Summer is waning and thoughts of a cooler fall season tease us. How do you cope with hot temperatures into middle to late September? Here are a few herbalist favorites:
- Plantain: August and September is the peak season for finding plantain among your weed patch. Plantain has a tough leaf and is instantly cooling when the leaf is broken and rubbed upon the skin. This cooling property is an immediate anti-inflammatory. When used as a tea, plantain becomes a cooling agent for your digestive and nervous systems. Adding some dried plantain to a sun tea is a great way to cool off. (Plantain is not recommended as an internal choice for people with blood disorders.) Plantain salves are a popular choice for bug bites, rashes, & other hot skin conditions.
- Evening Primrose: This fragrant, beautiful flower makes an excellent cooling partner for late summer. Evening Primrose, when harvested fresh, leaves a cooling, slightly fragrant sensation on your fingers. Herbalists use this plant in cooling hot flashes for menopause, as it gently relaxes while cools. This delicate, little yellow bud makes a stunning cup of loose leaf tea infusion for late summer evenings. Evening Primrose also makes a cooling and gentle salve for hot skin conditions.
- Mint: Fresh mint is readily available throughout gardens and grocery stores. Mint makes an excellent chilled sun tea with fresh plant material paired with your favorite regular tea. Gently cooling and palatable to a wide variety of tastes, mint is a great plant to turn to when one needs to find relief from summer's heat.
Utilizing the plants that you have access to can be an empowering experience. Nature provides us answers if we just look a little further into our surroundings.
Photo credit: Plantain, Wendy Rae. Evening Primrose, Wendy Rae. Mint, Wikimedia Commons