The weather here is getting hotter.
Some of you may be new to the area and not used to our weather in the South East (I’m in Georgia) so here are some tips for keeping safe and healthy in the heat.
1. When outside in the garden wear a wide brimmed hat – not just a baseball cap but a real all the way around rim hat. This keeps your face in the shade but you still get sunlight for D3 production. It also protects the back of your neck and shoulders. I also sometimes wear a bandana around the forehead and around to the back of the neck to keep perspiration contained and out of my eyes. A cowboy hat doesn’t have a wide enough brim. Look for a real straw garden hat. My favorite one is many years old, with some strategic patching with canvas strips and a chin strap.
2. Keep water nearby and stay hydrated. Do not drink tap water. Make sure it is either well water, spring water or well filtered water. Best if it’s in a metal water bottle as sunlight in plastic water bottles breaks down some of the plastic nasty chemicals and they go into the water. If you need a good water filter, contact me for the best water filter I have found which even removes radiation.
3. Unless you are on heart or blood pressure medication, make sure you are getting enough salt. You sweat, you blow the salt out without even noticing it. I like to suck on Himalayan pink salt little crystals. Also find Potassium Gluconate in the stores (drug, grocery) and take it a few times during a heavy hot day when sweating. Another very excellent electrolyte substance is “Bio-Salt” aka “Cell Salts” which melt under the tongue. I go online and get mine from “Standard Vitamins” (standardvitamins.com). These are highly absorb-able minerals in a homeopathic matrix which go right in to the body.
4. Wet a small towel and throw it around your neck, re-wetting it when it gets hot or dries out. The back of the neck is the best place to cool off your body (data I got from someone who worked in Saudi Arabia where it really gets hot), much better than the wrists. I make a little cooling neck bandana with water absorbing gel crystals inside the roll of fabric that I soak in water, which releases moisture for a longer time than just a wet towel. Contact me if you would like one. I sell them for $15 +s&h, available in many colors. They last for years. Stipulate color and if you would like a pattern or plain fabric – all 100% cotton.
5. Drink grapefruit juice as the best beverage for avoiding heat exhaustion.
6. If you start to feel faint, dizzy, nauseated even a little, or weak, that’s the start of heat exhaustion and if you let it go too long can lead to heat prostration or even worse, heat stroke. Very bad news. Come in, cool off, put your feet up, drink something and rest without delay! Get electrolytes. As a note, if you really start to feel sick – don’t assume it’s an onset of the flu or something. This is the big red flag of danger for heat stroke. Call 911. You don’t want to be out in the garden, having passed out, with nobody knowing you’re out there. Best to prevent it and heed your body’s warning signals.
7. Rest and cool off when you start feeling too hot. Get in the shade, or come inside. Another neat trick is to have a spray bottle with water and lemon juice or lemon or other cooling essential oils (couple of drops) then spray your face, arms and legs. Or put some vodka in it which cools off even faster. I buy it by the quart for tinctures and get the cheapest they have at the bottle store.
8. Here’s one of my favorite tricks. I wear a longish cotton dress in real heat and just run the hose on me, wetting the entire dress. I keep it wet. It’s like running thru a sprinkler when you’re a kid – keeps you 10 degrees cooler. I find the cotton dresses in a thrift store and throw them out after they start looking really tacky. Just forget the fashion police, this is about comfort! Only use 100% cotton fabric which doesn’t out-gas or hold heat in. (Linen works also, as long as it’s a light grade of fabric.)
9. Make your own bug spray if lots of mosquitoes are out or for tick infested areas. There are many recipes online so do your own research to find one that suits you. http://nourishingjoy.com/homemade-bug-spray-and-mosquito-repellents/?utm_source=Yahoo&utm_medium=artcl&utm_campaign=exploitvodka I keep mine in a 3″ long fairly fat spray bottle outside in the shade to re-apply when I’m staying wet.
Stay cool, enjoy the summer, and happy gardening!
Diann Dirks, Auburn, Ga.