By Sarena-Rae Santos, Natural Health Blogger
Summertime is my favorite. I love going to beaches, hiking, exploring the woods, and any other activity that can be enjoyed in the sun. One thing I don’t love is the summer ailments I usually experience, like bumps and bruises, bug bites, poison ivy, and sunburn. Thankfully, I have found ways to limit my exposure to these things naturally. Sometimes things slip through the cracks, and accidents happen, but I have something for those moments too, and now, I’m sharing them with you.
I recommend creating a first aid kit from the following remedies to be prepared for whatever the summer season brings. You may not want to add everything from this list to your first aid kit, but you can customize it to your family’s needs. I also recommend checking out our Homeschool Travel First Aid Kit, as you may be interested in some of the natural remedies recommended there.
6 Must-Have Natural Remedies for Summer
Bumps & Bruises
When the kids play outside nearly every day, bumps and bruises will happen. What if when your kiddo falls, instead of kissing the booboo to make it feel better and slapping a bandaid on it, you could add a little salve, and it would actually make it feel better?
Of course, you can use a first-aid kit from the store, typically featuring Neosporin, Benadryl, Tylenol, and other mainstream solutions, but that’s just band-aiding the problem. Instead, you could add Earthley’s Arnica Salve or a Homemade Arnica Salve to your first aid; both are great options for bumps and bruises. You could even add Earthley’s All-Purpose Spray to clean any cuts or scrapes quickly.
Herbs you could consider adding for bumps and bruises include:
- Arnica – may reduce bruising, anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties
- Chamomile – anti-inflammatory properties
- Yarrow – anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties
Bug Bites & Stings
Mosquitos. Bees. Ants. Ticks. You name it, and it’s probably out there. Bug bites and stings happen, especially when you’re outdoors for long durations. If you read our blog, Natural Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings, you know some bug bites and stings may be inconvenient, but sometimes they can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction or an infection such as Lyme Disease.
If you create your own summer first-aid kit, you could add a few things to remedy bug bits and stings, like Earthley’s Oatmeal & Honey Soap to wash it off, followed by applying Earthley’s All-Purpose Salve or a Homemade Calendula Salve. If you happen to be bitten by a tick, and Lyme Disease is a concern, check out our blog, How to Make a Tick Kit.
Natural alternatives you could consider for bug bites and stings include:
- Apple cider vinegar – antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties
- Basil – antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties
- Lavender – anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties
Of course, using a bug repellant is the best way to avoid bug bites. Unfortunately, mainstream repellants contain DEET. N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) is considered the gold standard in mosquito repellents and the most commonly used active ingredient in mainstream insect repellants. DEET has been linked to:
- Allergic reactions like redness, rash, swelling, and hives
- Neurotoxicity in Gulf War Syndrome patients
- Encephalopathy in children
- Seizures and brain malfunction from ingestion
Learn more about the risks of DEET in Earthley’s downloadable guide, The Untoxic Summer Guide.
DEET isn’t the only option. You could purchase an all-natural bug repellant, such as Earthley’s Pest-Aside or Homemade Herbal Bug Spray. Both options are great and can easily be added to your summer first-aid kit. Both are dog-friendly.
Herbs you could consider to repel bugs naturally include:
- Citronella – insecticidal properties
- Neem – insecticidal properties
- Patchouli – insecticidal properties
Poison Ivy & Other Skin Rashes
As a child, I used to get the worst cases of poison ivy. I’m talking head to toe, even in my eyes and mouth. It was absolutely dreadful. If you read our blog, Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy, you know you can get poison ivy directly from the plant or from a person or pet who has had contact with the plant (even if they’re not allergic).
Although the best method to avoid poison ivy exposure is to remember “leaves of three, let it be,” sometimes poison ivy and other skin rashes are inevitable. When the inevitable arises, you could use Earthley’s Anti-Itch Soap and apply a Homemade Healing Salve.
Natural alternatives you could consider for poison ivy and other skin rashes include:
- Castor oil – antimicrobial and antifungal properties
- Coconut oil – antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties
- Comfrey – antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and wound-healing properties
Sunburn was another thing I got every single year. I remember, as a teenager, getting sun poisoning and being hospitalized for it. Well, I was hospitalized because I used fresh aloe on the burns and learned the very hard way I was allergic to aloe vera. I still get sunburns today as I always forget to reapply my sun protectant, but treating sunburns naturally has become much easier.
My go-to for any burn, especially sunburns, is Earthley’s Sun Soothe or a Homemade Burn Salve. Pro tip: keep the jar in your refrigerator and apply it to clean burns for a relieving and cooling sensation.
Herbs you could consider for sunburn include:
- Aloe vera – anesthetic and antibacterial properties
- Peppermint – antibacterial and cooling properties
- Plantain weed – anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties
Of course, using sun protectants is the best way to avoid sunburn. If you read our blog, Everything You Need to Know About Mainstream Sunscreen, you know the toxic ingredients that linger in them. These toxins hinder human life, aquatic life, and the environment.
One option is to eat your sunscreen, but not literally. When we say eat your sunscreen, we don’t mean to eat a tube of sunscreen. We mean to eat foods that support the body, ensuring optimal health to protect the skin from the inside out. Of course, if you feel inclined to eat sun protectant, Earthley’s Sun Shield or Homemade Sunscreen are both all-natural and technically safe enough to consume, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.