Aug 09, 2019
4 brewable botanicals with natural cooling powers Maybe hormone-related body changes have got you exercising more this summer. Maybe you’re sleeping less too, between warmer weather and night sweats. In the meantime, the sun has got your car, your house and your workplace heating up to sauna-like conditions. Summer still means fun…it’s just that now, it also means more hot flashes. So when you reach for a cold drink, try one that’s got some extra cooling magic. Our ancestors used these gifts from nature to make it through menopause. Now it’s our turn. Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Drinking sage iced tea has been passed down by herbalists from generation to generation as a great escape from summer hot flashes. In Germany, it’s the go-to for both men and women to counteract excessive sweating. In the Native American tradition, this herb is also ritually burned to clear away bad juju. How to drink it: Steep one tablespoon of dried sage in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes or longer to make a tea. Strain it, cool it, and drink up to three cups a day. (It’s also nice to put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on your neck. ) Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) Named for the resemblance its unique, feathery flower bears to the legendary crown of thorns, passionflower has been keeping women’s bodies and spirits cool for centuries. You can find passion tea on the market, but it’s also easy to grow. We like to brew up a fresh batch of the dried leaves, squeeze in a bit of the fruit for flavor, and enjoy our own passion blend over ice. How to drink it: There are several makers of organic teas that offer passionflower. If you have your own vine, place a teaspoon of dried leaves in a strainer or tea infuser, and add 8 ounces of hot water. Steep for 5 minutes and pour over ice. Hibiscus (Hibiscus Sabdariffa L.) We menopausers are always looking for ways to cool off a facial flush, and the hot pink iced tea you can make from a hibiscus plant is right on our wavelength. Grab a few teabags and steep them in a pitcher, or if you have a plant growing in your garden and you’re not using chemical pesticides or fertilizers, you can pick your own flowers, dry them in the sun for a few days, and then use about 2 teaspoons of your harvest for every standard teapot full of water. The brilliant color of this tea in a glass is so pretty, it’ll make you feel good even before you take your first sip. Kava (Piper methysticum) South Pacific Islanders have been relaxing over cups of cold kava for more than three centuries. Since the 1700s, when Captain Cook’s botanist identified it and gave it a Latin name, clued-in Westerners have known kava as an all around cooling tonic for the body, mind and spirit. How to drink it: Brew a commercial kava tea hot (Yogi Tea has a nice one) and then pour it over ice. Or place 2 tablespoons of kava powder in a muslin bag and place it in a cup or a glass. Then add 8 oz of water and steep for 4 minutes. Kava can be sort of bitter, so its fans often add honey, lemon, cinnamon or coconut milk, or brew it with fruit juice instead of water.