August 1, 2011 in Features

Do Your Part: Give natural remedies a try

Terri Bennett McClatchy Newspapers
 

Dealing with a few summer bummers this season? No need to let things like itchy bug bites, painful sunburns, or even a few scraped knees and elbows get you down for long.

Do your part and head to your pantry for a few all natural solutions that can bring powerful relief.

Mosquito bites and other bug bites bring lots of itching and scratching. An effective solution is to simply make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the skin for quick relief.

Not only does it work extremely well to take the sting away, it’s also drastically cheaper than most mosquito bite products, which usually contain a whole lot of unnecessary chemicals. You can also use this baking soda paste on painful bee stings.

For those who spent a little too long in the sun – and have the bright red glow to prove it – a few inexpensive items from the pantry are just what you need.

Adding oatmeal, apple cider vinegar or even baking soda to a warm bath will help soothe the pain of a sunburn. Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory. Crushing it up and adding about a cup to your bath will help soothe a burn.

Apple cider vinegar is also effective and economical. Simply add two cups of vinegar to a tepid bath and soak for at least 15 minutes. Or create a compress by soaking a cloth in vinegar and water and applying directly to the skin.

A cup of baking soda added to a tepid bath is another natural solution. With all of these treatments, it’s best to let the affected area air dry rather than rubbing with a towel. Of course, if you have a severe sunburn, it’s always best to call your doctor for advice.

And it wouldn’t be summer without a few scrapes and scratches. Did you know the power of honey has long been used when treating some minor skin scrapes? And you probably have some stashed in your pantry right now.

Smearing it on your skin after a thorough washing with soap and water will not only help your body heal but keep the area from scarring. After seeing how well it works, you may want to take that bottle of honey out of the kitchen and keep it in your medicine cabinet.

When the outside elements get you down this summer, remember a few natural remedies can bring relief just as well a lot of chemical-based ones. Not only are you doing your part to keep potentially harmful chemicals out of your home and body, you’ll be saving money since store bought concoctions are usually much pricier.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist, and host of DoYourPart.com where you can find everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terridoyourpart.com.


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