As I write this it seems the sun has finally decided to make an appearance - and boy is it toasty today! So let's have a little look at some first aid remedies for surviving the summer months and beyond.
Burns - For minor burns my absolute favourite remedy has to be lavender essential oil. This can work very quickly to relieve pain and aid tissue repair. It can be applied neat to the skin (but always patch test, some people may be allergic) or added to a cold water bath for the burned area. Honey is another traditional remedy to apply. Homeopathic remedies of use include cantharis - for pain creating restlessness, hypericum - nerve pain, and urtica urens - for prickly, stinging pain.
Sunburn - It is important we make the most of our summer months and top up our vitamin D levels, so I'm a great believer in getting bare skin out there for short bursts as often as possible. Then it's time to cover up before we start to singe. If you do get caught out, keep a pot of Aloe Vera gel with some added lavender oil chilling in the fridge - wonderfully soothing to sunburn and makes a good general after-sun moisturiser for the skin. Another great way to cool off is a chilled bottle of rose water spritzed on the skin - cooling, calming and a delightful scent to boot.
Bruising - Soak cotton wool or a flannel in good quality vinegar and apply to the bruise as soon as possible for 20-30 minutes. Comfrey cream is also excellent for helping to heal bruises - apply regularly. The homeopathic remedy arnica can be useful for all kinds of physical trauma - it is often taken before and after operations as an aid to healing. For a little aroma help, add a few drops of lavender and/or helichrysum essential oil to cold water or the vinegar soak. These oils can also be added to a base cream or oil or, indeed, the comfrey cream.
Summer Survival—First Aid
Cuts - Always clean cuts well. Salt water or marigold (calendula) tincture/tea can be used for this. To halt bleeding powdered cayenne or yarrow can be sprinkled on the cut - use with care (especially the cayenne - not something you want to accidentally get into sensitive tissues or the eyes!). Honey and colloidal silver are useful anti-septic's to apply to wounds. I would certainly never be without a bottle of colloidal silver in my house. I have seen it work wonders for pretty nasty cuts and wounds. It is also a useful bug busting remedy to use at the first sign of the sniffles - a spray bottle is a handy way to apply to the skin or onto sore throats.
Sprains/Strains - Got a little overzealous with the gardening? Pulled a muscle weeding and pruning? Start with ice packs and vinegar compresses. Homeopathic arnica is the go to remedy for trauma and it is often recommended to be taken immediately and for several doses until the swelling starts to subside. Then people may chooses to switch to either rhus tox - to alleviate stiffness and aid general healing, or ruta grav - a general remedy for injuries to tendons, muscles and joints. An aromatherapy blend of ginger (anti-inflammatory), rosemary (to aid circulation) and juniper (to assist the lymphatic system in removing waste from the injured area) can be useful to support the body’s repair mechanisms. Try roughly 2 drops of each essential oil in 10ml of base oil and apply at least three times a day (always patch test before first use!).
Hayfever - Lots of lovely remedies for this common condition exist and here's a few of my favourites. Great anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines include quercetin (found in apples and onions as well as supplements), nettles and good old vitamin C. Combination H in the tissue salt is an all rounder. Homeopathic Euphrasia is particularly useful for eye irritation. The anti-oxidant Pycnogenol is another great choice which may also be useful for asthmatics.
I hope you're enjoying our summer whatever the weather! See you next month.