summer spelled out on the beach

Summer S.O.S.: Simple Natural Remedies for Summertime Ailments

Simple Natural Remedies

Summer is in full swing, the days are long, and the temperatures are high. The season of pool days, BBQs, farmers markets, and outdoor concerts are here. Summertime is full of fun and joy.

However, it also brings its fair share of seasonal ailments, like sunburns and insect bites. Have no fear; we’ve got you covered with some simple natural remedies that are tried and true. We will look at the power of essential oils, tea, and other simple ingredients (that you probably have in your kitchen), and just a few minutes of your time can yield sweet relief, so you can get back to enjoying all the fun. 

Soothing Sunburn Relief

Sunburn is synonymous with summer, and it can put a damper on your summer fun. Even after applying SPF, a day of having fun in the sun can turn into a red, blistery, peeling pain.

Aloe vera is the go-to sunburn relief. Aloe vera is a fantastic natural remedy known for its soothing properties.

You can cut a leaf right off of the plant and rub it on your sunburn, though most people will opt for applying a thin layer of gel to their burn rather than cutting up their plants.  To enhance the effectiveness of the aloe vera, we recommend adding a few drops of lavender essential oil, which can reduce redness and promote skin healing. 

Aloe vera is the go-to sunburn relief. Aloe vera is a fantastic natural remedy known for its soothing properties. You can cut a leaf right off of the plant and rub it on your sunburn, though most people will opt for applying a thin layer of gel to their burn rather than cutting up their plants.  To enhance the effectiveness of the aloe vera, we recommend adding a few drops of lavender essential oil, which can reduce redness and promote skin healing. 

If you don’t have aloe vera available, try one of these simple natural remedies.

  • Coconut oil is a good alternative to aloe vera. It is a natural moisturizer that soothes and hydrates, while its anti-inflammatory properties provide relief and promote healing. 
  • Cucumber is also known for its cooling and soothing properties, and you probably already have it in your fridge. The high water content of cucumbers hydrates the skin, while their natural antioxidants can assist in reducing inflammation. Slice a chilled cucumber and place the slices directly on the skin.
  • Oatmeal has been used for centuries to calm and relieve irritated skin. Oatmeal helps reduce inflammation and itchiness. Make a paste by blending oats and water into a smooth consistency. Apply the paste to the burn and let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
  • Chamomile Tea has anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate redness and discomfort. Brew a strong cup of tea, let it cool, then soak a clean cloth or cotton pad in the cooled tea, then apply the compress to the sunburned skin for soothing relief.
  • Calendula cream also has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the skin. Calendula cream or ointment can be applied topically to relieve sunburn and promote healing.

Bug Bite Banishment

I am a mosquito magnet; whether there are tons of those little pests or just one, it will find me and leave me itching for days. Pesky insects can take a perfectly pleasant evening and turn it into an itchy nightmare.

If you’ve tried every deterrent like I have, but some still get to you, you need some options for sweet relief. I am currently wearing a “relief patch” from Kinfield, and it is working pretty well. Kinfield also has a relief stick that I plan to try.

But for those times that you don’t have a specialty product and need that itching to stop asap, try applying some tea tree essential oil diluted with coconut oil to the bites.  Tee Tree is a natural antiseptic that can help prevent infection, while coconut oil moisturizes and soothes skin.

If you don’t have tea tree essential oil available, try one of these simple home remedies.

  • Baking soda also has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes the skin.  Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the bites.
  • Cold tea bag (black or green). The tannins in tea can alleviate itching and swelling from the bite. Simply apply the cold tea bag directly to the bite.
  • Honey is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and it can provide relief from itching and promote healing.  Apply a small amount of honey to the area, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse.
  • Aloe Vera, known for soothing sunburns,  can also soothe bug bites, reducing itching and inflammation and providing a cooling sensation.
  • Apple Cider vinegar has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce itching and swelling. Dilute apple cider vinegar with equal parts water and apply it to bite using a cotton ball or clean cloth.

Cooling and Heat Relief

We are experiencing some crazy heat waves all over right now, hitting record highs. As much as many of us enjoy those warmer temperatures, they can also be uncomfortable and come with some unpleasant side effects.

The most important thing is to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and citrus fruits to beat the heat. 

For those times when you start to get overheated, cool down with a refreshing peppermint mist. Fill a spray bottle with cool distilled water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, Mist, on the face and body for an instant cooling burst and freshness. Peppermint has a cooling effect on the skin and will help combat the discomfort of heat and exhaustion.

Try these other simple remedies as well.

  • Wear loose, breathable fabrics. Fabrics that are light in color, loose-fitting, cotton and linen, or moisture-wicking are breathable, help air circulate, and allow sweat to evaporate, keeping you cooler.
  • Take a dip in the pool, river, lake, or ocean if it’s available. Even just dipping your feet in the cool water will cool you down. And water activities are usually a lot of fun, too.
  • Take afternoon or midday showers/ baths if possible. This is a great way to get your body temp down and keep you out of the heat during the hottest time of day. If you can’t do this, run cold water over your wrists and forearms for a quick cool down.
  • Plan activities around the weather. Plan to be outside early and late in the day when it is cooler, and opt for indoor activities during midday. Catch a movie or get your steps in at an air-conditioned indoor mall.
  • Eat cooling foods that will lower your temperature and provide relief from the heat, like leafy green vegetables and salads, mint, yogurt, melon, and citrus fruits.  

