Friday, June 15, 2012
PHARMACY FRIDAY - Honeysuckle to Reduce Overheating
As some of you may know, I have a small shop at our local flea market. It is a cross between indoors and out. The inside is inside of a windowless metal building with no electricity, and the outside area is solid gray gravel. It gets VERY hot when the weather is hot! We have a few canopies up that we often sit under, but even with that, when the sun hits a certain angle, it simple heats up the gravel under the canopy, the canopy holds in the heat, thus creating a miserable summertime heater.
I have overheated quite a few times as I work throughout the late spring and summer, getting heat exhaustion nearly to the point of heat stroke a few times.. With several health issues, including heart problems, a few times got downright scary! So with my first (and extra early) round of heat exhaustion this year, I began to urgently search for natural remedies and aides to help me endure the upcoming summer's heat and still be able to work.
To my excited astonishment, I learned that the flowers on the honeysuckle growing in the corner of my yard was my answer! The Japanese Honeysuckle (which is what both Dave and I have) seems to be the one that is said to work the best. You simply drink brewed tea made from the Honeysuckle Flowers and drink to reduce the heat in your body! HERE is some more great, detailed information about using Honeysuckle Tea to reduce/eliminate excess heat from your body when you are hit with heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
A couple of weekends ago, while working at my setup at the Flea Market, it got much hotter than we had expected and I badly overheated. I came home feeling really lousy and, as I pulled in my driveway, I was greeted with a burst of Honeysuckle blooms. I remembered what I had read, got out and picked a handful, then brewed me a big cup as soon as I got inside. I sweetened it with honey and sat down to taste my first ever cup. First, I was surprised at how wonderful it tasted!! Remember when you were a kid and you pulled those little flowers stamens out the end of that honeysuckle flower, anxiously awaiting that little 'drop' of sweet nectar to pop out so you could quickly catch it on your tongue, then wished like everything you could have a whole cup of it because that wonderfully sweet and tasty drop just wasn't enough? Well, that is what that tea tasted like... that whole cup I dreamed of having when I was a kid!!! It was pure Heaven!
And even better...... within an hour I began to feel much better! (oh, yes, I had also badly sunburned on one side, to the point of blisters). No doubt I was experiencing heat exhaustion when I came home, and it is the kind of heat that seems to take forever to leave your body, but I was absolutely AMAZED at how fast I began to cool off and feel better just a little while after that cup of tea!
Now when I head out for the flea market to work I take with me a BIG mug of icey cold Honeysuckle Tea. I simply toss a handful of Honeysuckle flowers into about 2 cups of hot water and let steep for awhile. I pour that into my big mug with sweetener, ice, finish filling with water and stir. Because I have also been craving limeades, I also squeeze a couple of limes into my mug with the Honeysuckle Tea Yes, I toss them limes in, too, after I have squeezed the juice into my mug). It is wonderfully delicious! [Recently I have been craving citrus fruits HARD, and when I caved into my cravings, the heart palpitations that I had started to have completely disappeared, but that is a subject for another post at another time.] Sometimes I sweeten this heat relieving iced tea with honey, and sometimes with granulated evaporated cane juice (I use Zulka). Both are excellent. And I can first handedly say that sipping on my large mug of this wonderfully tasting and refreshing tea throughout the day (okay, sometimes I guzzle), most definitely keeps me cooler and greatly helps me get through a day of working outdoors in our sticky, icky humid heat. I hope this will help you, too.
Now, to figure out how to get my honeysuckle vines that appear to be slowing down its blooming cycle to pick its blooming back up. Oh, yes, when it is in heavy bloom, you can dry it and store it away for later use. Just make sure you hide it from your cats, as they seem to love it as much as they do catnip!