Hi, I’m Tauri. I may be small and hidden behind piles of charts, but usually you’ll see me behind the front desk, talking to my headset, seeking health care justice for our patients from insurance companies.
In addition to my front desk role at Pacific Center of Health, I am an herbalist and nutrition educator and, as you’ll soon see, my suggestion for pretty much everything in life is: “bring more plants into your life”…
When it comes to keeping cool as we transition into autumn, plants will make you keep you the coolest cat in town. But how, you meow?
1. Learn to love keeping plants in your home. Human eyes are more sensitive to the color green, and I personally begin to feel deprived after a few days of chlorophyll-deprivation in my daily view.
As we know, plants filter the carbon dioxide we exhale and produce oxygen. So if you have enough plants, they’ll create an atmosphere of ozone right in your home. This is nature’s air conditioner.
Best of all, such a diversity of plants can be kept in the home that there’s a perfect set of biological decor for everyone.
Have some corners that could use filling out? Buy some big standing plants:
Members of the Yucca family are considered super foods, but others can make beautiful low maintenance tall houseplants. They need full or partial sunlight, can grow in any soil, and are drought-tolerant so don’t need much water to survive but will look more full if you give them an inch of water weekly.
Don’t have a lot of floor space? Consider hanging some colorful Tillandsia in decorative hangers and terrariums in this Pinterest DIY project:
Down with loving plants, the earth, etc. but afraid that too much green will disturb your gothic sheek? Introducing: Red plants.
Nerve Fittonia spp. plants are small potted plants that are easy to grow.
For further information, I recommend this book for pictures and care tips for plants that systematically rated by need for maintenance and ability to filter air: How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office by B.C. Wolverton.
2. Grow some mint. Mint makes a great pet plant. It’s not native, so I keep it in a pot because it likes a different kind of soil- that’s why it’s an adorable pet.
In order to grow mint, you just need some potting soil, indirect sunlight, and water enough to keep the soil evenly moist but not wet. Occasional mistings between mint will keep it happy, but fertilizing will lessen the flavor.
Both Spearmint and Peppermint varieties are lovely varieties to grow in a bright windowsill, with Spearmint being more mild in flavor.
Mint will keep you keep you cool in a literal and a figurative sense. It’s hard not to be cool when you pull mint rolled in some paper towels out of a ziplock baggy from your purse/murse. Mmm, fresh…
Maybe you’ve started to notice that none of my tips involve anything actually cool, like ice or ice cream. In Chinese Medicine, it’s not a good idea to consume frozen goods on a hot day. Our very own Rachel Riba L.Ac and Sam Wisotsky MT. explain that cold closes the pores, driving heat deeper inside your body instead of allowing it to naturally disperse from your body.
So why is mint so cool? Mint is a gentle diaphoretic, meaning it makes you sweat- it does this by relaxing the little muscles around your pores so they release more moisture, and that cools you down. Plus, it’s soothing for stomach aches, soothing for the nerves, and tastes delicious. Bonus: Add a fresh sprig of mint to your desserts and all of your friends will admire how fancy you are.
3. Eat more fruit. Bonus recipe: drizzle this delicious cashew-coconut cream all over a bowl of San Diego rainbow fruit every morning and feel like royalty. Hydration, nutrients, cools ya down.
This recipe is from the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine’s new Integrative Nutrition department, in which a plant-based diet is featured as not only adequate but optimal for humans.
Cashew/Almond Whipped Cream (4 Servings) from p. 157 Natural Healing and Cooking Program Textbook.
1 cup blanched almonds (skins removed) or cashews (of ½ cup each)
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon expeller-pressed coconut oil (keep in refrigerator)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 pinch sea salt
Flavoring options: zest of 1 organic lemon, vanilla extract, nutmeg
For a smoother cream: soak the nuts first for 4-6 hours. DIscard soaking water and rinse before use.
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy, the refrigerate for 1 hour to thicken. Keep stored in the refrigerator.
For your convenience, here’s a list of the San Diego locally grown fruit that are perfectly ripe-for-the-eating this September:
Apples, figs, grapes, grapefruit, guavas, lemons, limes, melons, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, oranges.
So there you have it. Don’t try to battle the heat with frozen treats and artificially air-conditioned environments, allow your body to adapt to the environment by going for regular walks outside and keeping the windows open to fresh air.
I hope I’ve convinced you that bringing more plants into your life will improve the quality of your daily existence! San Diego is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, and fruit is seasonal and burgeoning in San Diego for a long growing season for a reason. Give yourself and your plants fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of water, and the world will be a better place. :)
Wellness is more than the absence of pain
"I have been a patient at Pacific Center of Health for several years. The level of care I receive has been excellent. I was having a great deal of difficulty with asthma and the side effects of medications. After getting a series of treatments, my asthma condition cleared up completely. It has been about five years since that occurred and I am happy to report that I am still asthma free! I try to have acupuncture treatments about every six weeks to maintain the good health that I now have. I also enjoy the treatments a great deal, it puts me into a state of incredibly deep relaxation and I walk out of the session feeling revitalized." ~ Anne F.