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Natural Summer Survival


by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sarka_Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Stock up on herbs and natural products to help you survive the summer. Summertime brings a welcome change that boosts the mood, gives you longer days, and for many means summer vacations. But summer can also bring dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburns if you aren't careful. Beat the heat and save your skin by creating a summer survival kit with all-natural ingredients.

Burns and Balms

You want to protect your largest organ from sun damage, but you also want to protect yourself from toxic ingredients. What do you do? Make your own natural sunscreen. The sunscreen may only be an equivalent to SPF 20, but frequent applications of a natural sunscreen is better than longer protection from something with unhealthy chemicals.

To make a natural sunscreen, gather olive oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax. You'll also need zinc oxide powder, which adds the SPF 20 minimum to the mix. The right type won't get absorbed into your skin, but you still want to take precautions not to inhale it while you make the sunscreen.

Add ½ cup olive oil, ¼ coconut oil, ¼ cup candelilla wax, 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil, and 2 tablespoons of shea butter in a mason jar and cover with a lid. Cover a medium saucepan with two inches of water and heat up on medium. Place the jar in the saucepan. Shake periodically. Remove from heat once everything is melted, and then add 2 tablespoons of the zinc oxide powder. Stir well and allow to cool.

In case of sunburn, fresh aloe vera works better than anything to cool and soothe skin. Cut off a small amount and put it in a sandwich baggie to bring with you. Aloe vera gel works too.

Bugs and Bites

Summer is snack time for bugs. To protect yourself from the little blood suckers, make a natural bug repellent. Different oils work against different bugs, so mix up a few. A good guideline is to use 1 part essential oil to 10 to 20 parts carrier oil. For easier measuring, try 10 to 20 drops of oil for every 2 tablespoons of oil. Olive oil and sunflower oil work well. Some essential oils to add include eucalyptus oil, orange oil, cinnamon oil, castor oil, and, of course, the wonderful citronella oil.

If you do get bit, some witch hazel and rose water may have a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect. Witch hazel may also be used in lieu of a cooking oil.


Beat the Heat

An iced cold glass of water or lemonade on a hot day feels marvelous, but take it a step further and add cooling herbs. Peppermint is renowned for its internal cooling properties. Make a hot cup of peppermint tea and then pour it over ice for a refreshing summer beverage.

Don't like to drink iced beverages? Add peppermint or spearmint to lukewarm water and leave it outside overnight to make sun tea, and then drink it at room temperature. Problem solved. Keep the tea in a glass or aluminum bottle and bring with you to stay hydrated. Try some cooling herbs and vegetables in your meals too. Basil, asparagus, celery seed, grapes, oranges, and lemons have cooling properties.

Make your summer more enjoyable by putting together these natural essentials. Jars of sunscreen, bug repellent, cooling tea, witch hazel, and aloe vera in one little bag or lunchbox could be a summer lifesaver.

See also:

Natural Sunburn Remedies Help Relieve Pain and Heal Your Skin

Avoiding and Treating Dehydration During the Dog Days of Summer

Natural Remedies for Bites and Stings

Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Protecting Your Dog from the Scorching Heat of August


About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

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