SUMMER ARSENAL: Some au naturale tips against the summer’s scorching side

JELLYFISH

Jellyfish stings cannot be treated with pee.  Really.  Instead, the urine might even make it worse as it causes the nematocysts (the stingers that jellyfish leave behind on your skin) to inject more venom into you.

Best natural remedy: Wipe with a towel and rinse with vinegar.

The trick is to remove the nematocysts without triggering them. Water and urine may trigger them so the best way is to use sand or a towel to remove the tentacles without touching.  I have even removed the tentacles with a shell. (Touching with your bare hands may result in more stings!)

Then rinse the area with vinegar or if that’s not available, use saltwater (not fresh). Note that this is the remedy for box jellyfish (not Man of War or other deadly jellyfishes.)

SANDMITES

If you’re sitting by a beautiful sandy shore and suddenly find yourself itching like crazy with tiny red welts on your skin, chances are, sand mites have attacked you.  You can’t see them but I assure you, they are there.

Best natural remedy: To get the itch out, soak the skin in a bath (oatmeal in the water relieves the itch).  A natural way is to make a paste of baking soda and water and applying it on your skin.  Or use Aloe Vera: just pull leaf off the plant and dab the gel on your itch-ies.

SUNBURN

Sunburn DOES NOT fade into a beautiful tan.  If you burn your skin and nature will definitely not reward you with a tan. Instead, you get freckles, sunspots and wrinkles, (worst, you’re on your way to skin cancer.)

Sunburn happens because your skin is inflamed from the ultraviolet rays you have just soaked up.  Some natural ways to boost your skin’s reaction to the sun is to load up on antioxidants.

Best natural remedy: They say antioxidants raise your sunburn threshold. So eating your bright colored vegetables (and red wine of course) might help.  Still, you should always wear sunscreen! My picks: Healthy Options has Nature’s Gate, Jasons and Alba Botanica, some alternative sunscreens you may want to try.  For kids, there’s also Earth’s Best and Badger’s you can get from Rustan’s.  Also note that there is no sunscreen that can block all 100% of the sun.  Your best block is still a hat and clothes!  SPF 30 cuts out 97% of the sun while SPF 50 cuts out 98%.  So, actually, we don’t need to buy more than 30SPF.

To treat sunburn, cool off with Aloe Vera or I read you can soak a washcloth in milk and make a cold compress. One thing I have done is to soak in a tub with baking soda and also by putting cucumber slices on my sunburn.

SUN-DAMAGED HAIR

Hair can get too much sun exposure and get dry or even break.  Another culprit is chlorine or saltwater.

Best natural remedy:  Some people like to wear a hat or a ponytail.  You can put some coconut oil on your hair or a leave-in conditioner. But after a day spent in the sun, what you can do is put some olive oil on your hair. You can even mix some drops of rosemary or jasmine oil.  Leave it for an hour or so then wash it off.

MOSQUITOES

The bugs are definitely out and about this summer.  Here are some secrets: You can ward off mosquitoes by taking a shower and wearing light colored clothes. Really.  I heard mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and dark colored clothing.

Best natural mosquito-repellant:  Don’t sweat.  Wear light colored clothing.  Use plant-based repellants.  My best bet so far has been citronella oil mixed with coconut oil.  (A formula: 25 drops essential oil + 2 tbsp. coconut oil.) or buy a good natural repellant (just make sure the blend has about 10% citronella oil.) I always like the oil-based ones rather than the spray. Other essential oils that help (even repels ticks) are eucalyptus and lavender oils.

A good local insect repellant brand is Bug Off made of coconut oil, citronella, lemongrass and lavender.   I have found the bottles at EchoStore and also at Sesou Nature Source.  To help with the itch, I use Weleda’s Combudron Ointment.  But some natural remedies are: rubbing garlic on the itch, aloe vera gel (again!), or squeezing juice from a lemon. 

A good Summer Aid Kit: Vinegar, Oatmeal or Baking Soda, an Aloe Vera plant, Olive and Coconut Oil, and Essential Oils: Citronella, Lavender or Jasmine

(Information from years of a beach fetish and Whole Living magazine)

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