Whether your passion lies in gardening, cooking out, hiking and camping, or simply going for long walks in the park, summertime is the time for being outdoors. Of course, almost all of these activities come with their fair share of little accidents – some of which can be quite painful! Prepare yourself with the following list of fifteen tried-and-true natural remedies for the bumps, scrapes, bruises and other common woes of summer.
1. Heat Exhaustion
To avoid the discomfort of heat exhaustion, be sure you are drinking enough water. Also, wear loose fitting clothing whenever possible to allow air to circulate around your body and cool you down. A cold compress placed over pulse points in the neck, ankles and wrists, as well as the inside of your elbows and knees can drop your core temperature quickly for instant relief.
2. Heat Rash
Prevent these annoying patches of prickly bumps by wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing. Also, avoid applying oily moisturizers and lotions if you know that you are going to be spending time outdoors or in other hot environments. Again, staying hydrated will help to ward off heat rash.
Once it strikes, heat rash usually resolves within a day or two. Treat affected areas with a soothing moisturizers such as Aloe Vera gel, apply a cool damp cloth soaked in witch hazel, or try soaking in an oatmeal bath to reduce the inflammation and ease discomfort.
Further reading: 10 Reasons Why Every Home Should Have An Aloe Vera Plant
Ease the pain and inflammation of sunburn by liberally applying Aloe Vera gel or place thin slices of raw potato over affected areas. You can also try soaking in a cool or lukewarm oatmeal bath for ten minutes. Prevent peeling by keeping burned skin well moisturized and drink plenty of water to keep your body and skin hydrated from the inside as well.
Increase your resistance to sunburn by eating foods like organic tomato paste (lycopene), wild-caught salmon (astaxanthin) and blueberries (proanthocyanidins).
Further reading: 9 Most Effective Home Remedies To Heal A Sunburn Fast
4. Ear Aches
To treat minor ear aches such as those caused by swimmer’s ear, mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil in about a tablespoon of warm coconut oil. Place a few drops in one ear and keep your head tilted to the side so the solution doesn’t immediately drain out. After about thirty seconds, repeat with the other ear.
For prevention of swimmer’s ear aches, you can also use organic witch hazel with this technique immediately after swimming. Avoid messy drips after treatment by tucking a small piece of cotton behind the tragus and antitragus, just inside your outer ear.
5. Cuts & Scrapes
Disinfect minor cuts and scrapes with a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in about a tablespoon of coconut oil or sweet almond oil. The nutrients in these two carrier oils will also help to strengthen skin and promote faster healing.
Fade bruises quickly and naturally by gently massaging them with a cotton ball or cosmetic pad soaked in organic witch hazel. You should notice a difference in under twenty-four hours or less.
Further reading: 14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home
7. Splinters & Thorns
To painlessly remove a stubborn splinter or thorn, apply a cotton ball soaked in organic apple cider vinegar to the affected skin for about twenty minutes. Afterward, the foreign material should be soft enough to easily extract. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, Epsom salt or baking soda dissolved in lukewarm water are also very effective options for removing splinters and thorns.
8. Poison Ivy
Treat skin affected with poison ivy by applying organic witch hazel, Aloe Vera gel, or organic apple cider vinegar. You can also try soaking in an oatmeal bath or add a half cup of baking soda to lukewarm bath water to relieve pain and itching.
Further reading: 24 Baking Soda Uses & Why You Need It In Your Home
9. Ant Bites
Neutralize the pain of ant bites by applying a damp tea bag over the affected skin. You can also try soaking bites in organic lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar. Aloe Vera, hydrogen peroxide, or a thick paste of baking soda and water are also very effective treatments.
Further reading: 12 Eye-Opening Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Should Be In Every Home
10. Bee Stings
One you have successfully removed the stinger (assuming there is one), clean and disinfect the wound. Then apply a damp tea bag over the sting to reduce the pain and swelling. Alternately, place a cotton ball or small cloth soaked in a mixture of baking soda and organic apple cider vinegar over the wound.
Ironically, you can even apply honey to bee stings then cover with gauze or a small cloth to reduce pain and speed healing!
Further reading: 18 Genius Things To Do With Your Used Tea Bags
11. Stained Fingernails
If you spend a lot of time with your hands in the dirt (for all you gardeners out there!) remove the stains left behind on your fingernails by soaking them in a solution of 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts olive oil. As an added benefit, this natural remedy will also help to nourish and strengthen nails to prevent breakage.
Further reading: 15 Home Remedies For The Healthiest Nails You’ll Ever Experience
12. Achy Muscles
Nothing tells you that you had a great time the previous day like waking up with sore muscles all over your body. Soothe the aches away by soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath for at least fifteen minutes. Add several drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oils to the water for added relaxation and healing. Also, be sure to drink lots of water to help your body flush out any lingering lactic acid – the natural metabolic byproduct which is responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness.
Further reading: 20 Mind Blowing Reasons Why Epsom Salt Should Be In Every Home
13. Sore Feet
Ease soreness from over-worked feet by soaking them in a shallow pan filled with Epsom salts dissolved in warm water. Magnesium in the salts will help to nourish your foot muscles and reduce inflammation.
Remember to stretch the muscles in your legs and feet after excessive standing or walking to prevent soreness later on. Keep your feet elevated to increase blood circulation or try massaging them to release tension.
Further reading: 16 Easy Natural Remedies That Improve Blood Circulation
During the warm summer months, it is all too easy to become dehydrated – even if you drink plenty of water. Replace lost fluids and electrolytes by adding organic lemon juice to your water. Also, eat foods with high water content such as organic lettuce, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon. Avoid sugary drinks like sodas, as well as heavy high-fat foods and excessive alcohol consumption which will quickly dehydrate your body.
Further reading: 24 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Lemon Water Every Morning
While getting inebriated isn’t exactly the best natural health practice known to humankind, chances are pretty good that it has happened to you at one time or another. Should you wake up one morning with the token headache, sore stomach, and complete lack of energy – all sure signs of a hangover – try this virgin cocktail to get yourself feeling better:
In the bottom of an 8 ounce glass, measure out 1 teaspoon each of ground Himalayan pink salt, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Add 1 -2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well. Top off with about 4 – 6 ounces of organic tomato juice. Stir it up and drink (or sip) it down down.
This morning pick-me-up is also great for reducing muscle fatigue (in conjunction with a warm Epsom salt bath) and delivering a quick boost of energy to wake up your mind and body when you need it most!)