Try these simple & refreshing homemade Watermelon Lime popsicles

Ingredients
– 3 cups of watermelon (diced, no seeds)
– Juice from 1 lime
– 2 Tablespoons of honey (optional, adjust to taste)

Instructions
1. Blend watermelon until smooth

2. Add lime and honey to the blended watermelon, and blend again until well combined.

3. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space at at the top.

4. Insert popsicle sticks and place them in the freezer. Freeze for 4-6 hours or until fully set.

5. Enjoy!

Respiratory Rescue

Summer allergies and respiratory issues can put a damper on your enjoyment of outdoor activities. Relieve congestion with Eucalyptus essential oil; it is a powerful natural remedy for respiratory issues and congestion.

Add a few drops to a bowl of hot water (not boiling), place a towel over your head, and inhale the steam deeply. This can help clear nasal passages and soothe irritated airways, allowing you to breathe more freely.

You can also try the following remedies.

  • Saline nasal spray can relieve and soothe irritated airways as well as flush out and clear nasal passages.
  • Hydration is also necessary. Fluids help thin out mucus and keep nasal passages hydrated. Along with water, try herbal teas, clear broths, and warm beverages to promote hydration and relieve congestion.
  • Elevate your head when sleeping and resting. Use an extra pillow to prop up your head while sleeping or when you are out enjoying the pool or lying beachside. This helps reduce congestion by allowing mucus to drain more easily.
  • Humidifiers and vaporizers are another way to get more moisture into your environment and ease congestion.
  • Spicy foods are a yummy option for some temporary relief from congestion. Try foods with chili peppers, horseradish, or ginger to experience the decongestant effects.

Calming Sleep Aid

woman sleeping in bed

The summer heat can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Try adding essential oils to your nighttime routine. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser or dab a diluted mixture on your pillowcase.

Lavender is known for its relaxing properties. Unwind for the evening with a cup of chamomile tea as part of your bedtime routine to help you relax for a restful night’s sleep.

Here are a few other simple solutions to try.

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine, As suggested above, start with a cup of chamomile tea, take a bath, or incorporate some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or some gentle stretching or yoga poses.
  • Light management this time of year is important; our days are much longer this time of year.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun is up at 5 a.m. and goes down at 9 p.m. If you have blackout curtains or can get them, they are useful to block out excessive early morning light or to darken your environment earlier in the evening, signaling to your body and brain that it is time to wind down. A sleep mask is another option for a dark sleep environment.
  • Temperature control is essential for my personal sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests keeping the bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. This temperature range helps facilitate the body’s natural temperature drop, which is necessary for initiating and maintaining sleep. If you have a smart thermostat, program it to drop the temperature slightly or turn on a fan in your bedroom about an hour before to cool down. Also, adjust your bedding; use lighter blankets or fewer layers. My personal favorite is bamboo sheets; they are soft, cool, and breathable.
  • White noise or relaxing sounds can be helpful in creating a peaceful ambiance by blocking outside noises and helping calm the mind. Pleasant sounds and tones also help reduce anxiety and stress levels, allowing you to release tension. Soothing sounds can also help promote deeper, more restorative sleep.
  • Limiting screen time can also be helpful in winding down for peaceful sleep.  Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and computers all emit blue light, which can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Instead, try reading or journaling, both can be valuable tools to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Conclusion

Summertime ailments don’t need to turn into the summertime blues. By implementing some of these simple natural remedies, you can deal with your discomforts quickly and get back to enjoying all the fun of the summer season. So get out and enjoy that sunshine, armed with the knowledge that some simple tweaks and 5 minutes of effort can help you create that summer of delight.

*At Daily Bits of Better, we’re here to serve you with valuable tips, tricks, hacks, habits, and insights that enhance your life. We are not doctors or medical professionals, and the remedies we shared above are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, please consult your healthcare professional. Stay tuned for more helpful content to make each day a little brighter and better!

FAQ: Simple Natural Remedies for Summertime Ailments

1. Q: What are some natural remedies for soothing sunburn?

A: Aloe vera gel and diluted lavender essential oil can help cool and hydrate sunburned skin, reducing redness and promoting healing.

2. Q: How can I relieve itching from bug bites using natural remedies?

A: Applying a paste of baking soda and water or using cold tea bags can help alleviate itching and reduce inflammation from bug bites.

3. Q: What are some natural ways to cool down during the summer heat?

A: Mist with peppermint essential oil, take cool showers, and stay well-hydrated with refreshing fruits like watermelon and cucumber.

4. Q: How can I relieve respiratory issues using natural remedies?

A: Eucalyptus essential oil steam inhalation or saline nasal rinses can help clear nasal passages and soothe irritated airways.

5. Q: What other natural remedies promote better sleep during summer?

A: Managing light exposure, using relaxing sounds, and maintaining a cool bedroom environment can improve sleep quality in summer.

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