Herbal Summer Survival Kit
With 2022 set to be the most radical summer yet, what can we do to survive wild summer problems?
Why do we say “The Most Radical Summer?” well, the answer lies in the planet we love so much!
It is no secret that global warming is a very real situation that is causing our summers to be increasingly more extreme every year. While we are thankful for the beautiful weather and the produce it provokes from nature, there will inevitably be more instances of some summer hazards due to us spending more time enjoying the beautiful weather, such as burns, bites, grazes, and stings.
There is no reason to let these summer hazards deter you from spending time exploring and enjoying the sunshine, as mother nature provides healing and soothing solutions to the incidents that may occur.
Let’s dig deep and look at some natural healing solutions you can use to survive a wild summer and for relief if any of the following occurs;
Insect Bites and Stings
Insect bites can range from mildly annoying inconveniences to something that may require medical attention.
The instances of insect bites are 64% higher in the warmer weather than in cooler climates, and that is just because everything they love in nature is in bloom, and they take full advantage of the warmer weather as we do as humans.
It is rare for insects to bite or sting unless they feel under threat in their typical habitat.
However, us walking through a swarm of insects while walking in the lush woodland would be entirely accidental for us and mean no malice, but the insects may see it as an attack and act in defense.
When an insect stings flesh, it produces Histamine in the body, which is the only defense mechanism the body has, but it does not actually react very well to the production of Histamine and creates symptoms in line with an allergic reaction!
The sting/bite and the release of Histamine can cause itching, swelling, redness, and irritation, so these are the main things we need to find soothing solutions for, should this happen.
- Stinging nettles – Stinging nettles have one of the most concentrated compounds of antihistamines available in nature. Be sure to remove the sing first by scrunching the leaves in muslin or boiling in hot water for a few minutes and applying directly to the bite or sting.
- Watercress – Watercress is another potent antihistamine and can be eaten straight from nature for a gradual relief from bites and stings or gently rubbed on the affected area for topical relief.
- Plantain is also one of the best natural anti-itch bug bite relief remedies. Plantain is emollient, soothing, moistening, protecting, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and analgesic. Plantain is excellent externally for all sorts of skin irritations, rashes, bites, stings, burns, bumps, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and infections.
- Honey – If you can find some natural honey, you will find that the nectar is a great relief from the itching and will take down swelling and redness when applied directly to the site of the sting or bite. It has strong antiseptic qualities, too, so it may help to prevent any infection.
My All-Purpose (First Aid) Salve is not only helpful for cuts, burns, bruises, bites, stings, and rashes, but it can also help you avoid picking up the latest cold or flu bug. I rub a small amount of the salve on the inside of my nose for this purpose. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties with a wide range of uses.
Cuts And Abrasions
When you are out in the lovely weather, you may inevitably find yourself having to treat a minor cut or abrasion on the move. This is especially true if you enjoy woodland walks or are exploring areas that may be unfamiliar territory for you.
Cuts and abrasions are usually nothing to worry about, and very rarely do they penetrate deeper than the top surface layers of skin. However, that being said, these minor skin lesions can hurt a lot more than a deeper version due to the millions of tiny nerve endings that are present on the surface of the skin.
The first thing you need to attend to with a minor cut or abrasions is to make sure the wound is clean.
You can simply do this by using bottled mineral water, holding the affected area under a running stream, or by wiping gently with a clean, lint-free cloth soaked in some clean water.
Once clean and free from any dirt and debris, you can find the following things from nature to soothe the pain and reduce any instances of further infection:
- Aloe Vera – This plant has superb healing abilities within its gel-like substance found within the plant’s leaves. When applied directly to a clean would, you will find that it is soothing and has some excellent antibacterial properties within its leaves.
- Yarrow – If you are lucky enough to find Yarrow, it is an excellent natural remedy for cuts and abrasions. Crushing up the flowers and leaves and placing them directly on the lesion can reduce the risk of infection and relieve some of the pain.
- Elderberries – While there are many contraindications to the consumption of elderberries with many conventional medications and treatments, elderberries are a potent source of anti-inflammatory and anti-viral compounds, so they may help ease swelling for a cut or abrasion when crushed gently and placed on the wound itself.
