Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bruises, Bumps, Bugs, and More Part TWO!!!

Finally I have gotten around to writing Part TWO of Bruises, Bumps, Bugs and More.  Hope these tips are worth the wait. I'll bet they will come in handy.

Bee Stings:  The sight of bees and wasps has always brought my kids running indoors.  Their stings hurt and can be life threatening to some. We can't prevent the occasional bee sting, but the pain can be relieved with essential oils such as LAVENDER and THYME. Essential oils are not your average oil like vegetable and canola.  They can be very expensive and some of these oils aren’t easy to find.   Instead of having you spend the extra money mixing extracts, I suggest trying Burt's Bees Outdoor Bug Bite Relief ($5 in the natural care aisle).  It contains these ingredients and more in a lip balm sized treatment.  If you want to try something you may have in your pantry, soothe that sting with plain HONEY.  It seems ironic that the natural sweetener produced by those pesky bees can also help to heal them.   HONEY is a natural astringent and it helps draw toxins from the skin.  Also, if you happen to have one on hand (as many Caribbean natives do), a PAPAYA can provide relief as well.  An unripe one has the highest enzyme concentration and provides the most sting relief, but a ripe one is okay to try too. Before you attempt any remedy, please make sure that make sure that neither you nor your “patient” is not allergic or any ingredients.  Perform a patch test BEFORE a problem occurs, so that you are prepared if and when you need it.*  Also, if applicable, make sure the stinger is carefully removed before any application.

Repelling Mosquitoes and More: NEEM is the word!  NEEM oil is pressed from a mahogany tree native to India and has many uses.  One use is as a bug repellent.  You can buy pure neem oil online or from a local Indian grocer, or use a ready-made spray like NeemAura Naturals ($9 online).  Or keep a bowl of the oil on your picnic table to keep those buggers at bay.  Did you know--NEEM is used in many Natural Insecticide Products for plants?

Cold Sores, Athlete's Foot, and Ringworm:  Cold sores can come at any time.  Although winter is often thought of as “cold sore season”, this is not necessarily so.   It can be a spring/summer issue, due to the sun’s rays causing the virus that causes them to “act up”.  Early intervention is the key to maximum relief. LEMON BALM is great for healing cold sores when caught early.  It is an anti fungal cousin to mint.  Try LEMON BALM salve as soon as you feel the tingle of a sore beginning.  Use early and often!  Wiseways Herbal Lemon Balm salve( Whole Foods $6-$8) is also good for curing Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm.  Keep the small jar in your gym bag and apply to the feet after drying them from a shower to keep the flares away.

Important--I want to stress that while these natural cures can be effective, by no means should you hesitate to call your health care practitioner if you feel it is warranted. 

*Also, perform a patch test before using products, especially if you are prone to food allergies.  Apply a small amount to a nondescript area where it won’t wash off.  The best place is behind the ear.  Cover the area with a bandage strip and wait about 24 hours.  If irritation develops, rinse off immediately.  If you can’t use it, you can bless a friend or family member and pass the product along if you used it in a sanitary mannerJ



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