It is blazing hot outside for much of the Northern Hemisphere, and there are still many more weeks of summer to go! There are several cooling herbs and plants that we rely on to keep ourselves surprisingly comfortable despite the incredibly hot temperatures. Here are a few of the essential oils that we depend on throughout the summer months.
Everyone should consider having these cooling essential oils in their home to beat the summer heat.
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil offers instant cooling relief when inhaled. It is a great addition to your diffuser to cool off any inside space. Another cooling application is to make a cool foot bath with peppermint bath salts (see recipe below). You can also dilute peppermint oil into aloe vera gel and put a small amount on the temples or back of the neck for cooling relief.
Be careful, peppermint is very strong, so it should always be diluted. It is wonderful when further diluted with other cooling essential oils like eucalyptus. Another great way to use a peppermint in a blend is to mix it with a soothing, cooling hydrosol, such as rose water, and spritz on as needed.
2. Vetiver Oil
Vetiver Essential Oil makes a wonderful perfume oil during the summer months. Much like sandalwood, vetiver acts as a perfume fixative, so you can use it to make the scent of your other cooling perfume oils, such as Rose Otto or Rosewood, last for many hours. One of our favorite ways to use vetiver is mixed with Rose. The heady, cooling aroma of the rose is perfectly balanced with the earthy scent of the vetiver for a delectable summer aroma.
Vetiver’s rich, rooty properties deeply cool the body down and ground heated emotions. It has been used in the deserts of India for many years for this purpose.
When it’s too hot to fall asleep, rubbing vetiver essential oil into the soles of the feet or forehead can cool the body quickly and allow for peaceful, sweet scented slumber.
Sandalwood oil is also cooling and is famous for its calming effect on the mind and nerves. As temperatures soar, tempers tend to flare out of control. Sandalwood can be used to dampen the fiery moods of everyone in your vicinity. Applying a drop to the top of the head, the temples, and pulse points will surround you with a calming fragrance that will have an uplifting effect on everyone that you encounter.
Sandalwood is another lovely oil to mix with Rose, Rosewood, Jasmine and other cooling perfume oils. The sandalwood enhances the cooling, dreamy effects of floral oils and fixes their scent to the body so that it lingers.
Add a couple drops of sandalwood oil to a bowl of cool water, immerse a washcloth in this water and place it on the back of the neck, over the face or anywhere the skin is hot and overheated to refresh the mind and body. Feel free to experiment with adding other oils to your water. Florals make a lovely cool water wash when mixed with sandalwood, as do tree oils such as eucalyptus, cypress, and palo santo.
4. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is an oil that we consider to be a staple year round—for summer, it offers calm and cooling for our nerves, while simultaneously cooling the skin and physical body.
Getting sunburned during a heat wave is very problematic since it makes it harder to keep the body cool. Try making an after sunburn gel using lavender, chamomile and helichrysum essential oils in aloe vera gel. This sunburn gel not only cools the burned skin quickly, but it also promotes healing of the damaged skin cells.
Cool lavender baths and chilled lavender compresses are helpful practices when the heat is overwhelming or when headaches arise due to excess heat. A drop of lavender essential oil massaged into the temples and back of the neck can alleviate discomfort and tension caused by an overheated state.
Lavender essential oil is also an amazing oil to diffuse in your home to create a cool oasis in which you can retreat from the heat. Add 4 or 5 drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser, along with 2-3 drops each of chamomile and eucalyptus for a summery blend that is cooling to both the physical body and the mental state.
Clary sage oil is a cooling oil that is our go to oil for headaches and tension. Like the other cooling oils on this list, clary sage is excellent for calming the mind and emotions, while it grounds and cools our bodies.
Clary sage oil is another great oil to use in foot baths. Clary sage essential oil combines well with lavender, chamomile, helichrysum and the other florals for decadent massages and baths, and it’s a great diffuser oil.
