Bug Bites, Bee Stings, and Sunburns. Soothing Natural Solutions.
By: Rita Stadler
Don’t let itching or scratching cast a shadow over your summer — your kitchen may hold natural solutions for whatever ails you! From home remedies for soothing sunburns and itch relief, to homemade beauty treatments, you can solve your own problems naturally without ever leaving home.
Mosquitoes, gnats, and chiggers are just a few common summer bugs that can be a big pain.
Quick relief can be found in your kitchen:
- A cool, damp green tea bag will soothe the itch and reduce inflammation.
- Rub a basil leaf on the bite; basil has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Peppermint — a dab of toothpaste, a drop of essential oil, or a fresh leaf straight from the plant can all do the trick.
- Pinching; your brain can only focus on one type of pain at a time so a quick pinch will take your mind off the itch.
If you (or your child) can’t quit scratching, try putting a Band-Aid or invisible tape on the bite. Next time you plan on spending time outdoors, try a bug repellent with lemon eucalyptus oil — this natural ingredient has been proven effective for repelling mosquitoes and other pests.
A brush with poison ivy, oak, or sumac can leave you with an itchy, red rash. Oils from the plant cause irritation when they come into contact with your skin. Avoid using warm water which will open skin’s pores, causing the plant oils to sink in deeper.
Try treating poison ivy with these home remedies:
- Rubbing alcohol will break down and dry up the plant oil on your skin.
- Apply a baking soda paste to the affected area, or add baking soda to your bath.
- Rub the inside of a banana peel on the rash.
- Make a cucumber paste, or just lay sliced cucumber over the area.
The best way to prevent coming into contact with poisonous plants again is by learning how to identify them. For poison ivy, remember the saying, “Leaves of three, let it be.”
Bees, wasps, and hornet stings leave behind painful venom — that’s why your first course of action is always removing the stinger. If a person is allergic, the situation can become life-threatening.
When treating a non-allergic reaction, try these tips:
- Honey. It might seem ironic, but honey has healing properties.
- Garlic. This medicinal herb isn’t just delicious, it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities.
- Lemon. The citric acid will break down the venom.
- Penny. This may just be an old wives tale, but it’s probably the least expensive solution you can try — just tape a penny to the sting for 15 minutes and the copper should counteract the venom.
If you forgot the sunscreen, you’ll be left with a painful reminder.
You can soothe sun burnt skin with things you already have at home:
- Spray apple cider vinegar on the burn, or soak a cotton ball and rub on the area.
- Drink plenty of water; staying hydrated will help you feel better and recover faster.
- Make a cool compress with milk; the protein in the milk will help repair your skin.
- Oatmeal; this can be ground and added to your bath, made into a paste and applied topically, or you can use it to make a cool compress.
Prevent future sunburns by staying in the shade, avoiding sun during the peak hours of 10am-4pm, covering up with clothing and a wide brimmed hat, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15.
Dry Skin & Hair
Fun in the sun is a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, but it can also damage your hair and skin, especially if you are spending time in a chlorinated pool.
Nourish your beauty routine with these homemade treatments:
- Honey — Beyond delicious and nutritious, honey is also cleansing and moisturizing. Apply to skin for 5-10 minutes and wash away with warm water.
- Olive oil — This inexpensive ingredient is rich in vitamins and works incredibly well as an eye makeup remover and moisturizer.
- Yogurt — Opt for the plain variety. Rub on face, let sit for 10 minutes and rinse for rejuvenated skin, or apply to hair and rinse after 10-15 minutes for a moisturizing scalp treatment.
- Avocado — Mash a ripe avocado and spread all over your face, the vitamin rich oil in this healthful fruit will work wonders for your skin. Rinse with warm water after 15 minutes.
At EarthKind®, we believe that every natural problem has a natural solution. So much so, we built our company around it. Be sure to check out our line of natural pest prevention products, which will help you keep ants, spiders and mice from ruining your summer fun. (And moths from taking a bite out of your winter wardrobe!)