Health and Fitness

Published on May 21st, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Summer Ailments and Their Natural Treatments

Memorial day is just around the corner springing us head long into fun-filled summer vacations. Along with gorgeous sunny days and lazy afternoons come a few ailments that can quickly extinguish all the fun. Whether lounging poolside or surfing at high tide, summer is also the season for a few good-time halting issues.

Keep your summer healthy and fun with a few natural treatments for common summer ailments.


Floating jellyfish

Jellyfish Stings

A jellyfish sting can dampen the fun quickly so always keep vinegar in your beach bag. A squirt bottle of vinegar is the quickest way to deal with jellyfish stings as it neutralizes the toxin. Never use freshwater on a jellyfish sting as it causes the nematocysts to continue releasing toxins. After an initial dousing of vinegar, add a paste of baking soda and salt water and use a credit card or gift card to scrape away leftover tentacles still adhered to the skin. Rinse the paste away with more salt water or vinegar. Most stings are uncomfortable, but non-life threatening. However, if there is shortness of breath, extreme pain or advanced tissue damage you should seek medical attention. Young children and the elderly should also seek medical help. Jellyfish in the South Pacific through and around Australia can be highly toxic and can cause life-threatening conditions. In those areas, stings are emergency situations and should be examined by medical professionals as soon as possible.

{jellyfish photo via Paul Bratcher Photography on Flickr}

poison oak

Poison oak

Poison Oak, Poison Ivy and Sumac

Dress appropriately for hiking in the woods and you just might avoid an irritating rash. However,  it’s difficult to avoid the clinging oil which causes itchy, oozing rashes. Bathe with soap and water upon return from treks through areas with these irritating plants. Cautiously move used clothing to the laundry as the oil is difficult to detect and easily spreads to other surfaces. We discussed Poison Oak before and some of the easiest treatments include lavender and tea tree essential oils. These should already have a place in your natural first aid kit. Both oils are soothing treatments alleviating some of the itching and inflammation. Oatmeal baths are another solution offering fast and easy relief, especially for children.

{poison oak photo via kqedquest on Flickr}

aloe vera

Aloe vera

Sunburn Got You Down?

Sunburns aren’t only irritating, they can pose long-term concerns. Sunburns in childhood are one of the factors for skin cancer in later life. There are many natural sunscreens on the market so there’s really no excuse not to wear this preventative lotion. Still, sunburns happen, even with sunscreen. So if you are beet red and finding it extremely difficult to get comfortable reach for aloe. Aloe vera is a good plant to keep on hand, it’s easy to care for and replenishes itself quickly. As soon as possible, slice off some aloe and stick it in the fridge. When you remove the gel it will be ultra soothing and cooling. If you don’t have fresh aloe than place purchased aloe gel in the fridge. You can also add lavender to your aloe gel which helps with pain and will also speed healing.

{aloe photo via tjmwatson on Flickr}

mosquito sucking blood

Mosquito sucking blood

Mosquito Bites Driving You Mad?

If you kept mosquitoes at bay than you won’t have to worry much about bites. But when those little suckers sneak in a few sips you’re left with itchy, swollen bumps. Again, reach for the lavender essential oil. Lavender helps relieve the itch and bring down inflammation. Witch hazel is another treatment easing swelling and decreasing the itch. Adding a little lavender to coconut oil and massaging into the bump will help ease irritation and help keep infections at bay. This is a good choice for children who can easily scratch open wounds leaving them susceptible to further infection.

{mosquito photo via eyeweed on Flickr}


drinking water for hydration

Drinking water for hydration

Heat Exhaustion

We offered 5 eco-friendly ways to keep cool but sometimes the heat does a number on you. This problem can lead to life-threatening conditions, especially in hotter climates. When you feel over heated find shade and try to come indoors. Apply cool, not cold, cloths to your wrists, the back of your neck and forehead. Lay with your legs elevated, which helps blood circulation. Drink to replenish moisture lost through sweating. Choose water, juice or sports drinks. You can even make your own sports drink. Seek medical help if you or a loved one are showing any of these signs of heat stroke: rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, high body temperature, erratic behavior and/or lack of sweat.

{drinking photo via baking_in_pearls on Flickr}

What summer ailments have you cringing? Tell us about your treatment tips in the comments.

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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