Now that technology has gotten the better of us, so much so that we can buy home comfort at the click of a button, rustic remedies may no longer sound very sophisticated. But a little insight into the conventional ways of living will show us that a rerun of the age-old methods can make our urban setup a better place to live in, no matter how hot the weather gets. Here’s a throwback to the traditional coolants…
Clay pots, or matkas, can be used to store drinking water, particularly during the peak summer season. Apart from cooling and absorbing impurities and toxins, these earthen kitchenware are believed to render a sweet taste to drinking water. matkas are readily available in all sizes that can purify up to 10 litres of water.
FRUITS AND VEGGIES
It is advisable to eat fresh vegetables like leafy greens and different varieties of gourds as much as possible in summers. Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, radish and tomatoes are also good choices. Cucumber, which has high water content and can be easily grown in the kitchen garden, is an excellent option. Cut to fresh fruits, water melon, cocum and bel help prevent summer ailments, while many people also prefer conventional drinks such as aam panna, sugarcane juice, sweet lime, thandai, jal jeera, lassi, chhanch and tender coconut water because of their heat-resistant properties.
Commonly referred to as khus, vetiver is useful when the heat becomes unbearable. Mats made by weaving the roots of this perennial bunch grass can keep away heat wave when bound with cords and hung on the doorway. The organic drapes should be kept moist by spraying them with water from time to time. Apart from mitigating the passing air, these mats also emanate a soothing aroma. Refreshing summer drinks made from khus are available in the market.
Since its introduction in 1952, refrigerant air cooling has been the quickest and easiest remedy for overheated spaces.With concrete buildings increasingly spreading over cityscapes and semi-urban areas now, effective cooling techniques have become the need of the hour. Filler slabs, which behave as insulators, can trap air between two layers of concrete walls, keeping room temperatures low. Rooftop gardens and cooling ponds on the terrace can also help to beat the heat, while roof sprays are good alternatives to ACs.
Also known as zeer, the pot-in-pot refrigerator can serve as a useful tool to preserve perishable commodities, especially vegetables, for a longer period of time. Based on the theory of evaporative cooling, this system operates without electricity and consists of two concentric earthenware pots separated by a layer of wet sand. Some households still use steel replicas of zeers to preserve food items like yoghurt, butter and cheese.
THE BUCKET-AND-TOWEL THERAPY
Fill a bucket with cold water or ice cubes and then soak a towel in the water. The arrangement should be such that half of the soaked towel is placed in the bucket, and the remaining is hung outside it. This method, apparently, helps to keep the room temperature low during warm summer nights.
Herbs and plants have natural cooling properties that can aid the relaxing processes in the body. Known to be an excellent blood cleanser, Yellow Dock, for instance, is an excellent blood cleanser, while it is also thought to be a good health tonic.Dandelion, a perennial herb, is a cooling herb used for digestive problems. Found on lawns, river banks and waste ground, it helps slimming as well. The combination of amla and brahmi are known to give a calming effect that helps to reduce stress. Herbal tea is a natural coolant, which helps lower body temperature when suffering from heatstroke or even fever.
Summers see a spike in the temperatures. Thus to combat the hot air around us and cool down, the body begins to sweat. This, however, results in a loss of water causing dehydration in many cases. We can counter this by raising our water intake. Not fulfilling the required quota may also lead to pH imbalance, making us susceptible to many diseases, particularly stomach ailments.