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How to Make Cooling Cubes for Sunburn Relief

These skin-soothing cubes are perfect to stash in your freezer and pull out as needed to quickly relieve mild sunburn and other minor skin irritations such as razor burn, scrapes, and itchy insect bites. Easy to make at home, this natural sunburn relief remedy features the following herbal ingredients:

Plantain Leaf (Plantago major, P. lanceolata)

Plantain is a bountiful backyard weed that’s useful for general first-aid situations. In this recipe, plantain is added for its ability to improve various skin irritations.

Violet Leaf (Viola odorata, V. sororia)

Violets are pretty purple flowers that pop up in early spring. The leaves are cooling and help soothe the heat of mild sunburn.

Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe is a classic remedy for sunburn, as it’s highly effective at relieving the discomfort caused by too much time spent in the sun. You can use bottled aloe or gel harvested from your own plants in this recipe.

Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana)

Witch hazel is anti-inflammatory and cools inflamed tissues.1 In this recipe, witch hazel replaces part of the water so the cubes leave behind a cooling sensation on your skin.

Cooling Sunburn Cubes Recipe

From The Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home by Jan Berry (Page Street Publishing, 2020).

What you’ll need…
  • 1/4 cup (3 g) chopped fresh plantain leaves
  • 1/4 cup (3 g) chopped fresh violet leaves 1/2 cup (120 ml)
  • witch hazel extract 1/2 cup (120 ml)
  • water 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh or bottled aloe vera gel 

1. Place the fresh plantain and violet leaves, witch hazel, and water in a blender.

2. Mix thoroughly until you create a thin plant juice or slurry.

3.Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean jar.

4.Rinse the blender briefly with water to remove any stray bits of herb. Pour the strained plant juice back into the blender. Add the aloe and mix well.

5.Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.

6. Store the frozen cubes in airtight containers or bags in your freezer until needed, or for 6 to 9 months.

Yield: 7 to 8 cubes

To Use This Natural Sunburn Relief Remove a cube from the freezer and gently rub over sunburned or irritated skin. You can leave the herbal mixture on your skin, allowing it to air-dry, or you may wish to rinse it off with cool or tepid water. In addition to natural sunburn relief, you can use these cubes for other minor skin irritations such as razor burn, scrapes, and itchy insect bites.

Editor’s note: This article was gladly contributed by Jan Berry and first appeared on  Learning Herbs.  

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I so appreciate the skills of a fine herbal & plant medicine person such as Nicole! At the same time I’ve yet to come across a simple recipe with readily accessible ingredients. Live in the high desert, can’t simply run up in the mountains to access fresh plants easily. Nicole, you must live where it’s nice and wet, lush and fecund. I once did. Well being all !<3

Hi Elise,

Thank you so much for your comment and for your kinds words as well.
Please tell me more about your experience in this place, it sounds really interesting!

God bless!

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