Of course, the most significant consideration when being out in the sunshine for a long time is sunburn.
Sometimes, no matter what you do to prevent the sun from damaging your skin, such as regular application of a high SPF or seeking shade, somehow you still end up with patches of skin that are tender to touch from exposure to the sun rays.
Apart from wearing light and loose clothing as a physical barrier to your skin versus the sun, there are still parts of your skin that will remain exposed, especially the nose, forehead, shoulders, and feet.
If the sun catches your skin and you need some relief from the tight skin and burning sensation that occurs with exposure to the sun, here are a few natural remedies you can find on your travels:
- Aloe Vera gel – While we have seen Aloe Vera appear before in this natural remedy list, it is essential to mention how amazing it is to treat accidental sunburn due to its fantastic ability to provide a high concentration of moisturization to the area.
The sun is incredibly drying on the skin, and any damage that occurs physically can be soothed by using the inside of the Aloe leaves directly on the affected areas.
- Chamomile – The Chamomile plant can be found growing wild in North America and can be a great natural solution to sunburn when the flowers and leaves are steeped in hot water, allowing their natural calming properties to be concentrated into one solution. This solution can then be applied to the areas of sunburn and can also be frozen into muslin cloths for extreme relief.
- Black or Green Tea – Black and Greet Teas are renowned for their remarkable antioxidant properties, and this element can be beneficial if you get parched by the sun on your adventures.Steeping black and green tea leaves in hot water to create an infusion and then rapidly cooling can bring some instant relief to sunburn and help remove any toxin build-up from the whole body. Hence, it is essential to drink it as well as apply it topically with a soft cloth.
The most significant consideration is your hydration.
Staying hydrated while you are out in warm climates is one of the most important elements of a successful summer.
While you may only have the capacity to carry a small vessel of water with you, it is important to know that a majority of nature is made from water, especially fruits and vegetables, so what you see as food, such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber, for instance, can actually be a really great source of hydration when you are on your adventures.
To replace electrolytes, you can take along something as simple as a banana, which is easy to carry along with you too, just in case!
The summer sun is unforgiven. Heatstroke is a serious condition that is brought on by excessive exposure to heat, especially on hot days, when the body is unable to control its own internal body temperature to get cool.
This is an extremely dangerous condition but it can be prevented if any of the signs and symptoms appear. You can:
- Cool the skin – you should only do this by either spraying or patting water on the body and not by immersion in cold water, as this could cause shock.
- Seek shade in a cool place and create some air movement by fanning- Under a big tree may be the best place and creating the movement with a big leaf will be ideal.
- Drink plenty of water – Sipping regularly is ideal rather than one big drink.
- Where possible, lie down- The ideal position for this is where the feet are slightly raised.
- Applying onion juice behind the ears and on your chest can help bring down your body temperature.
- Buttermilk is a good source of probiotics and helps in replenishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals that may be lost due to excessive sweating. Similarly, coconut water rehydrates your body by naturally balancing the electrolytes in your body.
- Extracting the juice of coriander or mint leaves and drinking it with a pinch of sugar is an easy home remedy to bring down the body heat.
Allergies and Respiratory Ailments Don’t Take a Vacation
Many times, allergies aren’t only experienced in the springtime. They also don’t take a break just because you’re on vacation.
Traveling this season?
It is important to remember to go on your sunshine adventures as prepared as possible for every eventuality. Still, if you don’t want to be bogged down with a remedy for every possible happening, it is essential to carry a few simple first aid items, just in case!
- The Herbal Travel Pack
- Bottled Water
- A Soft, Clean Cloth
- A Lint-Free Bandage
- A small Knife
With the summer months getting hotter and the wild inevitably getting wilder in line with the climate, we need to be far more aware of potential occurrences and a degree savvier when it comes to finding natural solutions to very common problems.
Even if you are staying close to home this summer, the above remedies are helpful in keeping you healthy at any time of the year.
If you find yourself injured at any time in your adventures to the point you may need medical assistance, please do seek it as soon as possible.
Enjoy the summer safely, and make sure that you take full advantage of everything mother nature has to offer, wherever you go.
Here’s to a healthy and happy travel season!
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