How to stay cool without air conditioning

Here's how to beat the summer heat affecting your body and your home.

(CNN)Whether you're without power, enduring extreme heat or trying to save money, there are ways to feel comfortable without artificial cooling.

Heat can foster fun summer activities, but the body shouldn't be too hot for too long, as too much heat can harm your brain and other organs, according to the US National Institutes of Health. Sweating is the body's natural cooling system, but when that's not enough, there's increased risk for developing the heat-related illness hyperthermia -- signs of which include heat cramps, heat edema and heat stroke.
    Staying cool can be done by using some basic supplies and knowing how to manipulate your home to control its temperatures. Here are 14 methods for doing so.

      Stay hydrated

      When you're hot and flushed, hydrating yourself is the first and foremost step to cooling down, said Wendell Porter, a senior lecturer emeritus in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida.
      The temperature of the water doesn't matter since your body will heat it, he added. If your body is suffering from the heat and needs to cool itself, it can't do that without enough moisture, since the body cools itself by sweating.

        Take a cold shower or bath

        Taking a cold shower or bath helps cool your body by lowering your core temperature, Porter said.
        For an extra cool blast, try peppermint soap. The menthol in peppermint oil activates brain receptors that tell your body something you're eating or feeling is cold.

        Use cold washrags on your neck or wrists