Ward Off The Heat

Your kitchen shelf boasts of spices and herbs that add flavour to your food. but Did you know that these humble spices also possess immense health benefits to combat minor ailments? Anju Majeed tells you how you can use them to keep cool this summer.

The heat is on, and the days ahead are likely to get hotter. It is not unknown that the chances of falling sick increase in the hot months and you are often spending a whole lot of your time at the doctor’s. However, you may be able to save on that trip to the doctor’s if you looked around your kitchen for herbs and spices for effective home remedies. Using these will not only help beat the summer heat but also help you gear up for the rainy season.

Amla, also known as the Indian Gooseberry is loaded with vitamin C. In addition to vitamin C content, amla contains phosphorus, iron, vitamin B complex, carotene and calcium. Amla with its host of vitamins and minerals is a saviour for various skin conditions such as dryness, pigmentation and acne. If you have symptoms of dryness, amla is the best to consume. With its high on moisturous nature, it helps in removing excessive pitta heat from the digestive tract, gently detoxifying the body while nourishing it.

Coriander, also known as dhaniya has multiple health benefits. It is a great source of potassium, iron, vitamin A, K, C, folic acid and magnesium. This may help
prevent and treat skin inflammation, small pox and conjunctivitis in summer. It also helps in increasing the appetite and improving digestion. Crush it and keep it overnight in water and have the filtrate on an empty stomach.

Fennel Seeds
Fennel or saunf have a cooling effect on the body. So it is a good idea to drink along with water or just chew fennel seeds in summer to get away from the heat.

Mint Leaves
One of the easiest herbs to find fresh is mint. There are hundreds of varieties of mints available, but peppermint and spearmint are the best to use in the summer. Mint supports digestion without increasing the body heat and it also helps in reducing the sweating. Use it as
a seasoning or in recipes like chutneys.

Elaichi is a coolant and relieves acidity. Two to three pods of elaichi with a lemon juice can give all-day freshness while detoxifying. Cardamom also relieves indigestion and improves appetite.

It is a warm-energy herb and is especially helpful in soothing summer discomforts like indigestion, lack of appetite and lack of energy. Less appetite and hampered digestion may get a quick relief with a ginger bite. Ginger’s powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties make it an ideal spice to keep handy throughout the seasons. Consumption of ginger will also give beauty benefits to your skin and hair.

Aloe Vera
This is one of the best cooling herbs for summer. Aloe vera soothes sunburn most effectively. Aloe vera is a great moisturiser for all skin types. It makes your skin lively and fresh. It reduces acne and pigmentation due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial property. Summer insect bites and wounds can also be alleviated with aloe vera. Peel the outer leaf of aloe vera and apply the gel directly on to the skin. One can also internally take aloe vera gel to keep the body hydrated and cool.

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