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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Summer 911

Summer 911

Summer’s almost officially here and the idea of living a healthy lifestyle with natural products is made abundantly possible in this special season.

While thoughts of long, hot, lazy days at the beach, family boating on the lake, tasty cookouts with friends, and camping under the stars are joyful ones to say the least, seasonal emergencies in the form of heat rashes, sunburn, ear infections from swimming, bee stings, being sprayed by a skunk, or contact with poison ivy can change a day of summer “fun” to “done.” What’s more, who wants to deal with frizzy hair before the big interview, or for an entire afternoon spent outdoors at your cousin’s garden wedding? And what about that dark berry stain on your brand new cotton blouse?

Want the answers? Experts weigh in on some tried-and-true natural remedies – many found right in your kitchen or pantry – to make sure you enjoy summer fun right through to the first falling leaves.

Heat Rashes
A regular ice pack will cool down a rash. Apply every few hours if necessary. If desired, or for larger areas, take a tepid bath with baking soda or oatmeal to calm the burn or rash at first, dusting with cornstarch or more baking soda afterwards. Aloe, whether in plant form, gel or lotion, is also recommended. After cleansing and gently drying the affected area, apply cooling, soothing aloe as many as six times a day to relieve itching and speed healing.

Sunburn
While ice is not recommended for sunburns, applying cool or cold compresses throughout the day can help relieve pain. As with a heat rash, a tepid bath with baking soda or oatmeal can also calm affected skin areas (use caution in soaking too long, or skin will dry out further). Aloe is highly recommended in the same application as for heat rashes.

Swimmer’s Ear Infections
Flush with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar four times a day, using an eye dropper or syringe.

Bee Stings
Many concur it’s best to ease out the stinger with a credit card. Pulling it out can break the sac, releasing more venom. Ice can reduce swelling and mitigate pain, and a paste made of baking soda and water neutralizes the effects of the sting. Apply honey for its antibacterial properties to lessen risk of infection.

Sprayed by a Skunk
It’s not a cliché; bathing in tomato or lemon juice really does help, as does a mixture of baking soda, white vinegar and dish detergent added to a bath.

Poison Ivy
While the ability to identify the plant in the first place will go a long way in precluding exposure to this bothersome and painful rash, if you find yourself a victim, some say mashing raw potatoes in a blender or food processor and applying the paste to the affected area does much to quell swelling and itch. Reapply often.

Frizzy Hair
Exacerbated by humidity, so-called frizz is the result of dry, brittle, often coarse hair that lacks moisture and/or protein. Shampoo only once or twice a week, if you can get away with it, using a gentle shampoo devoid of harsh chemicals. Conditioners that contain castor or coconut oil, or Shea butter, will help keep frizz in check. Be sure to look for alcohol content of all styling products, as alcohol will dry out the hair. Vegetable glycerin added to a finishing product can tame frizzy hair (be careful of using gels, as they tend to dry hair in the long run). Some women swear by smoothing a little hand or body lotion onto their palms, then running them lightly through clean, dry hair for a final shield against humidity.

Berry Stains
Who doesn’t love diving into a bowl of sweet, fresh strawberries, blueberries or blackberries in season? But what if some of that sweet-tart juice escapes your mouth and lands on your favorite shirt? For that unsightly stain, rinse the area well with water, then soak in white vinegar (apple cider vinegar can discolor the fabric). Let soak for several minutes or longer. Rinse again and launder.

12 comments

1 Frieda McMaster { 06.15.12 at 9:59 am }

Tobacco may not be healthy for smoking; however, those of us from tobacco-growing areas know that applying some tobacco mixed with your own spit and applied to bee sting will draw the poison and take away the sting. Water in place of spit might work, but we never did it that way growing up! :D

2 Shannon { 06.07.12 at 9:03 am }

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar works wonders for sunburn. Just apply to a washcloth and lay on skin….it really takes the heat and sting out of it.

3 Coggins { 06.07.12 at 8:40 am }

Be careful with the cornstarch on heat rash. Used it once and my rash ended up being yeast rash. Cornstarch feeds a yeast rash and I ended up at the doctor’s office

4 Judy { 06.06.12 at 12:31 pm }

Diane, Try Hydrogen Peroxide to get the blood stain out. It works on fresh blood stains but not sure on old ones. Put an old towel or rag under fabric when pouring peroxide on item so blood won’t bleed through and spread. Hope this helps!

5 Diane { 06.06.12 at 11:52 am }

Does anyone know how to remove old blood stains out of cloth?

6 nonamer { 06.06.12 at 11:43 am }

Great information ! Farmers Almanac Rules!

BotanicalGuides.com – Herbal Remedies

7 M.Peterson { 06.06.12 at 10:03 am }

A paste made of meat tenderizer used on bee stings will help a great deal. The pepsin in the tenderizer will dissolve the venom.

8 jsimler { 06.06.12 at 9:35 am }

I have used the baking soda, peroxide wash several times on my dog. It works!! However, never appy it to your dogs nose. A dab of Listerine mouthwash on the nose will remove any smell there.

9 Amber { 06.06.12 at 9:26 am }

Never had good luck with tomato juice. Last fall though, my dog was sprayed by a skunk and I found a remedy that called for baking soda, peroxide, and a small amount of dish soap. I washed him with that (outside!!!! it has fumes!) And the smell was practically gone. Don’t put that mixture in a closed container because it will explode. And wear rubber gloves. As for the smell around the house, that took a while. I would bring in wood during the winter from the pile, and it smelled of skunk!

10 Amber { 06.06.12 at 9:20 am }

I never would have thought tin foil would help, but I have already burned myself 3 times grilling so far….Accident prone and ready to try tin foil now.. Thanks

11 Dina { 06.06.12 at 9:19 am }

As far as skunk odor goes, our vet recommended mint mouthwash full strength and it worked great!

12 smyliep { 06.04.12 at 11:09 am }

Not sure if you are looking for more, I guess, good remedies…. But I recently burned (2nd degree) a couple fingers. The pain was so intense and nothing seemed to help. I found on the internet that applying tin foil helps to reduce the pain and incredibly it worked…. With summer and outdoor BBQ’s, the possibility of burns is there…..

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