Natural Remedies For a Summertime First-Aid Kit
To begin making your own summertime remedies use a glass or plastic container, not metal. I use small, travel-size hairspray bottles that have been washed and dried. Be aware, the essential oils (use only those from a health food supplier) will eventually break down plastic, but that would take a year or more. When using more than one essential oil, blend them together in proper proportions in a glass container. Add the following ingredients, in order, to the spray bottle:
- One tablespoon vodka
- 10 or more drops of your custom oil recipe per ounce (e.g., if using a 2- ounce spray bottle, add 20 drops of the essential oil(s).)
- Distilled or reverse-osmosis water to fill the container.
- Shake before using. The mixture may be used in the air or sprayed directly on skin; avoid eyes and nose.
Here is a recipe from a friend/apprentice of mine, Kathy Monaghan. This is a Spray & Wipe Recipe with anti-viral properties. Mix the following in a clean, amber-colored glass bottle:
- Cinnamon 2 drops
- Lemon 20 drops
- Lavender 20 drops
- Pine 20 drops
- Thyme 20 drops
- Ravensara 20 drops
Use this blend in your diffuser. Or, put this blend of essential oils in the spray bottle recipe (above) and use in hotel rooms, on airplanes, in the bathroom, on doorknobs, and in the air.
Essential oil of thyme or wild oregano are used as a bug repellent—some say they are even effective against ticks. But, please take all precautions against ticks as well. I always add lemon (just because I like lemon).
Citronella is used to repel mosquitoes. In addition to the citronella, make sure the human host is not appetizing to the mosquito by taking a B-complex supplement or Brewer’s Yeast, and cut out dietary processed sugar (especially when you’re going to be outside).
If all precautions fail and you or your children are itching from mosquito bites, you can numb the itch by applying tea tree oil undiluted and directly on the skin. Many health food stores also sell a homeopathic remedy for bites and stings. I use one from Nature’s Sunshine Products. One dose under the tongue stopped my itching from mosquito bites for almost 24 hours. When the itching returned, I took another dose. The bites were still visible but no itching (blessed relief ). If the bites are scratched to the point that they bleed, then apply an anti-bacterial topical (we use colloidal silver), take the anti-itch homeopathic, and apply a salve or ointment which includes comfrey and calendula to help heal quickly. Adding lavender oil to the ointment will help prevent scarring.
Remember, keep some protection on your eyes too! Some naturopaths say that antioxidants can prevent the skin damage that leads to skin cancer. So, it’s just as important to take antioxidants in the summer as it is in the winter. If you’re testing your pH, and you tend to be acidic, use rose hips or calcium ascorbate (Vitamin C not ascorbic acid). Here are some examples: Vitamins A, C, and E; zinc; and selenium (usually referred to as ACEzS). Others include carotenoids, Bilberry, Rose Hips, Bioflavonoids (Hesperidin, Rutin), grape seed, pine bark, alpha-lipoic acid. If someone gets a sunburn after using sunscreen and trying to stay covered, I recommend the following:
- Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is great for burns of any kind (curling iron, sun, hot water, iron, etc.) Apply undiluted directly on the site of the burn as soon as possible. It is safe even for babies. You can use a cool bath if you have a large area of burn. Remember: Oil and Water DO NOT MIX. So, add about 7 drops of lavender oil to either a teaspoon of liquid soap, or a handful of Epsom salts, then add to the running water filling up the tub. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel (a cell proliferate) is famous for burns and can be applied directly from the plant. If you are going to purchase Aloe vera gel, please select one at the health food store that is not dyed green.
Aloe vera gel is a pale gold color. If you want to make a home remedy to numb any pain or itchy mosquito bites, I use a mixture of 2 oz aloe vera gel, 20 drops of lavender oil, 10 drops of tea tree oil. The aloe vera gel is very cooling and will be absorbed by the skin very quickly. Repeat as often as possible. We have prevented peeling on some pretty bad sunburns by using this method.
If you’d like to mix your lavender oil with another oil so it will spread over a large area, try olive oil; however, I prefer comfrey oil—another cell proliferant (very good at stimulating new healthy skin cells to reproduce), or jojoba oil (very similar to human body oil.) Both are very healing and safe for children as well as pregnant and nursing moms.
One time we made a mixture in spray bottle of aloe vera juice, plus lavender oil and tea tree oil and kept it in the refrigerator all summer. Now I know to mix the oils with a little bit of alcohol before mixing with the aloe vera juice. My daughter was on the swim team and frequently got burnt because she would forget to reapply her sunscreen after each event. We also used it before and after bug attacks and it worked really well.
If the burn is bad enough that the skin peels, make sure you take antioxidants, and use a cell proliferant. Cool baths and showers only. Remember, a human being needs at least 20 minutes a day in the sun in order to make Vitamin D. But, we don’t need to sit out and roast in the hottest part of the day, or get burned in order to do that.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #10.
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