As much as we love the sunshine and feel so much better when the sun is shining, after all it helps to produce serotonin, the happy chemical, as well as boosting our Vitamin D.

But the flip side if you have fibromyalgia is the irregularities in the body’s temperature control and the likelihood of quickly overheating.

Making use of herbs, such as mint growing in your garden, or in pots on your window sill, is one way you can keep yourself cool with  Cold Herbal Compresses and they’re so simple to make.

Cold compresses work by cooling the blood near the surface of the skin, drawing the heat away from the body into the material of the compress.  This is also an effective natural remedy for inflammation and sunburn.

One of the most versatile and common herbs is mint and it’s wonderful not only for cooling the skin but also for pain relief and works as an effective natural remedy, either as a hot or cold beverage for digestion problems such as IBS.

Different types of mint include:

Apple mint

Chocolate mint

Garden Mint

Lemon balm

Moroccan mint

Peppermint

Pineapple mint

Spearmint

To make a cooling mint compress you will need either 3 – 4 tablespoons of dry mint or two cups of freshly chopped mint, or you can use peppermint essential oil.  However, I have to say there’s something therapeutic about picking the mint from the garden and inhaling the wonderful fresh aroma, plus it helps the mint to keep growing.

Add the mint of your choice to two cups hot water, (it needs to be concentrated), cover and let it steep for approximately 30 minutes, leaving it to cool before putting it in the fridge.

Once chilled, strain through a sieve to remove the leaves and add your piece of cloth to the liquid, finally squeezing out the liquid before placing on the back of the neck or where it’s needed and repeat.  For extra effect you can add ice to your compress to soothe sunburn and instantly cool the skin.

Other beneficial herbs for a cooling herbal compress and are a great tension-buster, are lavender and chamomile which gives a soothing relaxing effect on the mind and body.  You can try soaking chamomile tea bags, letting them chill in the fridge before placing them on the eyes to relax and reduce sore and tried eyes.

Always do a skin test when you’re trying herbal or essential oils for the first time and stop using should they cause irritation.

Author Jok Saunders, fibromyalgia blogger / holistic health practitioner    

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