It’s that time of year for vacations at the beach, camping in the mountains and lazy afternoon barbecues. Unfortunately, even the best intentions to enjoy the weather may have a few boo-boos along the way. Here are a few tips for surviving minor incidences a little more naturally…
1) Sunburn: If you were exposed a little too long, the best thing to do is to stay hydrated and soothe pink skin with aloe vera. Either break the leaf of a plant and apply the thick gel or buy aloe vera in a bottle for instant relief.
2) Over-strained muscles: Too much hiking or cleaning out the garage? Try using homeopathic arnica found at any food store in the natural section. Rub the cream onto tired muscles for support. Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil into almond or jojoba oil and gently apply to the area.
3) Bruises: You can also use homeopathic arnica orally and as a cream when you’ve been bumped. Do not apply into broken skin.
4) Insect Repellant: If you aren’t too keen on using bug spray with chemicals, try using natural bug repellants or blending essential oils of citronella, geranium, rosemary, eucalyptus, sage, lavender, pennyroyal and/or tea tree into a spray bottle of water. Shake and apply regularly when outdoors or mix into almond or jojoba oil and rub onto skin.
5) Relief for bug bites: Once you’ve been bitten, apply a drop of peppermint or lavender essential oil onto the bite or place a hot wash cloth to the area. This opens up the circulation and diffuses the histamine reaction out.
6) Overindulgence: A little too much at the barbecue? Chew on some fennel seeds or brew up a tea of fennel, peppermint and chamomile. Let cool and sip slowly. Ginger root or ginger capsules also works well.
7) Sea-sickness: First outing on the boat cause some wooziness? Try chewing on ginger or take ginger capsules before leaving the dock.
8) Swimmer’s ear: Place a few drops of undiluted white vinegar into the ear twice a day for a week.
9) Dehydration: Severe dehydration and heat stroke should seek medical care. If you feel it’s a minor case, mix ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. baking soda, two tbsp. of sugar and five cups of water together. Sip slowly until you are feeling better and your urine is clear. If baking soda is unavailable, add another ¼ tsp. of salt.
10) Cuts and scrape: First wash the area well with clean water and pat dry. Apply the herb calendula either in a cream or spray as a natural antiseptic and cover with a band-aid. All-natural honey is another great antiseptic – smear a little bit onto the cut to keep bacteria out.
11) Bee sting: Ouch! Gently scrape stinger out with a fingernail or the tip of a credit card and apply Neem oil to the spot. You can also make a paste out of apple cider, vinegar or lemon juice and baking soda and apply to relieve the toxin effect.
12) Stress! Not everything in summer is easy breezy – place three to five drops of Rescue Remedy (found in the health section of your grocery store) under your tongue or in your water when you feel a moment coming on. Take before a stressful occasion (in-laws? reunion? road-trip? kids?) and as needed afterward for instant sanity.
For any serious summer boo-boos or if you are pregnant/nursing, please consult with your doctor. The summer weather and great escapes makes us excited for summer but even a masterful outdoorsman (or woman!) gets the occasional scrape, bump or bruise. Please use these guidelines for quick and natural relief.