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.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. This is an extremely contagious virus and is spread easily by kissing or touching an active sore. Cold sores can even be spread by using the cup or utensils of someone who is having a cold sore outbreak. Natural prevention and control includes careful hand washing and building the immune system so that the body is able to withstand outbreaks of the virus. There are also several holistic options for controlling the herpes virus.
A cold sore begins with a prodromal period that often involves a tingling or burning sensation on the lips. The next progression is a fluid-filled sac that contains the active virus. Eventually this sac bursts and this creates an open wound that will finally dry up to form a scab.
For Sandi Thompson, proof of cranberries’ healing power is in her liver.
When Thompson’s liver faltered — the consequence of consuming cocktails of prescription drugs — a doctor suggested cranberry juice. Once Thompson started drinking it — and lots of water — her lab tests improved.
That was 17 years ago, but the experience cemented Thompson’s preference for natural remedies administered in her own home.
“Let’s start natural,” Thompson says. “Let’s start simple.”
Thompson’s liver problems followed a urinary-tract infection for which she was prescribed several medications. When side effects — including hair loss, aches and pains — cropped up, Thompson was given yet more prescriptions.
“They were medicating all these different things,” she says. “When they took me off all the medications, I returned to normal.”
Now a 37-year-old mother of five daughters, the Shady Cove resident has adapted numerous home remedies from “Natural Child Care” by Maribeth Riggs to treat scrapes, nausea, sore throat, warts and other minor health conditions. A 4-H advisor, Thompson has conducted classes on the topic of natural living for the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center’s annual Carnival of Learning.
Proven home remedies
1. A saltwater bath for a stuffy nose
2. Chewing gum to relieve heartburn and speed healing from abdominal surgery
3. Chicken soup for colds
4. Yogurt for belly aches (look for those that contain live, active cultures or are labeled “probiotic”)
5. Honey for a cough (do not administer to children under 1 year of age)
6. Cranberries for a healthy bladder (look for drinks that list cranberry juice as the first or second ingredient)
7. Staying warm to prevent a cold
— Source: Consumer Reports on Health, June 2008 issue