It’s All Fun & Games Until the Itching Starts

Summer Solutions for Cuts, Bruises, Bugs and Allergies

Debra Mastrianna

More than ever, we are ready to get outside, soak in the sun, breathe in the fresh air and explore the great outdoors. But with all of that exposure, we are also more vulnerable to sunburns, skin rashes, cuts, bruises and insect bites.

Try these natural remedies to help relieve the discomfort of cuts, scrapes, or other summer skin irritations.

Calendula flower, aka Marigold flower, (Calendula officinalis) is a member of the daisy family. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial for cuts and scrapes and helps to stimulate new tissue growth.

Also known as pot marigold, Calendula has been used in compounds, oils, creams, and tinctures to treat minor skin problems.  A strong antiseptic and astringent with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, Calendula has been used to relieve the symptoms of rashes, minor burns, acne, eczema, skin inflammation and conjunctivitis. 

Arnica Flower contains sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, carbonic acid, coumarins and volatile oils, all of which are beneficial for the skin. A sesquiterpene lactone, called helenalin, is the main restorative compound in Arnica, which helps soothe and renew the skin after exposure to stress. In the hands of natural beauty buffs, Arnica flower tinctures are becoming something of a medicine cabinet and vanity must have. The herb clears up acne and other skin inflammations. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects benefit those with inflammatory skin disorders.

This herb is traditionally used as a topical treatment for burns, eczema and chapped lips. Arnica should not be applied to an open wound, as it could cause painful irritation. Arnica in ointments can significantly improve frost bites, as long as there are no open wounds. Medications from this plant are often thought of as preferential treatments for leg ulcers in diabetic patients. 

Arnica flower remedies have been used to help minimize the effects of tissue trauma and to assist the healing process. It is even believed to prevent bruising by stimulating the white blood cells and dispersing trapped blood and fluid from the site of the injury. The flower extract is known for its ability to speed the healing of tissues by improving blood circulation and helping the oxygen to get to the cells quicker.

This herb is a suitable remedy for the treatment of all injuries resulting from impact, falls, stabs and cuts. Used topically, it is touted as an excellent way to speed up the healing of bruises and sprain, and it is used as an alternative treatment for sports-related injuries. Arnica is useful for bruises, sprains, muscle aches, contusions, acne, superficial phlebitis, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites and swelling due to fractures. 

Cayenne Pepper can stop the bleeding, and quick, when for a minor cut or would. It will equalize blood pressure to keep the pressure surrounding the hemorrhage area and allow the wound to clot naturally.

Cinnamon Bark , a common kitchen spice that can do so much more. Use cinnamon to reduce pain and disinfect wounds with its antimicrobial properties. Cinnamon contains a substance that is both antibacterial and antifungal that helps to prevent athlete’s foot, and experiments have shown this to be effective in helping to suppress E-coli, as well as Staphylococci and the bacteria found in tuberculosis.

Jewel Weed is best known for its skin healing properties. It is the best natural remedy for poison ivy, poison oak and other skin irritants. It can even be used as a preventative for Poison Oak and Poison Ivy irritations. Poultices and salves from Jewel Weed are a folk remedy for bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, sores, sprains, warts, and ringworm. It has also been used internally for jaundice and asthma, although popularity in this area is diminishing.  

Jewel Weed also called Touch Me Nots or impatiens, is an effective remedy for Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Stinging Nettles and other rash causing plants. Jewel Weed works by counter-reacting with the chemicals in other plants that cause irritation. In clinical studies, Jewel Weed has been shown to be every bit as effective as cortisone based creams for treatment of rashes from poisonous plants.

Topical application of Jewel Weed liquid herbal extract not only cures the discomfort of these types of poisoning, it also prevents the reaction if you rub it on your skin before venturing into the plants habitat. You may also use it rub on the handles of tools that have been or will be used in areas where poisonous plants grow.  

Jewel Weed can also be used to treat sprains, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, hemorrhoids, warts and corns as well. A study showed Jewel Weed to have potent anti-fungal properties and is useful as a treatment for athlete’s foot, ringworm and dandruff.   Not for consumption though, Jewel Weed has a foul taste and is a diuretic which could be dangerous for some people. The plant is safest and most effective only when used as an external wash, in a poultice or salve.

Clove Bud reduces pain and disinfects wounds. Cloves and clove oil have been used for centuries to treat toothaches. Cloves are useful against fungi and bacteria, thus supporting its traditional use as a treatment for fungal skin infections such as tinea versicolor and athlete’s foot, diarrhea, food poisoning and other infectious conditions. 

Used externally, Clove is considered by some to be one of the most powerful germicidal agents in the herbal kingdom. It carries antiseptic, antibacterial properties which may help in the treatment of diarrhea and food poisoning by killing many types of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, shigella (all species), streptococci, staphylococci, as well as, pneumococci bacteria, all of which may be involved in food poisoning.

The eugenol contained in Clove said to be fine antiparasitic, and its antimicrobial properties destroy intestinal parasites, such as flatworms, roundworms, and other parasites as well as their eggs. Clove is effective in fighting bacteria, fungi and even skin mites (scabies), athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Clove is often recommended for skin care for acne and has been used for insect bites and stings as well as for insect repellent, and due to these antiseptic properties, it is useful for wounds, cuts, prickly heat and bruises.

Stock your Medicine Chest naturally, as you prepare for an active Summer.

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