Home remedies for summer woes and foes

By: Health Local Staff Jul 28, 2014
mosquito bites

From sunburns to bug bites, the relief you're looking for can be found in your home.

Summer means many things, some good things, like more sun, more time outdoors, and more time spent enjoying outdoor activities. It also means some bad things, like more sun... burns, more time outdoors... around bugs that sting and bite, and more time spent enjoying outdoor activities... like hiking through poison ivy and swimming in duck mite infested water. Don’t panic, these bad things are not the guaranteed outcome of all of the good things - don’t be a pessimist. Be a realist, and understand that these things could happen, so you should be prepared to deal with them.

In fact, rather than treating what ails you with chemicals, and causing more ails; you can treat most every thing from nature with something else from nature. Here are a few common summer woes and foes that can be treated - and even prevented, with natural remedies you can find in your own home!


Sunburns are the worst - it’s the hurt that just keeps on hurting, burning, and itching. Aloe Vera is the most famous and universal sunburn alleviate. Vinegar, mustard oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and even finely chopped potatoes and cucumbers all provide relief from the heat and pain when applied to burned skin. Taking a bath in water mixed with a concoction of baking soda, lavender oil and chamomile tea is great all-over relief for a burned body.

However, if you are careful, it is more likely that you missed a spot with sunscreen or the coverage of your clothing, and have a small area of skin affected by sunburn. If this is the case, a paste of yogurt, papaya, oatmeal, and honey can be applied, allowed to dry, and then washed off for some serious, deep relief. The same technique can be applied to a mixture of honey and lime proportioned 2 to 1, lime soaked cucumber slices and a turmeric yogurt paste.

Bug Bites and Stings

Bug bites and stings are no fun for anyone, and the stinky, sticky, lotions that are available to treat them are even worse. So what can you do? Immediately after you are bitten or stung, applying cool mud to the affected area helps to minimize the affects of the venom and the swelling. Otherwise, if you get bitten or stung a lot, there are these sort of plunger suction pump kits that you can use directly on the bite to draw out some of the insect venom, which is what makes you itch.

For later, when your bites and stings are itching and driving you crazy, you can apply baking soda paste or even better a natural baking soda based toothpaste to the affected area to reduce swelling and itching. Soap, ice, citrus fruits, garlic, onion, lavender, vinegar and salt all can serve to sooth bug bites when applied to the affect area. Garlic, in fact, serves as a great natural way to prevent bug bites - especially mosquitoes. Eat lots of garlic, and it will actually make you “smell bad” to mosquitoes. Avoid eating lots of bananas, and using heavily perfumed shampoos and soaps, as both will make you very appealing to biting, stinging bugs!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.