Summertime is finally here in the Northern Hemisphere. Hooray!
But as we strip down more and get out to enjoy a healthy dose of free Vitamin D, we run into a few problems and glitches that make give us a dose of the Summertime Blues.
Jacqueline to the rescue. (So, yeah, I’ve a Wonder Woman archetype…don’t we all?) No golden lariat and I promise to keep my knickers under my clothes. But what I do have is a multi-parter Blog Post with lots of juicy tips and tidbits to alleviate those Summertime Blues.
So, let’s get going.
Number one ickyness each summer for me, is the dreaded battle with bugs. So, let’s start with…
Stings and Bites
During summer months it’s so easy to find yourself (or someone around you) on the losing end of an encounter with a bee or wasp. Ugh!
Witch hazel rocks!
Instead of reaching for some expensive and toxic over-the counter-medication, try using witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) to ease discomfort and heal the wound. Witch hazel is a liquid distillation of the leaves, bark and twigs of the tree Hamamelis virginiana which may be found on most drugstore shelves in the areas near to rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
Cheap, cheerful and effective. I like Thayers brand myself, and my current fave includes rose petal water for hydration. But the lemon is also a close runner-up. (Link to buy below.)
To treat stings and irritation, douse a cotton pad with witch hazel and apply to the affected area. You can’t overdose, so just go for it.
This treatment isn’t just for insect bites, but also helps sun and wind burn. And you may also use in the same way to disinfect minor cuts and abrasions.
Important to know: Witch hazel has no drug interactions and may be used safely by both children and adults.
(And, if you tend towards skin a little on the greasy side, it makes a fab astringent. Yes, so gentle you can use on your fabulous face!)
Next, not so much me, but hubby suffers from:
When sneezing, snuffles and itchy eyes become part of day-to-day life through summer months, you may have summertime allergies. (You can always get tested by your Doc or Naturopath, but let’s face it…most of us know when we have them!)
Think about adding the following herbs/supplements/foods to your diet, and then you can see if they have any beneficial effects on your allergy symptoms:
Let’s start with tea.
(Yeah, I know, I’m soooo predictable, but really, try it.) Singing nettles and butterbur make a fab combo for allergy relief.
Get a mason jar, fill it with the fresh herbs and pour boiling water over. (Or buy tea bags or dried herbs from the local nutrition shop of on-line.) Make it strong and drink a couple of cups each day.
Why? Both herbs are reputed to perform as well as antihistamines, without the drowsiness or constipation of meds. Gotta be worth a go.
(And if you don’t like the green taste, add some honey or fruit or fizzy water, or any combo to make it taste good to you. Me? I like a little honey in mine.)
There’s a link below for a good quality tincture for you if the thought of tea makes you queasy!
No more Moo.
Eliminate dairy from your diet to avoid summertime immune-system irritation. I know, that’s a hard one, but there are some coconut, soy and rice substitutes for ice-cream that are really yummy! Even though I don’t have the allergies, I enjoy some of the coconut ice-creams so much, I buy them just for a treat.
Check out the local supermarket for cheese alternates. I know it sucks to not have cheese on those summer hamburgers, but the alternates are now really good. (Remind me to tell you about the hemp cheese I tried back in the 80s…nasty!)
What about tea? Yes, I take milk in my tea. But 1) you could go without and pop a slice of lemon into the tea instead or 2) use one of the substitutes. My friend Cindy always has coconut milk in her Bramble Cottage tea and she loves it!
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids to calm inflammation and boost immune resistance. Eat more wild Alaskan salmon, freshly ground flaxseeds or fish oil supplements.
Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits such as berries and cherries to help modify the body’s inflammatory response.
Isn’t it wonderful how Mother Nature supplies antidotes at just the right time. Berries and cherries are in season in summertime. Berries and cherries alleviate inflammation and boost Vitamin C. Eat lots.
Unclog those Sinuses
You may also want to try nasal douching. Use a neti pot (or bottle) with a warm saline solution. Follow the instructions on the box the neti-pot arrives in. (I just use premeasured salt. I like things nice and easy. And talking nice and easy, scroll down for a link to get yourself a nice neti pot.)
And, of course, drink plenty of water to both keep nasal passages hydrated, and to flush toxins out your body.
Not ‘fessing up, but some people do like a little drinky-poo in the summertime.
Sometimes summertime means more alcohol than our body is used to: beers at the barbecue, coolers at the cottage, exotic cocktails when we travel.
If you are more frequently using alcohol, I suggest you take milk thistle (Silybum marianum) regularly. It is available in capsules, but I believe you get more from using a tincture. Purchase from a reputable health food store or on-line from a recommended company. Follow the instructions on the label.
Milk thistle for liver health comes from the European folk medicine tradition. It is said to enhance the metabolism of liver cells and help protect them from toxic injury.
(Milk thistle may also help those with chronic hepatitis, abnormal liver function, and those using pharmaceutical drugs that are hard on the liver, including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy).
BTW: This herb is considered non-toxic, so as long as you aren’t sensitive to it, you can stay on it indefinitely.
(However, if your alcohol consumption does not reduce at the end of summertime or you perceive it to be affecting your quality of life please call me at 206.883-3842 for an appointment. We’ll assess your health and get you on a personalized wellness program asap.)
I’ll have some more ideas for you next time, but in the meantime, if there are other issues you would care to discuss or you require a more in-depth consultation, please contact me.