Dawna Ara, L.Ac.

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5 Natural Ways to Beat the Heat without Air Conditioning

It’s hot out, and I can hear Angelinos groaning about it all over the city today. Whatever you do, do not turn that AC on!

Air conditioners can cause all kinds of reactions to asthma, headaches, coughing, dry skin and lungs, and itchy sore throat.

Air conditioners don’t allow your body to get used to the heat so every time you walk from your air conditioned house to your air conditioned car your body has a mini shock response that weakens your immune system.

It’s best to allow your body to adjust to the temperature changes slowly and naturally. Cooling your body from the inside will help tremendously. Here are a few things you can do to cool down without racking up a huge electric bill and wasting energy.

Make a batch of Mint Green Sun Tea
  • 2 cups of Fresh Mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp green tea
  • 2 liters of filtered water
  • Leave out in the sun for a couple hours. Can be served warm or cold.

How does mint cool you off from the inside? In Chinese medicine, every herb has a specific flavor (spicy, sour, sweet, bitter, bland) and a specific temperature (hot, warm, neutral, cool, cold). They also go to specific meridians and enter certain organs. Mint is a herb that is both spicy and cooling at the same time. Mint enters the lung meridian which is in charge of dispersion of body fluids and helps push sweat out to the surface of the skin. When your body sweats it releases heat and your skin becomes cool from the moisture. It also cools the liver meridian. The liver is in charge of emotions so if that heat is irritating you, a little mint tea will calm your nerves making you more pleasant to be around!

Eat Cucumber Tomato Salad

Both cucumbers and tomatoes are cooling, loaded with water, and can help keep you from becoming dehydrated. Dill is also a cooling herb and the salt allows you to hold onto moisture to avoid dehydration.

  • 1 cup mini grape tomatoes chopped
  • 3 Persian cucumbers chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • fresh dill to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix above ingredients up and enjoy!

Wear a Hair Wrap

Ever wonder why those who live in hot climates like in the middle east wear so much clothing? It’s because the fabric allows your body to sweat which keeps you cool and protects your skin from being damaged by the harsh rays of the sun. Here’s how you can make a cooling hair wrap:

Dunk a light weight cotton scarf into a bowl of cool water with 2 – 3 drops of mint, lavender, or rose essential oil. Wring out. Wrap scarf loosely around neck and head. Large sunglasses and lipstick are to be worn at your own discretion!

Spritz yourself and your friends

Fill up a mini spray bottle with water and 1 – 2 drops of Jasmine essential oil. Spritz your face, neck, under armpits, and tummy as needed to cool you down.

Hang out in the shade with a good book

When its hot it’s best not to exert too much energy. Staying still, taking naps, or reading a good book in the shade will help you forget about the heat.

  • Health Tip: Contrary to popular belief, icy cold foods are not good on hot days. In fact in Chinese medicine, icy cold foods are never a good idea. We want our digestion to be warm and strong and eating cold foods can weaken your digestive fire. Room temperature and slightly cold foods are ok but ice cream, ice tea and drinks, frozen yogurt, and foods straight from the fridge should be avoided. If your food or beverage is too cold let it sit out for a couple minutes before consuming.
About Dawna Ara
Dawna is an acupuncturist, herbalist, functional medicine practitioner, a mom, wife, writer, nature lover, chef and whole foods advocate. She teaches how to live a healthy lifestyle through her website Eat Play Work Sleep.