Summer is here…as the hot and humid days and thunderstorms and mosquito prove. With the coming of summer comes the need for a few “summer only” things. Here are my choices and easy substitutes to make your summer healthier:
1. Bug Spray…in Minnesota or state bird is the mosquito (or the Common Loon). Mosquito and tick repellent is a MUST for fun outside, especially in the evenings. I hate using DEET based repellent but if the natural stuff doesn’t work, what do you do? Last summer we discovered Lemon Eucalyptus repellent (Repel Brand and Cutter Brand) and it worked great! This year I bought the essential oil and I will make my own bug spray!
2. Sun Block…We Minnesotans spend a lot of time indoors during the winter months (and when we are out of doors, all our skin is covered), so we may need a bit of help to prevent sunburn during the summer months. Our family uses sun block very rarely…only when we are going to be outside for longer periods of time during peak times. Our yard has many shady areas and we usually hit the beach during the less busy late afternoon. Also we try to eat plenty of healthy fats and this seems to help prevent sunburn too!
Katie from Kitchen Stewardship has an awesome and very comprehensive safe sunscreen guide. My favorite is Mexitan, now called Tropical Sands. Currently we have the Honest Company. It has terrible reviews on Amazon. I picked it up last summer at Costco because it was inexpensive and I was out of Mexitan. It seemed to provide fine sun protection but is greasy and thick. If we used it more I would definitely order more of my favorite but for the seldom that we use it I’ll probably try to use it up this summer.
3. 100% Aloe Vera Gel and Lavender Essential Oil…if you do get a bit (or a lot) of sunburn dilute lavender essential oil with aloe vera gel and gently rub onto the sunburn. It will help the pain and soothe the skin. The redness will still be there but the pain of the sunburn will be reduced dramatically and it seems to heal faster.
4. Bentonite Clay…this stuff is amazing! Stops mosquito bites from itching and takes care of a bee sting or wasp bite in minutes! I wish I new about this stuff when I was working as a camp nurse! I just have the bentonite clay powder that I form into a paste with water, but I’m going to pick up the pre-made paste to carry with me all summer.
5. Hylands Natural Poison Ivy/Oak Tablets…please try to avoid getting poison ivy; it is no fun! But if you do get it (Tony gets it at least a couple times a summer) then this stuff works great! Spread bentonite clay on the bumps and take the Hylands tablets and it will be almost gone in two days!
Those are my favorite and must have natural health-type things for summer. What do you keep on hand for summer needs?