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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Summer Herbal Remedies: Create Your Own Herbal Remedies Chest

Apr 10, 2011 12:27PM ● By Joanna Tunstall-Helms

Summer brings longer days and warm weather launching our pursuit of outdoor enjoyment into full swing. Many of us head for the beach for fun in the sun. Others will garden or spend time at celebrations with family and friends: picnics, cookouts, etc. There are many outdoor activities to choose in Florida. Yet as we all know, summer has hot weather hazards – some minor, others possibility severe which might dampen our fun.

Sunburns, bug bites, minor cuts and sprains are reasons to consider assembling an herbal remedies chest. Creating a list of ailments with the appropriate use of herbs and products makes using the remedies easy. When determining the contents of a summer medicine chest focus on normal family activities as well as on ailments most easily and safely treated at home: bites, stings, itching; sunburns, cuts, bruises, and sprains. Having such a kit on hand will provide comfort knowing you are prepared for summer incidents.

Bugs, Pests, & Bites
For insect bites that don’t require much attention, such as mosquito bites, a simple dab of essential oil of lavender or tea tree oil provides relief. Another simple solution is to use a fresh leaf of a basil plant. Bruise the leaf, and apply the plant juice to the bite. For persistent itching, a St. Johns Wort, Calendula, Yarrow infused oil may be applied. (See recipes below). The next appropriate step is using a natural repellant for insecticides. Bugs are pesky and a little annoying at times. It is fun to make a traditional repellent for family and friends. Choose a type of carrier oil (an oil to contain essential oils); select one that is lighter, such as Jojoba. Add the essential oils to the carrier oil, mix well, and apply liberally. It has a pleasant scent. Please keep out of the eyes. (See recipes below).

Sun Prevention
Even though we all know how to prevent sunburn, the sun’s loving energy stings. The sun is at its most powerful season in summer. Luckily nature provides us specific plants to reduce pain and speed up healing. An herbal bath gives fantastic relief. Make a tea of Lavender, Calendula, St. John’s Wort, and Gotu Kola. Strain the tea and add to tepid bath water; soak for 20 minutes. It feels fabulous! (See recipes below for formula) Once you are out of the tub apply Aloe Vera “pure gel”; if you have a fresh plant, slice the leaf, refrigerate while in the bath and apply directly to the burn. Aloe hydrates the skin, promotes new cell growth, reduces inflammation, and helps stop infection. If time is a concern, then premake a sunburn spray (see recipes below). The spray may be made and kept in the refrigerator for extra cooling relief.

Minor Cuts, Scrapes & Bruises
These minor ailments appear with increased outdoor activities. One of the best traditional liniments is Kloss’s liniment from a great herbal called “Back to Eden” by Jethro Kloss. It is anti-microbial and antiseptic; this increases the healing of wounds, eliminates unwanted bacteria and stops profuse bleeding. Clean the cut or scrape with soap and water. Apply Kloss’s liniment on a cotton ball, and dab cut or scrape. To reduce stinging, add a few drops of water to cotton ball to dilute liniment. (See recipes below). The best herb for bruising is Arnica. Arnica is a topical treatment, which promotes faster healing of bruises and sprains, and reduces pain. For bruising, use Arnica liniment with a cotton ball; apply directly to the bruise a few time a day. For a sprain, place two teaspoons of the liniment in one cup of warm water, submerge a cloth into the fluid, wring out excess fluid and wrap around the sprain. This is called a fomentation. To add benefit to the sprain fomentation you may add a tablespoon of Chickweed and Plantain leaf to the water. Make a tea, strain off the herbs, and add the two teaspoons of Arnica liniment.


Recipes
 

Bugs, Pests, & Bites
 

Itch-Free Anti-Septic Oil
½ St. John’s Wort
¼ Calendula
¼ Yarrow
1 Cup Olive Oil (Carrier Oil)
5-10 Drops of Lavender or Tea Oil

Grind herbs slightly, place in a mason jar, add Carrier Oil, make sure oil covers herbs by 1 inch. Put plastic wrap between jar and lid. Set in the sun for two weeks shaking once a day.

This oil reduces swelling, itching, inflammation and aids in healing of wounds.

Bug Be Gone Oil
Essential Oils are as follows:

10 drops Eucalyptus
4 drops Orange
8 drops Lavender
4 drops Lemon
16 drops Citronella
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Clove
2 drops Pennyroyal
4 oz. Carrier Oil

Mix together in an appropriate container for outings and shake.


Sun Prevention
 

Herbal Bath
½ Cup of Lavender
½ Cup of Calendula
½ Cup of Gotu Kola
¼ cup of St. John’s Wort

Place herbs in an 8-quart pot, add water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Strain and add to bath water.

Sunburn Spray
50 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
4 oz. Pure Aloe Vera Gel
2 oz. Witch Hazel
1 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
1 teaspoon Vinegar

Combine all ingredients into a spritzer bottle and shake well before using. May refrigerate if desired.

Minor Cuts, Scrapes, & Bruises
 

Kloss Liniment
1 tablespoon of Myrrh
1 tablespoon of Goldenseal
1 teaspoon of Cayenne
1 cup of Rubbing Alcohol

Put ingredients into a jar. Place plastic wrap between lid and jar. Keep out of the sun. Shake once a day for two weeks. Strain, label “External Use Only”. Add to your summer first aid kit.

Arnica Liniment
½ cup of Arnica
1 cup of Rubbing Alcohol

Make same as Kloss’s Liniment. Use for bruising. DO NOT use on open skin such as cuts, scrapes, or sores.

Joanna Tunstall-Helms holds a B.A. in Communication Disorders and is a Certified Herbalist practicing since 1995. Joanna owns and manages “Mama Jo’s Sunshine Herbals” in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida where she teaches a variety of classes in herbology. For more information or class schedules call 321-779-4647.

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