Dr. Lawren Chan N.D. Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre Naturopath YVR
3 min|Dr. Lawren Chan

Naturally Thriving: Effective Home Remedies for a Vibrant Summer

Wellness, Beauty, Health

Holistic Summer Wellness

From sunburns to bug bites, if you’re outside enjoying all that summer has to offer you may have to deal with some of these annoying after-effects. Of course trying to protect your skin and prevent overexposure from the sun and insects is the first step, but I’ve made a list of some helpful home remedies which are tried and true (I use them myself!) for 4 commonly experienced conditions in the summer:

1. Dehydration

In the heat of summer when we’re out and about it’s easy to forget to drink water, while your water requirements may actually be increasing to combat the temperature and loss from sweat.

To help you absorb the water you are drinking add a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt (organic himalayan sea salt is a great choice) to your water bottle to help combat dehydration and balance electrolytes. Your body will retain this higher mineral content water better than plain water

2. Sunburns & Heat Rash

Depending on the severity and amount of skin involved you can use a cool damp cloth, an ice pack, or a bag of frozen vegetables/fruit wrapped in a towel placed directly on the site or if more of the body is involved you might opt for a cool bath.

Adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to a bath or applying it directly to the skin with a cool damp cloth will help decrease pain, burning and inflammation due to its acetic acid content. Allow the apple cider vinegar to dry on your skin and then cover the area with coconut oil which will help heal, protect and hydrate the damaged skin.

Drink lots of water and stay out of the sun to not cause further aggravation and allow your burn/rash to heal!

3. Bug Bites

Being outdoors it great, but in the summer it also means being exposed to lots of little critters. You can spot treat bug bites topically or if you have a lot all over, a soothing bath would be a better idea. Chinese “Tiger Balm” works well on bug bites due to the menthol and camphor content which cool the skin and reduce itching, we also carry a product in the Integrative Dispensary called “Motion Medicine” which will work similarly!

Or you can mix up your own batch of equal parts peppermint, lavender, and geranium essential oils and apply that to the bites to decrease itching and support the skin’s integrity and healing process. Making a paste out of oatmeal or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) by adding just enough water to create a spackle-like consistency and applying the paste to the skin for 10 minutes before wiping the area clean can soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

Alternatively a soak in a cool bath with 1 cup of ground oats (periodically rub the clumps of oatmeal onto the affected areas) or ½ a cup of baking soda bring down itching and irritation.

4. Sore Muscles

Aches and pains can come up all year round, but when you’re out being active and enjoying the summer it is easy to over do it and notice your body not feeling its best the day or two after (delayed onset muscle soreness). Epsom salt baths which break down to magnesium and sulfate will help to relax and soothe muscles and joints.

Dissolve approximately 2 cups into a bath of warm water and soak for at least 12 minutes, but preferably 20 minutes. “Tiger Balm” and “Motion Medicine” as mentioned above for bug bites are actually more commonly used to relieve muscle aches and can be very helpful when massaged into sore areas.

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