taking enough of it. Our apartment got to at least 94°F.
So please, be careful in the heat. Yes, drink enough water, but here are some other tools for dealing with summer heat if it is more stressful to you.
Hibiscus flower tea
This is an excellent blood/body cooler. In fact, Starbucks’ Passion tea made by Tazo has a lot of Hibiscus flower in it and can cool you down better than all the other cold beverages they sell. Brew up enough to have it ready in the fridge for days at a time during a heat wave. Sweeten it enough (it’s pretty bitter), and it will taste like cherries.
At home I make Hibiscus flower tea with the powder, but you can use crushed flower bought in bulk, or in tea bags. Just brew it stronger as the summer heat increases and affects you more. Hibiscus cools the interior of the body so effectively that if you drink enough of it when you don’t really need it, like in winter, it can cause cramping of the GI tract (cold pains). It truly chills you down!
Wormwood herb can be found almost anywhere bulk medicinal herbs are sold, usually in the Cut/Sifted form. We take ‘shots’ of 1-2 oz strong Wormwood tea made by using 1/2 cup C/S Wormwood and pouring 24 oz boiling hot water over it in a sturdy vessel. We let it steep overnight, so it cools down. Then I pour it up into a 24 oz bell jar, screw a lid on, and stick it in the fridge.
This is not a tasty beverage! Its taste is so bitter it will linger in your mouth for hours. You can sweeten it with whatever you prefer. This bitterness is also evidence of its digestive and liver toning properties. You may notice your appetite comes back in the heat and discomfort under your right rib cage eases up.
Addendum: Poppy Seeds -or- California Poppy herb
Those both have similar qualities of reducing heat and fever, especially when there’s also a headache. If when you get over-heated you get a headache, first try Poppy Seeds or California Poppy herb.
I just eat the seeds (1-2 tsp/dose), chewing them up well. The medicine starts working pretty quickly that way. You could bring 8 tsp Poppy seeds to a boil in 16 oz water, then cover and let steep until cooled enough to drink. Store in fridge, and drink 4-8 oz at a time.
I will be making California Poppy extract at some point, because it is one of those herbs that I think should be kept around all year, because of its fever reducing ability, headache relieving ability and just being a general calming nervine (daytime or for sleep).
So inquire with me if you’re interested in some California Poppy extract. Herb Pharm is currently out of stock. (Those are not the most potent extracts and if you need to use a lot, you’ll find yourself running out pretty quickly. At $14/1 oz bottle that gets expensive.)
So if there’s enough interest, I’ll try to make a substantial quantity of more concentrated extract. I have developed extraction methods and have equipment that can often create a superior extract and for a very affordable price.
Sources for good deals on quality herbs
I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, Monterey Bay Spice Company, and Frontier Herbs as good places to get bulk herbs. Otherwise, check your local health food cooperative or local herb shops to get a good deal.
We can lose a lot of this through perspiration in summer. So keep some Potassium tablets. Even the typical tablets with fairly low doses of it will be effective if you take 2-4 at a time, maybe twice daily if you are hot and perspiring a lot.
Otherwise, you know that Bananas are potassium-rich. Tomatoes, celery, carrots are as well. Just increase your intake of it in summer heat, whatever way you can.
These are remedies that can be found in tubes of white lactose pellets in local health groceries, co-ops, and supplement stores. The most popular brand is Boiron, but all brands that I’ve tried are effective.
Sol is the remedy made from the natural rays of the Sun. (Sol = Latin for Sun). This can be good for counteracting too much Solar Radiation. Click here for a description of the Sol remedy’s properties by indicative symptoms.
Sulphur is the most commonly needed homeopathic constitutional remedy that can also help with heat-related conditions (itching, burning skin, etc) that can flare up in summer. It is also the #1 detoxifier in homeopathic medicine. It helps balance the sulphur content of the body. You can read about Sulphur in the homeopathic material medica by clicking here.
Phosphorus is a major constitutional remedy in homeopathy. It helps balance the person with internal heat and stimulation that can be like an over-caffeinated person with burning pains, chest troubles, etc. It helps rebalance phosphorus in the body at a deep level. You can read about Phosphorus in the homeopathic material medica by clicking here.
Natrum Muriaticum (Nat mur) is also a major remedy that can help constitutions more prone to depressive stagnancy and complex feelings who wilt in the heat. It helps rebalance the salt/sodium in the body when it is deficient or in excess. You can read about Nat Mur in the homeopathic material medica by clicking here.
If you cannot find these homeopathic remedies locally they can be ordered at:
NOTE: not all these homeopathic remedies are compatible, so take the one that most seems to fit you and your situation.