Summer Aromatics

Now that the weather is becoming warmer and the daylight hours longer, it’s time to look at the natural approach to “summertime issues”. Insect bites and sunburn combine to make life miserable. So what can we do about these things?

Insect Bites: If the bugs will stay away, we won’t get bitten! Essential oils can be added to diffusers, sprays and linens to help keep bugs at bay. If you find the cloying smell of fake fragranced candles annoying, try using natural essential oils instead. Bugs have been found to hate these essential oils: Citronella, patchouli, peppermint, clove, bay, lemon, eucalyptus, cedarwood, sweet basil, and litsea cubeba.

To reduce the pain and itchiness associated with bug bites, an application of peppermint, tea-tree and lavender directly on the bite usually reduces the severity of the pain. Apply several times daily until the bite no longer “bugs” you. If the oils are too harsh on your skin, try mixing them in a carrier oil first before applying to your bite. If you’ve been “eaten alive,” try an oatmeal bath with lavender or chamomile added to the water to help reduce all-over itchiness (this is a tried and true Manitoba recipe!).

Sunburn: Preventing the burn is the best course of action. But if the sun’s rays prove too much for your skin, here are a few suggestions. First-aid treatment starts with cooling down the skin. Using a cool bath, cloth or hydrosol spray from the fridge helps reduce the heat from the burn. Application of soothing, cooling gels helps, too. Those who can tolerate Aloe vera gel report good results. An aromatherapy gel with peppermint, lavender, helichrysum, chamomile and/or tea tree can also be helpful. Organic Honey will help reduce damage and nourish the skin; honey is an old folk remedy that has been used for skin care and wound healing for thousands of years.

Once the burn is under control, replenish the skin with highly nutritious creams and lotions that will give back a healthy look. If you can, add some Sea Buckthorn, Calendula, Carrot Seed or German Chamomile essential oils to the cream or lotion. These are proven skin rejuvenators.

Summer can be comfortable and enjoyable. Mother Nature has given us the means to stay happy and healthy, so let’s accept her help.


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