If you spend a little too much time in the sun without properly shielding your delicate skin, there are a variety of all natural remedies to help heal and soothe the damaged areas.
* A compress dipped in a homemade cooling mix will help calm the sting. Try a mixture of 1 part skim milk or 1 part baking soda with 4 parts cold water.
* Make a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and water and apply directly to the skin.
* Use raw vegetable slices to cool and soothe. Apply thin slices of cold cucumbers, potatoes or apples to the affected area.
* Boil lettuce in water. Strain and refrigerate the water for several hours. Later, use cotton balls to blot the cooled water onto the burned skin.
* Apply plain, cold yogurt to the skin and then rinse it off with a cool shower.
* Apply calamine or calendula oil to calm the burning sensation, reduce inflammation and promote skin healing.
* Natural aloe vera has soothing properties that cool on contact and aids in the healing process.
* Comfrey contains allantoin, an active ingredient that stimulates cell regeneration. It is available as a juice and a lotion.
* Green tea bags can be applied to the eyelids to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with overexposure to the sun.
Well, I guess “not drinking beer” is the first “natural cure for summer ailments” and many other ailments too, but other than that flaw, I think this article is interesting and informative. Enjoy.
Via: The Daily Times
ADVICE FROM THE DOCTOR By Dr. Victor Gong • August 13, 2008 Thinking of summer joys: Sun tans, sand castles, beer and crabs on the boardwalk. You may also recall the health calamities of sunburn, mosquito bites and ear infections. Fortunately, you can minimize the season’s downside with natural treatments. You probably have most of them in your kitchen or medicine cabinet; the others are easy to find in health-food stores.
Bee stings. Slice an onion in half (it doesn’t matter what kind), and rub it over the bite. Onions contain an enzyme that breaks down prostaglandins, compounds that cause pain and inflammation.
Insect bites. Don’t scratch, try baking soda. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste and apply it to the bites. Keep mosquitoes and other hungry pests away by dabbing lemon-scented citronella oil on your skin and clothing.
Motion sickness. Ginger, taken as tea or in capsules, relieves nausea in kids and adults. Unlike over-the-counter drugs for motion sickness, it doesn’t cause drowsiness. To make the tea, slice a two-inch piece of fresh ginger root. In a large covered pot, bring a quart of water to a boil. Add the ginger; simmer for l5 minutes. Sweeten the tea with sugar or honey, if desired. Drink one cup about a half-hour before you set off on your trip. Take the rest with you in a water bottle in case you need it. Prefer pills? Take two, 250-milligram ginger capsules before you leave, then two capsules every four hours if queasiness persists.
Athlete’s foot. The fungus that causes this condition thrives when feet are warm and sweaty. Kill the culprit and soothe the itch with tea-tree oil, derived from the leaves of a tree that grows only in Australia. Some people are allergic to this, so test your sensitivity. Put a drop of the oil on your forearm; if there’s no redness or inflammation after a few minutes, it’s safe to apply a small amount of the oil to the affected areas twice a day. Don’t use it if your skin is severely broken.
Poison ivy. Relax in an oatmeal bath. You can buy Aveeno, a special colloidal oatmeal, at the drugstore, but the rolled oats you have in your kitchen work just as well. One cup of uncooked oats in a pair of panty hose; knot the top. Add this to a bathtub filled with warm water; soak in the tub for 20 minutes.
Sunburn. Help skin heal with aloe vera. The best products contain l00 percent aloe; buy a gel or a cream with it at the top of the ingredient list. Mix it with the oil from a vitamin-E capsule, which eases inflammation and promotes healing. Don’t use anything on a blistering sunburn; it might make things worse.
Indigestion. If that hot dog you ate at the baseball game didn’t agree with you, drink one cup of chamomile or fennel tea to calm your stomach. Chamomile tea bags are widely available. To make fennel tea, steep one-half teaspoon of crushed funnel seed in one cup of boiled water for l0 minutes.
Swimmer’s ear. Prevent this painful bacterial infection by wearing earplugs when swimming. But if your ears do get wet, don’t fret. Place a few drops of diluted vinegar (one-part vinegar to one-part rubbing alcohol) in each ear. Keep your head tilted for a few seconds so the solution stays in the ear canal.
By Donna M. Owens
Beyond its topical use, the outer part of the aloe leaf (the green part, or rind, of the leaf) produces a juice or dried substance called latex, which contains compounds that make for a natural laxative.
Products made with various components of aloe used to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as oral over-the-counter laxatives. In 2002, however, the FDA required these products be removed from the market or reformulated because of insufficient safety information from manufacturers.
In addition, aloe is taken orally for medical conditions including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy and osteoarthritis. However, many experts caution that there is not enough scientific evidence to support all of aloe vera’s uses.
“People believe all kinds of things about aloe, some of which have not been validated,” says Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, an associate professor of complementary and alternative medicine in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University. “The way most people use aloe for minor burns, cuts and abrasions is harmless. But there are some unethical companies that are pushing these products for everything.”
In 2001, a Maryland businessman and a Virginia doctor were sentenced to prison for administering intravenous aloe vera injections to patients, falsely claiming they could treat diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is illegal to market a drug for the treatment of specific illnesses unless it is approved by the FDA.
Fugh-Berman, a nationally recognized expert who has written textbooks on alternative medicine, says the public must use caution when interpreting medical information from the Internet and elsewhere because much of the information is “unreliable.” Meanwhile, studies vary. For instance, she says, some studies have shown that topical aloe gel may help heal shallow burns and abrasions. Another study, however, showed that aloe gel inhibits healing of deep surgical wounds.
Generally, experts say topical use of aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects. Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe vera if the gel is contaminated with the green rind of the leaf (the rind, not the gel, can cause these effects); and diarrhea, caused by its laxative effect, can decrease the absorption of many drugs. If people use aloe or any other plant or packaged product used medicinally, Fugh-Berman says, they should consult their health care providers and divulge the full scope of any traditional or alternative practices.
“There’s no such thing as a miracle plant,” she says, “but for burns and scrapes, topical aloe works well.”