By Diane Small
There are few people indeed who won’t tell you they’re happier when it’s summer. It’s sunnier, we’re outdoors more, and get more time off work! But summer also comes with a few hazards – think insect bites and stings, tummy bugs from food left outside too long and for some, the torture that is hay fever.
But never fear, the power of nature is always on hand to help you stay well this summer! Here, we’ve found natural cures for some of summer’s most common health complaints.
Hay Fever: Turmeric
As the daylight becomes longer, the warmth also brings the blossoming flowers with it. For some of us this time of year is beautiful, for others it is the beginning of something else blossoming – hay fever. But the answer to this may be right on your spice shelf. With a broad range of health benefits, both turmeric and saffron have proven to have significant anti-inflammatory response, similar to how antihistamines respond.
Try: Natruflex by the Naked Pharmacy. This contains 95% active curcuminoids sourced from southern India that work synergistically with black pepper to reduce the inflammatory response associated with hay fever.
Lingering Winter Flab: Bergamot
Still trying to shift that extra belly fat that you gained over the colder months? In the heart of the beautiful Italian region of Calabria, a remarkable solution to shifting that extra belly fat is growing in the sun-drenched fruit orchards. The unique soil and climate conditions in the region of southern Italy combines to produce the Bergamot fruit with uniquely high concentrations of polyphenols, which have a number of health benefits and has been clinically proven to target the fatty deposits around the waistline.
Try: Bergatone Plus. This is Bergamot in its highest strength – the extract contains a 47% minimum strength of active polyphenols, and many swear by this for quick fat burning.
Asthma from Pollen: Essential Oils
Did you know that inhaling essential oils for a few minutes every hour can help relieve mild asthma symptoms? Here’s what works best.
Lavender – Lavender is by far the most widely used essential oil and one of the most highly studied. It is known for its relaxing, sedative properties. When it comes to asthma, lavender oil can help to fight against airway inflammation and reduce breathing problems.
Peppermint – Peppermint’s famous for its ability to act as a decongestant and a natural antihistamine. Both of those effects can help to reduce asthma symptoms, and since peppermint naturally inhibits the creation of the histamines that close off airways, it can help reduce asthma attacks. It’s especially effective during allergy season, when allergens trigger attacks.
Tea Tree – Tea tree oil works as an expectorant, helping the body break up mucous in the airway and improve breathing. In those with asthma, this can be instrumental in reducing the overall symptoms associated with the condition.
Eucalyptus – Another oil with a strong, instantly recognizable aroma is eucalyptus. This compound has been found to help break up phlegm and mucous that can clog the airways, helping to improving breathing in the process.
Try: Holland and Barrett have a great selection of essential oils.
Sunburn: Aloe Vera
We can all get a bit too enthusiastic when the sun comes out, right? If you’ve stayed out too long and find your skin’s turning a shade between strawberry pink and lobster red, it’s time to soothe that, fast! The gel from this plant is well known to help burns of all kinds heal faster and healthier.
Try: If you don’t have a fresh aloe vera leaf on hand to squeeze the gel from, then try Aloe Pura Gel.
Jet Lag: Melatonin
You’ve counted a thousand sheep and you’re still no closer to nodding off. It’s a problem that’s especially common when crossing time zones, leaving you too exhausted to enjoy your holidays the next day. Many sleeping pills are not only addictive, but they’re highly toxic – some are even related to lung cancer! So it’s best to take the all natural hormone Melatonin, which is traditionally used to help promote a relaxed state and ease occasional sleep disturbances such as jet lag.
Why is it that sometimes when we travel, we just can’t, you know, GO? It could be the stress of flying, or maybe it’s the change in diet. But in any case, sometimes we need a wee push, shall we say. Most laxatives are quite harsh on the gut, but senna is a herbal laxative that gets the job done, gently.
Travel Tummy Bugs – Colloidal Silver
Forget antibiotics – colloidal silver has been used for centuries to kill parasites and bacteria safely and effectively. You can also use it to wash fruit and veg when on holiday to ensure there are no nasties sitting on them, waiting to give you a bad tummy or worse – diseases like hepatitis or typhoid fever! Just add 5 drops to 1 litre water and soak produce inside. If you’ve already got a tummy bug, a few drops of colloidal silver in a juice or glass of water twice a day should kill it.
Bee Stings: Honey & Baking Soda
We love the bees and want more and more on the planet! They’re the ones that help produce most of our food – not to mention honey! But if we accidentally have a run in with one of these guys, it can end up in a nasty sting. And surprisingly, the solution to that pain comes from…bees! Just create a paste of 1t honey mixed with 1t baking soda and place it on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling.
Try: Manuka Doctor Honey. This is a highly potent anti-bacterial agent that works on all kinds of insect bites, cuts, burns and other skin disorders. It can soothe a sore throat and tummy aches as well. Oh, and it tastes great, too!
Itchy Insect Bites: Lemon & Ice
It may sound like a recipe for a good lemonade, but what really works to relieve itchy insect bites like those from mosquitoes is first of all, ice (which reduces inflammation and swelling and also numbs the area) and lemon (because the citric acid will work fast to relieve itching). Stay out of the sun and heat, which can make itching worse. To ensure your bites don’t get infected, also dab a bit of colloidal silver on that.
Try: Just apply some ice, and cut a lemon or lime slice and squeeze the juice onto the bite
Unfortunately, climate change means more jellyfish are in our oceans, increasing our chances of a very painful sting! The best way to cure this is using nature: namely, first you must remove any stingers. Then, rinse the wound with seawater, but avoid getting sand on the wound – and don’t rinse with fresh water or rub the area with a towel, as these actions may activate more stingers.
Then, rinse the affected area with vinegar for about 30 seconds, or if you’ve not got vinegar on hand, apply a paste of baking soda and seawater. The, take a hot shower OR apply an ice pack to relieve the pain. Finally, apply calamine lotion to the affected area.
Try: Walgreen’s Calamine Lotion – or any calamine lotion will do, really! It’s good to have on hand for insect bites, too!