I consulted with herbalist Cherise Atkinson, founder of Bright Green Possibilities, for tips on how to best connect with summer’s intoxicating aura. Cherise’s first words to describe the opportunity in this season: "Major Energy & Abundance!"
Call of the Wild
Summer is all about movement. We have shaken off the transitional nature of spring and long for movement. Sun-filled days give us the opportunity to be fully expansive. Socialization, exercising, dancing, creating art, are expressions to be encouraged and savored.
Suns Out Get Your Buns Out
In winter and spring we all ache for that first warm summer day where we can soak in the sun’s warming energy. Many vacation to warm locations to experience this feeling. Doing so answers our body’s need to absorb delicious Vitamin D. Many take Vitamin D supplements or have special lighting in their house to support this body need. Heck, when I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for a winter I went to a tanning salon once a week to mimic my need for this feeling. Use these summer months wisely!
Our energy is best utilized when we are active outside during the mornings and evening. Rest is best during the hottest part of the day. Go ahead and get that afternoon nap in!
Cardiovascular movement is key as summer is the season of the heart. Flush out winter energy still present in the body by engaging in aerobic activity to release heat from the body. Keep in mind that people with excess heat can get tired and sluggish stay hydrated and facilitate sweating to release heat.
Protect Your Skin
Check out these cooling recipes.
Cooling Mists- Can be made with herbs that have a cooling nature. Make a tea, then cool and put into a spray bottle. Alternatively add a few drops of an essential oil to water in a spray bottle, shake and spritz. Spritz on the face and skin to assist when the sun is at its strongest in summer and days are long. Keep a spritzer by the bed to cool for when nights are warm and sleep can become restless. Use herbs like rose, lavender, lemon balm, mint and chamomile.
Rose Vinegar- Cooling and drying, it is a great skin soother and healer. Use it to pull heat out of the skin after sunburn. Infuse fresh or dried rose petals in apple cider vinegar, strain after a month and keep the vinegar on hand to treat sunburn. Dilute 1:4 with water and apply every few hours. It will take the heat and pain out rapidly. Follow with fresh aloe to soothe and re-hydrate the skin (Rose, 2015).
Fresh and Juicy
Summer offers an abundant variety of food offerings. Give your tastebuds an adventure of their own by focusing your diet on fresh and juicy foods. As Cherise says, “Fruit is summer!” Remember to also include sea salt and seaweed as they help us stay hydrated and keep minerals in the body.
Recipes to Match Summer's Mood
Make 3 cups of a strong herbal infusion. Any tea blend you enjoy is perfect.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoon good quality honey while tea blend is hot.
In a separate cup mix 2 to 3 tablespoons good quality gelatin/collagen with 1 cup room temperature herbal infusion.
Combine the infusion/gelatin mixture with the rest of the herbal honey infusion in a dish and allow to set up in the refrigerator.
Cut into desired size pieces and enjoy!
Also nice topped with Coconut whipped cream. Yum!
Herb salt is nice to have on hand to cook with, adding into all kinds of dishes and seasoning meats or to season any foods really. Use the herbs you like or have on hand. Try different kinds of salts like grey salt, pink salt, smoked salt, kosher salt, flake salt and many more. Salt is a nice way to preserve herbs when they are plentiful in spring and summer and save to bring brightness into our fall and winter dishes.
Mix equal parts dry herb to salt or 2 parts fresh herb to one part salt.
Some nice combinations include:
Lavender with gray sea salt
Thyme, chive, marjoram, rosemary, sage and parsley with sea salt
A curry blend you like with black pepper and kosher salt
Mixed seaweeds with smoked salt
Lemon zest and marjoram with pink salt
Lime zest and dried chillies with sea salt
The 5th Season!
From late August to mid September our energy starts to shift as we prepare for the fall transition. Utilize your energy at this time by canning and storing herbs and completing any house and homestead chores that are still looming.
Preparation helps us nourish our need for emotional security. If we flow in conjunction with the summer energy, we will more likely welcome and delight in the shift to the slower fall months.