5 Herbs to Beat the Heat

As the mercury rises, so do our internal temperatures and our emotions. Try these herbs to soothe the overheated body, heart, and mind.

Photo by Adobe Stock/nataliazakharova

The endless days of summer sunshine are truly a blessing of the season. But sometimes high summer heat can stand between you and all the outdoor fun to be had, especially in these unpredictable times of escalating climate crisis and record heat waves. Whether you’re gardening, jogging, or simply relaxing in a backyard hammock, herbal allies are here to help ease the effects of summer’s heat on your body, helping you get the most out of this vibrant season!

Every bioregion has its own herbs that lessen the effects of heat and sun. I recommend learning the weeds in your own backyard: Every place has its own distinct natural medicines that nurture the people and animals that live there. Get out there and meet your plant neighbors!

The herbs profiled here are easy to source, easy to grow across most of North America, and safe for most people to enjoy. Whether you grow them or buy them from a local herbalist or food co-op, they’re an excellent place to start using plant allies to cool off.

Cool Customers for Hot Dates

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is one of my favorite hot-weather herbs and the backbone of my daily summer tea. The leaves have a wonderfully fresh, sweet, lemony-minty flavor; even the mere fragrance when you brush against them along the garden path is transformative. Lemon balm is physically and emotionally cooling, dispelling excess heat and stress. Its calming, grounding energy helps us to settle into our bodies in the present moment, brightening our minds and our experience of the world around us, and helping us get the most out of long summer days. Lemon balm is safe for most people.

Photo by Adobe Stock/orestligetka

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