The harsh summers always take a toll on everyone, and you have to start opting for cold foods or foods having a cooling effect like cold drinks, ice creams, watermelon etc. Summers can be unbearable, causing a lot of heat in your body. You even sweat a lot and therefore need to stay hydrated as a result. Heat in the body results in inflammation, acne, and burning sensations in the heart. An essential food item that can help you beat the heat is spices. They are natural coolants that can help in reducing the heat in your body.
As they are easily available, you can add them to your diet or soaking them in water and consume that water. You can also directly munch the spice. These spices do not only cool your body but also help in digestion. While you might be familiar with some spices listed below, some might come as a surprise. Also, make sure you store the soaked herbs/spices water in a flask or an insulated water bottle to keep it fresh. Here are a few herbs or spices that can beat the heat in summers.
1. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a great source of vitamin C and can help in reducing inflammation in the body that is caused by heat. Heat in your body can lead to heartburns and indigestion, and fennel seeds are great at helping your body fight them. As it improves proper digestion by stimulating the intestinal juices and also helping in the prevention of acidity. You can eat these seeds directly after a meal, or you can soak them in water overnight and sip the strained water. You can also add black salt or lemon to the water and drink it every day for maximum effect.
2. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are excellent for reducing blisters, nausea, rashes, and discomfort, which is usually be caused by heat. These seeds can help to lower your body temperature and act as a coolant. You can also add them to your food or boil them in water and let them cool overnight. You can strain the water the next morning and drink it. Additionally, fenugreek seeds can help to cure bowel problems like diarrhea and bloating.
3. Amchur (dry mango powder)
Amchur is a powder made from raw dried mango and has a sweet and sour taste. This spice is a powerhouse of antioxidants and has cooling effects as well as an ability to get rid of acne caused due to heat. It can make your skin healthy and helps in clearing the oil and sweat deposited on your face. You can add amchur to fresh chutneys, fruits, pickles, and cooling drinks. You can buy this spice from the market, or you can prepare it at your home for a healthy result.
4. Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds are among the most common spices in Indian cuisine and come with a lot of health benefits. One of the benefits is that it helps your body to detoxify and get rid of the problems of acidity and gas. Cumin seeds can be consumed directly, can be added to your meals, or can add ground cumin powder to your summer coolers such as lemon soda and lassi as they help you stay hydrated and prevent you from having a heatstroke. It helps you to feel comfortable and at ease in case of indigestion or bloating.
5. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds can help in keeping the digestive tract clean and also help in preventing inflammation during summers. It helps in keeping your body cool as it has the ability to lower your body temperature. Coriander seeds come with diaphoretic properties that can provide a remedy for fever. The seeds are a good source of antioxidants and contain dietary fibers that aid in the better functioning of the liver by increasing the production of digestive hormones.
It is safe to say that turmeric is a wonder spice. Any spices with a bitter character are known for their cooling mojo. They reduce pain and swelling in the body. It also cleanses the liver juices and purifies the blood. This spice also contains curcumin, a chemical that is known for promoting healthy heart functions.
7. Green Cardamom
Cardamom is a flavorful culinary spice often used in traditional Indian cooking. Cardamom intake has been shown to significantly reduce the triglyceride levels in humans. This indicates that cardamom might be playing an indirect role in improving symptoms of metabolic disorders. It is also known as the ‘tridoshic’ as it balances all the three energies in the body. It counteracts the unnecessary stomach acids. Ground cardamom seeds also help in curing stomach cramps. Cardamom is used in cooking or baking, especially in curries and stews or cookies, as well as in your tea.
Mint is a popular herb known for its cooling sensation, and it is often used in cough syrups, chutneys, lip balms, and even alcoholic drinks like a mojito. Some of the varieties of mint include peppermint, spearmint, and pennyroyal. There are very few herbs that are as versatile as the mint. It is packed with menthol, which can be used as a remedy for chest pains and indigestion. It disperses the excess energy released because of the digestive process by opening up and activating the pores in the skin, thus pacifying the aggravated pitta. Peppermint oil is also used widely in herbal medicine for gastrointestinal problems.
It is a misconception that ginger is not supposed to be consumed during summers, but nothing is farther than the truth. Consuming fresh ginger tea during summer can have a cooling effect through different mechanisms. Increased environmental temperatures lead to an increase in the susceptibility to oxidative stress. This is when the body proceeds to produce free radicals in order to maintain normal physiological functions. Hence, your body needs a cooling spice like ginger to combat heat stress and also fight against oxidative stress. You can include ginger in your tea as well as drinks and smoothies. Dry ginger helps too.
The majority of herbal traditions classify herbs as neutral, heating, or cooling. So, if the heat has got you down, focus on herbs that are popular for their cooling properties. When it is hot outside, just reach for herbs to find relief. You can add them to the tea, salad, sauce, or spritzer. These versatile herbs are great at helping you bring down the temperature in your body and your mind while also offering a good deal of health benefits.