A body temperature of 37˚F (98.6 ˚C) is considered to be normal for the human body. Heat in the human body is regulated between 36.5˚F to 37.5˚F. The thermostatic area of the hypothalamus (brain stem) regulates the body’s ability to generate and expel heat at the right time. Sometimes, however, our body is unable to cool down sufficiently and get back to the normal temperature range. This phenomenon is known as body heat or heat stress. It is essential to understand what excessive heat retention can do to your body and quickly identify the condition if you are going through it. Excess body heat can induce insomnia, fatigue, ulcers, indigestion, and in some cases, even a heat stroke. Let us understand what causes an increase in body temperature and how you can use common home remedies to reduce body heat.
What Causes Excessive Body Heat?
There are a few reasons why your body gets excessively heated up. Here are some of them:
- Consumption of oily foods, spices, and fried foods can increase the body’s temperature. Additionally, high-protein foods, nuts, and meat can cause body heat.
- Walking around under the sun or having to do physical activity outdoors in humid and hot weather conditions can increase body heat.
- Inflammatory illnesses such as infections can cause a fever and body heat.
- Hyperthyroidism or excess production of thyroid hormones can cause an increase in heat.
- Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and colas will cause a rise in body temperature.
- Consumption of alcohol especially hard liquor such as whiskey, rum, or wine will bring up the temperature of the body.
- Intense workouts and physical exercise will increase blood circulation and metabolism in muscles, leading to an increase in body heat.
- Certain conditions such as arthritis, neurological disorders, and leukaemia can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperatures.
- Certain antibiotics, antihistamines, and opioid drugs can change body temperature.
- Synthetic fabric and tightly fitted clothing can often increase body heat as they trap moisture and do not allow the skin to breathe sufficiently.
- Dehydration can make your body temperature rise as the lack of fluids prevents sufficient sweating to lower the temperature.
How to Reduce Body Heat Naturally?
There are some very simple solutions to reduce body temperature. Here are some tips to reduce body heat immediately:
1. Coconut Water
Have a glass of coconut water every day during summer. The electrolytes in the coconut water along with vitamins and minerals will rehydrate your body in a flash. It is the perfect way to revitalise your body and rejuvenate yourself during summer.
2. Cold Water Soak
Relaxing with your feet in a cold soak will help bring down body heat. You can have a tub with a mix of water and ice cubes into which you place your feet and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Adding in some essential oils could do wonders too.
3. Consuming Hydrating Foods
Make sure you eat foods with high water content. Fruits like melons, cantaloupes, and berries are the perfect summer snacks. Vegetables like cucumbers, celery, squashes, and gourds also have a higher content of water and will help keep you hydrated. If you don’t like some vegetables, you could make a yoghurt smoothie to help cool your body down.
Peppermint is known to have the ability to cool the body instantly due to the presence of menthol in it. A cool drink with a drop or two of peppermint will certainly get you feeling chill for a few hours. A hot cup of peppermint tea is not such a bad idea either because hot drinks can make you sweat it out and reduce your body temperature.
Yoghurt is a magical food that can rescue an ailing body from heat. It helps cool the stomach and relieves you of digestive discomforts. Yoghurt also works as a probiotic and an electrolyte to hydrate you. Having a glass of buttermilk after a meal is the perfect way to keep yourself cool during the scorching summer months.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is known for its medicinal and healing properties. It is used in the treatment of cuts and burns because it has the ability to bring down the body’s temperature. Applying aloe vera gel on your skin can do wonders for you. Refrigerate it for a while for better effects.
Fenugreek seeds have been used in India for centuries to aid in cooling the body during menstruation or digestive illnesses. Having freshly brewed fenugreek tea will help reduce body heat. Alternatively, soak the seeds in water for sometime and then eat the seeds.
It may seem contrary to logic that you should eat chillies to cool down the body. However, the capsaicin in chillies causes sweating and reduction of body temperatures.
9. Dressing Comfortably
Wearing loose cotton clothes is advisable to keep a check on body temperature. Fabric like silk and linen can prevent the skin from breathing and cause discomfort. Pastel and light colours also make sense as they do not absorb heat as much as dark colours. Carry a hat or an umbrella whenever you step out in the sun.
10. Yoga and Meditation
There are many asanas and kriyas like Suryanamaskar, Trikonasana, and Sitali breath which can help you lower your body temperature. Meditation and pranayama will also keep you calm and regulate your body temperature.
Certain frequently asked questions regarding maintenance of body temperature have been clarified below:
1. Which Foods Help Reduce Body Heat?
Several foods can help curb an increase in body heat, as mentioned below:
- Coconut water
- Fennel seeds
- Cold milk
2. Which Foods are Hot for Body?
Foods that tend to increase body heat are mentioned below:
- Caffeinated drinks
- Brown Rice
- Oily and fried food
Stay hydrated and comfortable during the summer to avoid heat stress. Use household remedies to bring down your body heat. If you feel that you are not successful with these methods and your temperature seems high for a long duration, then you might want to consult a doctor. Having underlying medical issues, being pregnant, nursing, or occurrences of increased body temperature in babies and aged folk must be informed to a medical professional. Remember that prolonged exposure to heat stress could result in heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Keep cool and stay healthy this summer by following the mentioned tips.