This is a guest post by Dr. Pamela Abramson-Levine, Family Practice Non-Force Chiropractor.
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy…” so wrote George Gershwin.
And while summertime is a more laid-back and fun time of year, eliciting thoughts of swimming pools, beaches, barbecues, and camping trips, there are certain ailments that are more common in the summer which can make the “livin’” feel not so “easy”.
Use the reference below to help you relieve sunburn, bee stings, bug bites, heat rash, poison oak, allergies, and mild sprains, naturally and get you back to the “easy livin” of summertime!
Of course, the best remedy here is prevention. Wear a hat and other protective clothing. If it is just too hot to wear long sleeves and long pants, use a natural sunscreen with SPF 30.
If sunburn does occur, aloe vera jelly is one of the most soothing and healing remedies. If you have an aloe plant, the pure jelly, right from the leaves is best. If not, buy Lily Of The Desert – Aloe Vera Gelly, or organically grown Real Aloe® Gelly. It is best to use a product that contains NO alcohol or artificial dyes, as these can dry out your burned skin, and maybe even cause a skin reaction, which is the last thing your already tender skin needs. Stay out of the sun completely for a few days as well. And drink LOTS of water to help heal from the inside out.
Bee/Wasp/Hornet/Yellow Jacket stings:
Prevention: Keep apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in an open container on the tables where food is being served and eaten. Bees don’t like the smell! Also, put pieces of uncooked chicken just outside the perimeter of where you will be eating and playing. Wasps and yellow jackets are attracted to the protein and would rather be there than near you. No one likes to get stung!
If you have a known allergy to any of these stings, it is important to carry an Epi-Pen with you at all times. These allergies can be life-threatening and the Epi-Pen can truly save your life.
For all others follow these steps:
- Use a credit card to gently remove the stinger. (DO NOT use a tweezers as this will cause more venom to be squeezed into the skin) From behind the entry sight, gently scrape towards the entry of the stinger.
- Once the stinger is out, rinse the area with soap and cool water and put ice on the sting immediately. (Always wrap ice in a towel. Never apply ice or an ice pack directly to the skin).
- Administer homeopathic Apis Melifica 30c (3-5 pellets under the tongue).
- Make a paste of Turmeric and water. It should be rather thick. Apply this paste to the sting site and put the ice back on. Ice for 20 minutes, then remove the ice and rinse off the turmeric with cool water. (Note: turmeric can stain fabric. Use carefully).
Wait one hour and reapply turmeric paste and ice for 20 minutes. Repeat for 48 hours, except during sleeping hours.
- If you exhibit any signs of anaphylaxis (swelled shut eyes even though the sting is elsewhere, trouble breathing) seek immediate emergency medical attention!
Prevention: Take odorless garlic capsules or tablets 2-3 times per day. Humans cannot smell it, but these annoying insects don’t like it! Also, large doses of B vitamins make you unpalatable to these pests. Lighting citronella candles helps keep mosquitoes away as well. Finally, use a natural repellent containing citronella.
If you do get bitten, dab on some witch hazel with a cotton ball, followed by calamine lotion. The homeopathic remedy Apis Melifica 30c may also help to relieve the itch.
Prevention: Wear breathable and loose fabrics. Rinse off with fresh water immediately after swimming in chlorinated or salt water. Change out of wet bathing suits and sweaty clothing as soon as possible.
If heat rash does occur, place cool compresses on the affected area(s), dab dry and apply a natural diaper rash cream, such as Weleda Diaper Care, and take homeopathic Sulfur 30c. Try to stay out of the heat until it heals.
Poison Oak (or Ivy or Sumac):
Prevention: When hiking, keep skin covered. Wear gloves when gardening. Also, know what these plants look like, so you can avoid them.
If you do get exposed and develop the rash, tea tree oil applied every 2-3 hours is a great itch reliever and healing agent. Another great remedy is to mix equal parts golden seal root powder with aloe gel (again, straight from the plant is best). Homeopathic Sulfur 30c is good to take for these rashes as well.
Many people suffer from seasonal allergies to pollens, grasses, weeds, etc… Most of the prescription and over the counter remedies have a plethora of side effects. Homeopathy has no side effects and no drug interactions, so it is a great way to combat mild to moderate seasonal allergies. (You may need to take a combination of these remedies if you have more than one symptom.)
a. For itchy and watery eyes and runny nose, try Allium Cepa, 30C .
b. For overall itchiness and congestion, try Histaminum 30C .
c. For post nasal drip, try Hydratis Canadensis 30C.
d. Another great natural option for allergies is to see a doctor who practices the BioSET Allergy and Sensitivity Elimination Technique. BioSET is based on principles from chiropractic, Chinese meridians, homeopathy, energy medicine and enzyme therapy. It is completely non-invasive and very effective at identifying and eliminating allergies and sensitivities.
Mild sprains and strains:
Prevention: Wear supportive and proper fitting foot wear, especially when hiking or participating in a sport.
If you do twist you ankle or injure a joint, apply the RICE principle: ( Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation):
Rest: Sit down or lie down.
Ice: Apply ice or an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas makes a fantastic ice pack!) to the affected area, (remember to wrap ice and ice packs in a towel—never apply directly to skin). Ice should be applied to the affected area for 20 minutes on, and one hour off, for the first 48 hours, except when sleeping.
Compression: Firmly wrap the affected area with a compressive bandage. It should not be so tight that is cuts off circulation and/or nerve supply, yet it should be firm.
Elevation: And elevate the affected area, above the level of the heart, if possible.
In addition, administer homeopathic Arnica Montana 200CK or 1M which helps decrease bruising and inflammation. If the bruising and swelling is severe, see your doctor of chiropractic for an evaluation. She or he is trained to diagnose the problem and will send you for x-rays if necessary.
I wish you a completely problem-free summer. But if any of the above situations do occur, I hope that these natural approaches will bring you and/or your family the comfort and healing you need to get back to a “summertime (where) the livin’ is easy”!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice and is not designed to take the place of any licensed health care practitioner
Dr. Pamela Abramson-Levine, Family Practice Non-Force Chiropractor, practices in Santa Monica, California. She specializes in Directional Non-Force Technique adjustments, a very gentle approach to aligning the body and bringing the nervous system to optimal functioning without any forceful manipulations or “cracking” sounds. She also specializes in BioSET, an all natural, non-invasive technique for identifying and eliminating allergies and sensitivities, and bringing balance to the immune system. Dr. Abramson-Levine has certificates in Herbal Medicine, and in Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old healing tradition of India. In addition, Dr. Abramson-Levine has vast experience in and knowledge of nutrition and rehabilitative and therapeutic exercise as well as homeopathy. She is also a certified doula and childbirth educator. Dr. Pamela has been in practice since 1993, caring for patients ranging in age from newborn babies through geriatrics and everything in between. She may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her Facebook professional page: