It is February, and in the southern hemisphere this can mean extremely high temperatures and discomfort. It is common to feel like you are overheating, and while uncomfortable, it can also become  life threatening condition if not treated appropriately.

Body temperature measures the body’s ability to generate and get rid of heat. The ‘normal’ temperature for adults is between 97.8°F (36.5C) and 99.0°F (37.2C).

Usually, your hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system keeps  your body within a degree or two of your normal temperature. However, there are times when your body heat rises. This condition is known as heat stress.

Heat stress may be due to extreme heat, certain foods, or other factors.

Reasons body temperature may rise:

Several factors can cause your body temperature to rise. Here are a few common reasons for heat stress:

  • Extremely hot and humid weather.
  • Tight-fitting, synthetic clothing.
  • Spicy, oily, or fried food.
  • Drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Intense physical exercise.
  • Certain medical conditions such as arthritis, leukemia, and neurological disorders.
  • Inflammatory illness, such as an infection.
  • Thyroid disorder,
  • Drugs such as certain antibiotics, opioids, and antihistamines.
  • Dehydration: it can lower your body’s ability to sweat to cool you down and support a normal temperature.

How to lower body heat quickly:

  • First: DRINK WATER!
  • Take a Cold shower or dive into a cool Pool.
  • Wetting your head, back of neck and wrists with cold water also helps if a swim or shower is not an option.

The following are also easy and effective ways to beat the heat:

Cold foot bath

A cold foot bath cools your body fast. Simply add cold water and ice cubes to a bucket of water. Immerse your feet and soak for up to 20 minutes. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for an added cooling effect.

Coconut water

The vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes in coconut water make it an effective way to refresh and rehydrate. (Not on TLC Phases 1-3)

Peppermint

Peppermint has a high menthol content, which makes one have the sensation of feeling cooler. While hot tea may seem to make you feel hotter, hot drinks may help you to sweat more and help to cool down your body.

Hydrating foods

Foods high in water content can be cooling. This includes fruits such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and strawberries, and vegetables such as celery, cucumber, and cauliflower. Eat raw in a salad or add a bit of ice to incorporate them into a smoothie. Yogurt is also cooling.

Sitali breath

This is a yoga breathing technique with a cooling effect on your body and your mind.

To do this:

  1. Sit in a comfortable seated position.
  2. Stick out your tongue and roll the outer edges together similar to a hot dog bun.
  3. If your tongue doesn’t curl like this, you can pucker purse your lips.
  4. Slowly inhale through your mouth.
  5. Then exhale out through your nose.
  6. This is one round.
  7. Continue breathing like this for up to 5 minutes.

Dress correctly

Use a wide brim hat and sunglasses in direct sunlight or carry a parasol or umbrella.

Wear loose, lightly colored clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk, or Semi-synthetics such as rayon and modal.

Aloe vera

You can apply aloe vera gel to your skin for a cooling effect. Either use the inside gel of a fresh plant or a pure aloe vera gel. For added benefits, keep it in the refrigerator before application.

Buttermilk

Drinking buttermilk may help to cool down your body and improve metabolism. ( not on TLC Phases 1-3)

Fenugreek

Sipping a cup of fenugreek tea may help you to cool off by making you sweat. You can also chill it before drinking it. Fenugreek may also be useful in getting rid of some excess fluid and detoxifying the body.

Chili

Even though eating spicy food can make you feel warm, it can also help to lower your body temperature. That’s because the capsaicin in chilies sends messages to the brain to signal that your body is overheated. This causes you to sweat more than normal and brings on a cooling effect.

Heat stress can turn into dangerous heat exhaustion or heat stroke if left untreated, so seek help if you or a loved one is having extreme discomfort that doesn’t ease.