It’s H-O-T! I mean 114*F hot here today.

So you can betcha I’m looking for any and all possible ways to keep cool.  And where do I turn?  Tea and herbs, of course!

Following the theory of Chinese Medicine, we can understand certain types of teas and herbs to have cooling properties.  Subtly they calm internal heat, provide relief from summer, and also potentially reduce inflammation in the body.

Teas

White tea, being the least oxidized of the teas, is cool in nature and is recommended during the summer. It is very light and refreshing.

Green tea is another cooling tea, due to its low oxidation.  It is used in Chinese medicine to clear heat and address heat stroke. It quenches thirst and promotes production of body fluids (which means, through sweating, your body can more easily cool itself).

Herbal Infusions

Gynostemma Chrysanthemumin an herb from the Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia that is inherently cooling. In China, it is used to treat inflammation. Gynostemma is also in Belight! Buy Belight

Chrysanthemum, due to its cooling nature, is an infusion only served in restaurants in China during the summer. You can get whole flowers at an herb store or Asian grocery.

Chamomile is very similar to Chrysanthemum and is used as an anti-inflammatory in the West.

Cassia Seeds, know in Chinese as Jue Ming Zi, are used to cool wind-heat and dispel fire in the liver. They’re especially good in the summer when the heat and dryness may leave some people vulnerable to constipation.  They’re also in Belight!  Buy Belight

Peppermint, or mint in general, is notoriously cooling.  Why do you think its in these commercials for icy cool breath mints?  And you can make beverages with its dry or fresh, hot or cold.  If using dried, steep in hot water first to release the properties.  If using fresh, clap the leaves between your hands before throwing into water (warm or cold) to break the cells and release the cooling properties.

Lotus Leaf is right in the middle of the Chinese spectrum from hot to cold, though it tends toward the cooling side.  In that regard, it makes a good late-Spring or Fall herbal infusion.  In Chinese medicine, its used after excessive sweating due to summer heat.  It’s also in Belight! Buy Belight

With all of these, to make the cooling effects more pronounced and immediate, you can steep them in hot water first.  Then cool them off with ice or by storing in the fridge for a few hours.  Then you’ll get sense of drinking a cold beverage, plus the cooling properties inherent in the tea and herbs.

What teas and herbs do you look to, to keep you cool during the hottest days of summer?