Although you probably can’t get enough of the beautiful warm weather, it may also cause pesky hassles like sunburn, bug bites, and blisters. Fortunately, there are some ways to get natural relief. Try using these five easy remedies, which are perfect for erasing those summer health bothers!
Heal sunburned skin with a green tea soak.
You loved kicking back by the pool all day, but (oops!) forgot to reapply sunscreen. Now your skin is pink and uncomfortably warm. To soothe the pain, draw a green tea bath. Scientists from the University of Connecticut say tea’s tannins calm inflammation, which helps ease itching and burning in as little as 15 minutes. Simply steep six green tea bags in a tub of comfortably cool water for 10 minutes before climbing in. Tip: For smaller areas (like your cheeks or shoulders), dip a green tea bag in cool water and apply it directly to your skin.
Calm poison ivy with a bubbly scrub.
Accidentally brushed up against poison ivy while weeding your garden or strolling through a nature reserve? Help is here! The rash-triggering compound in poison ivy (urushiol oil) is one of the most irritating plant toxins out there — and one of the toughest to get off skin. Luckily, washing with a grease-fighting detergent like Dawn, Joy, or Palmolive within 20 minutes of exposure can reduce symptoms by 60 percent, say scientists from the University of Missouri. And sudsing up twice daily for two days can cut healing time in half. The powerful degreasers loosen urushiol oil’s grip on skin so it can be flushed away with running water.
Cure ‘picnic sickness’ with a pinch of coriander.
Enjoying a BBQ or picnic is a favorite summer pastime. The hitch: When food spends too much time in the sun, it can breed bacteria that trigger GI upset. Fortunately, chewing 1⁄2 teaspoon of coriander seeds soothes a churning stomach in 20 minutes. And nibbling on 2 teaspoons of these lemony seeds daily for two days cuts recovery time in half, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests. The seeds calm intestinal spasms and destroy salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria that cause food poisoning.
Soothe bug bites with a salty paste.
A soothing Rx for an itchy, irritated bug bite? Salt! The experts at DermDox Dermatology Centers note that salt has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal remedy for mosquito bites. Plus, it can speed recovery time by 75 percent by destroying the germs that normally inflame broken skin. To do: Mix 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt with 2 drops of water to form a paste; rub over bites for 30 seconds. Rinse well and pat dry.
Banish blisters with castor oil.
If a fun-filled day sporting strappy sandals or snug sneakers left you with a painful blister, dab it with castor oil and cover with a bandage overnight. In the morning, apply a fresh drop of oil and rebandage it. The oil’s ricinoleic acid dries out fluid-filled blisters and gets rid of dead skin cells, according to One Agora Integrative Health Clinic.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.