Also known as pitta (or fire season), summer heat can lead to excess skin irritation, acne, rashes, sweating, and even heat stroke. To keep the body cool during the summer months, ancient Indian medicine (Ayurveda) recommends consuming spices that promote cooling. Spices are one of the most potent plant foods in terms of antioxidants and bioactive compounds. According to Ayruveda’s 5,000 year old food philosophy, there are plenty of everyday spices that can even help cool the body when outside temperatures become unbearable. Here are the top 8 cooling spices, according to Ayruveda, to include in your diet to feel fresh and comfortable.
1. Organic Mint
Mint is more than just a remedy for bad breath; in fact, this perennial herb is an excellent cooling spice. Picked fresh, mint makes an excellent heat-busting addition to a summer lemonade or fresh fruit salad. Growing mint in the backyard garden is easy to do; however, mint can become invasive, so it’s always best to plant in containers to avoid competition with neighboring plants.
2. Organic Fennel Seed
Although you may not even know what a fennel seed is, this readily available spice is thought to be highly cooling for those hot summer months. Fennel seeds also have the added benefit of stimulating intestinal juices, promoting proper digestion, and reducing acid reflux.  Try chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds before and after your next main meal. These cooling seeds also keep the breath fresh and promote good oral hygiene.
3. Organic Fresh Cilantro
Fresh cilantro leaves have been used in Thailand and Mexico for thousands of years. A staple in many homemade salsa recipes, cilantro counteracts the spicy flavors found in many international dishes. If thinking about growing cilantro, try sowing seeds in pots that receive plenty of daily light.
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