There are many herbs that can help us cool off on hot and humid days – whether by cooling and relaxing our tissues, helping open our pores to release heat, or by bringing extra moisture into our bodies. Here’s a list of 5 Cooling Herbs to beat the heat this summer and how to prepare them at home.
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghMay 26, 2022 clinical herbalist, clinical herbalist pittsburgh, herbalism, herbalist pittsburgh, holistic health, holistic medicine, integrative health, integrative medicine, integrative mental health, self care, Uncategorized0 comments
- Hibiscus has bright and luscious flowers that are enjoyed as a cooling beverage throughout the world. The taste is tangy, sour, and slightly astringent. I highly recommend trying this one iced and sweetened with a bit of honey!Also – If you happen to have Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus, a common landscaping bush) growing in your yard – good news! This is a variety of hibiscus and the flowers can also be enjoyed as tea. Just make sure your plants are not sprayed with chemical pesticides! Iced Hibiscus Tea: Add ¼ C hibiscus flowers to a quart jar and fill with boiling water. Let steep for 30 minutes, add honey to sweeten, and chill in the refrigerator.
- Marshmallow Root: A cousin to hibiscus and yes, the namesake of the fluffy white confections that we enjoy in s’mores, Marshmallow is a wonderful herb to cool and moisten overly hot and dry tissues. Marshmallow contains “mucilage”, a lubricating compound that soothes and cools our the tissues of our body, particularly our respiratory, digestive, and urinary tract systems. This beverage is best prepared with cool or room temperature water and has an earthy and sweet taste. Marshmallow Infusion: Use ¼ C sifted marshmallow roots to a quart jar of cool or room temperature water. Let steep for 4 hours (or overnight), strain, and add ice and a bit of maple syrup.
- Rose: Did you know that roses are also medicinal and a lovely, cooling herb? Both the rose petals and the rose hips (the “fruit” of the rose) are edible and full of vitamin C. The petals are floral, sweet, and slightly astringent, and the rosehips are more tangy and sour. I love adding a small handful of rose petals to my water bottle in the summer time for a nice gentle and uplifting floral flavor. My other favorite preparation is a rose petal simple syrup (described below). If you have roses growing in your yard, you can use them as long as you don’t spray chemical pesticides or herbicides. Do not use commercially grown roses that you buy in the store as these almost always contain harmful chemical residues! Rose Petal Simple Syrup: Combine 1 C of rose petals, 1 C of sugar, and 2 C of water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 1 – 4 hours. Strain and store in the refrigerator! Add rose syrup to cocktails or sparkling water.
- Lemon Balm, one of the most bright, sweet, and sunny tasting herbs around, is from the mint family. This beautiful and aromatic herb uplifts the spirit and calms a restless heart. The physical effects are gentle and cooling, slightly sour and bitter. Lemon balm can be brewed as a regular tea infusion, or made into a “Sun Tea”. Lemon Balm Sun Tea: Pack a quart jar full of fresh lemon balm, or use ½ – 1 C of dried lemon balm. Fill with water, cover and place out in the sun all day long. After you strain, this tea can be chilled in the refrigerator and stored for 2 – 3 days.
- Raspberry leaf is high in vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, making it like a natural gatorade. It’s a well known ally for people that menstruate and pregnant folks, due to the high levels of iron and calcium and its action as a uterine tonic. The leaves are not quite as sweet and tart as the raspberry fruit, but they still contain a subtle tanginess that can be quite enjoyable! Raspberry iced tea: Pour 2 C boiling water over 1 tbsp of dried raspberry leave. Steep for 10 – 15 minutes, strain, add honey and chill in the refrigerator. To obtain more minerals and vitamins, infuse and steep overnight!
Written by: Clinical Herbalist Annie Fox Derek.
If you’re interested in working with Annie you can reach us at 412-322-2129 or contact us here.
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghJuly 4, 2019 cbd, cbd pittsburgh, hemp, herbalism, herbalist pittsburgh, holistic medicine0 comments
Cannabidiols or CBD, are currently gaining a lot of traction in the health and wellness world. From grandmothers to beloved pets, many are jumping on board to see how CBD can enhance their health. According to the World Health Organization, ‘there are no known harmful side effects from taking CBD.’ Some people do report a feeling of drowsiness so there may be implications for operating heavy machinery or driving. Whether you are reaching out to your local clinical herbalist or not, we can now find CBD in the gas station, the grocery store, as an add on to your favorite smoothie and seemingly everywhere in between.
What is CBD?
CBD is the resin from the marijuana plant which has been isolated from the many of the compounds within the plant such as THC. CBD should be differentiated from THC which is the hallucinogenic substance which is known to intoxicate marijuana users. In fact, the absence of the THC is one of the things that attracts some people to try CBD in their attempt to find organic and holistic options to manage their emotional and physical health that medical marijuana is reported to have. Lets look at the different forms of CBD and some of the most common ailments and health issues that some are reporting that it can help. Additionally, because CBD is completely legal in Pennsylvania, it is not necessary for one to have a medical marijuana card in order to use it.
CBD is found in the form of Oils, Tinctures and Salves, Gummy’s and/or Edibles, there are even smokeable hemp flowers. Whatever your favorite route of administration, you will be able to find something for you. CBD Oils are used on topically to manage issues like inflammation and chronic pain disorders. As an oil, CD or a balm it is applied to the skin on a pain point and allowed to absorb. Tinctures and salves are applied the same way and are used to treat the same issues. Others report that they use CBD to manage their stress and anxiety and to promote feelings of calm and increase rest. CBD is also at times added to other herbal supplements such as melatonin for more complete rest. I have also seen it added to coffee beans for increased energy and potentially combat the sleepiness it is known to cause it some. Many tests have been conducted which find that CBD may work and does not have any known side effects so with something to potentially gain and nothing to lose, CBD is here to stay, it has quickly become the most widely available and used herbal product to hit the markets and from most perspectives that is a great thing.Learn More