by guest blogger Dr. Mao Shing Ni, DOM, PhD, ABAAHP, Lac, author of the best-selling book Secrets of Longevity
Even as the summer season winds down, with its bounty of banquets and outdoor gatherings, you can still face itchy discomfort from the elements. And you may have decided you want better ways to cope with them next year. Whenever the bugs bite, the sun burns, or the poison ivy comes creeping, simply use these all-natural remedies for sweet relief from nature’s sting.
Take the Itch out of Bug Bites
Warm weather’s unwelcome guests include fleas, mosquitoes, gnats, fire ants, wasps, bees, and ticks. It’s humans versus bugs and, unfortunately, most of the time we lose. Though the bug bite itself is usually not painful, the body’s inflammatory reaction may cause pain, itching, redness, and swelling.
Try these all-natural remedies for a quick anti-itch fix:
• Apply honey to a bug bite to bring relief and prevent infections. Honey has long been known for its antibiotic properties; in fact, honey-soaked gauze bandages were once used to heal burns and wounds.
• Be as cool as a cucumber. Place cucumber skins on top of the bites to soothe the itching irritation. You can also cut round slices from a fresh eggplant and place them on top of a bite to draw out toxins and ease irritation.
In some cases, a serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock occurs, which can involve breathing difficulties and requires immediate medical attention.
There is a fine line between a suntan and a sunburn. We all know that prevention is your best method to avoid the skin damage caused by the sun. That means using sunscreen with SPF factor of 30 to 50 and a wide-brimmed hat, as well as avoiding peak sun hours and sitting in the shade.
But once the damage is done, try these natural home remedies to heal sunburn:
• Help yourself to this rehydrating, refreshing beverage. Mix equal parts of pineapple and black cherry juice together. Why does this work? Pineapple is packed with bromelain, which contains active substances helpful for reducing inflammation. The deep-red skins of cherry juice contain the antioxidant compound anthocyanins, which help the body relieve inflammation. Drink two or three cups daily to cool the burn.
• Apply a thin layer of plain yogurt to sunburn to cool and moisturize the skin.
Relieve Heat Rash
The combination of summer heat and excessive perspiration can produce the uncomfortable, burning, itching condition known as heat rash.
Alleviate the itching with these natural remedies:
• Keep cool with the right diet. If you know you’re prone to heat rash, eat more of these cleansing and cooling foods: cucumbers, collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, carrots, celery, broccoli, dandelion greens, oats, watermelon, olives, raspberries, and grapes.
• Many of these itchy summer conditions are related to allergies. In this case, there are many underlying issues that need to be addressed. A specially blended formula called Allergy Tamer contains traditional Chinese herbs that bring relief from allergic and inflammatory responses. Go to www.wellnesslivingstore.com for more information.
Pacify Poison Ivy
A neighbor of mine came to me with an unbearable itchy case of poison ivy over his entire face, so swollen that his nose was nearly shut. Without hesitation, I pulled up a couple of dandelion plants from my backyard and put them in a blender with honey and aloe leaf gel. I applied this poultice to his face, and by the next morning his itching and rash were 75 percent better!
Try these all-natural remedies to relieve poison ivy and poison oak:
• Make the amazing remedy that worked wonders for my neighbor. In a blender, mix 1 cup fresh dandelion greens, ½ cup aloe vera gel, and 1 tablespoon honey. Apply liberally to the affected area. Want instant relief, sans blender? You can use just the dandelion greens. Crush and apply to the rash as a poultice. Change every hour.
• Mash plantain leaves and apply to affected skin, changing leaves every hour, to relieve itching. Banana peels work almost as well.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!