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Anti-Flash Iced Teas

Anti-Flash Ice Teas

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.

5 WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT WITH SMARTS & STYLE

5 WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT WITH SMARTS & STYLE

Summer can be hot enough without hot flashes, and when you add them to the mix, it can feel downright sweltering. But with a few smart and stylish habit changes, you can find yourself cooler and just might discover a new favorite workout routine or wardrobe addition. Check out our five simple ways to stay cool during the hottest days of the year.


1. Slip Into Something Breathable

When it comes to summer fashion, you can stay looking hot, but dress cool. Free-flowing styles made from breathable fabrics are a good place to start. So, for summer staples like tanks, T-shirts, and sundresses, shop for cotton options.

However, if a cotton sundress is a little too casual for an event like a wedding or a summer night out, slip into a more refined linen dress, which is not only a cool option but classic one. Accessorize it with a belt of your choice for a breezy, beautiful look. Also, be sure to round out your wardrobe rotation with other pieces like chiffon broomstick skirts, balloon-sleeve blouses, and crochet tops for a look that’s both on trend and temperature-friendly.

2. Switch to Water Workouts

If the summer heat is making you feel sluggish and not motivated to work out and sweat even more than you already are, try switching up your workouts to incorporate some pool time. Not only will the cool water feel great, but swimming laps and other water workouts can provide both a cardio workout and resistance training that’s great for bone health.

3. Grab a Cool-Me-Down Pick-Me-Up

If you need a cup of hot coffee or tea to get going in the morning or pick you up in the afternoon, you could find that it not only peps you up but heats you up too. However, by switching to a glass of smooth and refreshing cold brew coffee or iced tea, you can keep your daily ritual and keep your cool.

It’s simple to make a week’s worth of either cold brew coffee or iced tea and keep it cold and ready in your fridge. And for an extra cool sip, try making ice cubes out of your brew. That way when the summer heat starts to melt your ice, your drink won’t get watered down. Just remember to keep an eye on your caffeine intake—cold brew coffee often contains more caffeine than regular coffee.

4. Make the Bed You Want to Lie 

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the heat does. For a cool, comfortable night of sleep, make your bed with breathable cotton sheets and for extra heat relief try a cooling gel mattress cover and pillow.

If you have a ceiling fan in your room, set it to rotate counter-clockwise to blow cool air down on you. And if you don’t have a ceiling fan, you can create a cooling crosswind by directing a fan to blow out of a room or window, with another fan across the room directing air toward the first fan.

5. Get to the Pulse Points

For a more direct way to cool down quickly, try cooling your body at your pulse points, where your blood vessels are closest to your skin. You’ll find them on your ankles, neck, elbows, and the backs of your knees.1 Apply a cool, damp cloth or a cold compress to one or more of these points, and you’ll be able to bring down your internal temperature more effectively.


Sources

1Nursecore. Keeping Cool This Summer. Version current 10 August 2012. Internet: http://www.nursecore.com/2012/08/keeping-cool-this-summer/ (accessed 12 December 2018).

SIMPLE WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE WITH SELF-CARE

SIMPLE WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SOLSTICE WITH SELF-CARE

You’re probably not planning a trip to Stonehenge or designing a maypole for your backyard, but that doesn’t mean you need to let the longest day of the year go unnoticed. The solstice is a great time to look at refreshing your self-care routine. To help get you started, here are five ways to practice a little extra self-care all summer long.

1. Start your morning with a long walk
During the summer months, it can be difficult to get enough physical activity. Talking yourself into a strenuous workout when the temperatures are in the triple digits isn’t exactly easy. But by taking advantage of the summer’s extra sunlight with an early morning walk, you can beat the heat, enjoy a boost of endorphins, and get a little exercise to boot.

2. Meditate or practice yoga
Meditation has many benefits for women in menopause—including reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality. (For more on the benefits of meditation, check out 5 Ways to Naturally Manage Menopause Symptoms.) And your body will see those benefits no matter if you prefer a sedentary practice or a more active one, like yoga. In 2014, The United Nations declared June 21 the International Day of Yoga.1 And many yoga studios and community centers host special solstice practices to celebrate. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced yogi, taking to the mat is a great way to practice self-care throughout the summer.

3. Tend (or start) your garden
Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health, and the summer months are a great time to get some. Regularly setting aside a little time to tend to your garden allows you to take care of your plants and yourself at the same time. If you haven’t started your garden yet, it’s not too late. Annuals like impatiens and sunflowers grow well over the summer months, as do herbs like basil and sage and vegetables like squash and zucchini.

4. Set intentions
It’s been nearly six months since those New Year’s resolutions were made, and now is a great time to pause and take stock. Think about the steps you’ve taken and the goals you’ve made so far this year and think about what you’d like to accomplish next. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up over all of the things you haven’t done. It’s a time to celebrate the ones you have and set your sights on the ones you will.

5. Dinner alfresco
Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a full-blown garden party, the summer months are a great time to dine outdoors. Call up a friend or two (or three or four) and make plans to take advantage of the lingering sunlight in a way that suits your style. (If you’re looking for a few new, hot-weather-friendly recipes to add to your repertoire, check out 3 Summer Recipes for Making Menopause-Friendly Meals.) After successfully refreshing your self-care routine, it’s important to remember that celebrating your accomplishments is an accomplishment in itself.

Sources

1United Nations General Assembly. Resolution 69/131. International Day of Yoga. A/RES/69/131 11 December 2014. Internet: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/69/131 (accessed 6 December 2018).