Between sunburns, bug bites and the warmth & humidity Summer-time can be particularly hard on your skin. Here are some simple herbal items to keep
around the house to help keep your skin healthy.
Aloe Vera Plant – ok, I know that many of you do this already, so this won’t
come as a surprise to you, but in my opinion keeping an aloe vera plant at
home is a necessity. The gel inside the fleshy leaves is good to speed up the
healing of the skin, and can be put on small nicks & cuts. It’s extremely good,
however, to treat minor burns. Put the gel on sunburns, or any other 1st degree
burn and I promise you’ll be amazed how fast they heal.
Tea Tree Oil – Is an extremely potent topical anti-biotic and anti-fungal. It’s
easily purchased in any co-op or health food store. Unless the manufacturer
has already done so, you should dilute the oil with 5 parts of a carrier oil (like
baby oil, almond massage oil, or olive oil) to every one part tea tree oil. This
preparation makes an ideal 1st line of defense against conditions like athlete’s
foot or jock itch.
Witchhazel – is another item you can find in co-ops or health food stores. It’s
a powerful astringent, and can help dry up skin that’s becoming too oily. Put a
little on a cotton ball and wipe down the affected area.
And finally, Plantain (pictured below). Not the little fried cousin of the banana that you find in Latin American cooking, but Plantago major, a common garden “weed”.
Plantain is a wonderful remedy for bug bites, and commonly grows in areas
where mosquitoes are plentiful. To use plantain, pick a full, healthy looking
leaf and crush it, either with your fingers or by chewing it slightly. Then put it
over the site of the bug bite, and the pain/itching should begin to subside. As
always with herbs you pick yourself, be sure that any plant you use has not
been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.