This oil is also ideal for women that tend to overheat at night. Clary sage is known as the “woman’s oil” and can regulate the hormonal imbalances that can cause the female body to suffer from an excess of heat, especially at night. A drop of clary sage on your pillow or a few drops in the diffuser will keep you comfortable while you sleep. You can also add clary sage oil to your vetiver and dab it on the soles of your feet for cool, grounded slumber. Avoid topical use of clary sage when pregnant.
One of the best ways to keep cool during the summer is to create spritzes with essential oils and hydrosols. Hydrosols are the water by-product of the essential oil distillation process. These lovely waters contain a very small amount of the volatile essential oil, and they are a great way to use the oils in a biocompatible way. While essential oils should never be used undiluted, hydrosols can be applied liberally and internally with no dilution.
You can find hydrosols for a wide variety of plants, but often they are made from the cooling florals, such as rose and lavender. Adding a few drops of your other cooling oils, like sandalwood, eucalyptus, or peppermint to a floral hydrosol is a lovely way to dilute your essential oils and have a perfectly portable essential oil cooling spray for on the go!
Much like the sunburn gel above, the cooling sprays that you make from hydrosols can immediately quench the fiery pain of your sunburn, and provide protective healing for your damaged skin. Just like with the sunburn gel, choose lavender, chamomile and helichrysum for optimal relief and healing in your sunburn spray.
This is a good time to note something very important when it comes to using essential oils for cooling ourselves in the intense heat and sun of summer. You should not use essential oils before sun exposure, due to the potential for phototoxicity. Citrus oils, in particular, can cause your skin to be much more vulnerable to the sun's rays for up to 24 hours after use. Always dilute these well when using topically, particularly in the summer months or in climates with intense sunshine.
While hydrosol spritzes are wonderfully cooling, and also portable, one of the best ways to use essential oils for cooling is to immerse or anoint your whole body!
Don’t add essential oils directly to the bath, always dilute them! You can create a bath with cooling essential oils by simply diluting 15-20 drops of your favorite oils into a tablespoon of jojoba or other carrier oil, then mixing that with up to a cup of sea salt. Some of our favorite cooling combinations for the bath are:
- 10 drops of lavender, 5 drops of clary sage and 5 drops of rosewood. This creates a bath that is slightly floral and wonderfully herbal smelling. We particularly recommend this for overheating due to female conditions, but not during pregnancy.
- 1 drop of peppermint, 5 drops of lavender, 5 drops of helichrysum and 5 drops of eucalyptus. This is a highly cooling bath that is also wonderful for opening the airways and relieving tension headaches.
- 7 drops of sandalwood, 5 drops of Rose Otto, and 7 drops of vetiver. This is a soothing, grounding, and cooling bath that will leave you smelling wonderfully sweet and earthy. This is the perfect bath for before bed.
Another way to achieve full body coverage with your cooling oils is to mix them into a carrier oil and sleek them directly over your skin. This works best when the skin is still slightly damp from your bath or shower. Use any of the cooling oils that appeal to your senses for a lovely aromatic anointing that will leave you with a calm, cool spirit and lovely, smooth skin.
Try this amazing foot bath recipe for a quick cool down on a hot summer day:
- 1 cup sea salt
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Mix the essential oils into the sea salt. Add 1-2 Tbsp of the bath salts to a foot bath, bowl, or basin. Soak feet for up to 30 minutes.
Remember that you can use essential oils as a powerful tool to stay comfortable and healthy during the heat waves of summer. These aromatic oils will keep you smelling wonderful, and feeling calm, cool and grounded, no matter how hot it gets outside!
This article was written by
Chief Operating Officer, Floracopeia
The Chief Operating Officer at Floracopeia and CrowConsultations.com, Wendy has worked for Floracopeia since August of 2011, having at different times managed every department in the company. As COO, Wendy oversees day-to-day business operations and directly manages all large projects for both companies. She is a wife, mom and stepmom, as well as dog mom to a beautiful Frenchie and an adorable mutt.