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HERBS FOR SPRING & SUMMER
© Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved.
It's that time of year when we're all outside having fun - but occasionally with that great time we're having also come bug bites, sunburns & the minor injuries of our outdoor enthusiasms. Here are some helpful, natural remedies for the summertime blues:
For POISON OAK blend one ounce each of dried witchhazel leaves, white oak bark, mugwort, burdock root, yellowdock and dandelion leaves together. Simmer on very low for ten minutes in two quarts of water. Turn your mixture off and let it sit overnight. Strain & bottle. Wash affected area several times a day to relieve itch and heal infection.
For POISON IVY you can use equal parts buttermilk and apple cider vinegar as a thin poultice on the skin or place the inside of a banana skin on affected area. Fresh orange impatiens works well to dry up poison ivy blisters. Break the stems then squeeze the juice onto the area and let dry.
INSECT BITES can certainly be irritating as well. For BEE STINGS, pluck the stinger out, being careful not to squeeze the stinger as it will release more poison into your skin. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply to the sting site and let it dry on the skin. If you have fresh chrysanthemum flowers, pluck the petals and apply them to the area. For WASP STINGS, wash the site then apply cajeput oil. For SPIDER BITES, steep ½ ounce each wormwood, clary sage and rue in ½ cup of olive oil in a wide mouth jar. Let mixture sit ten days in the sun, shaking daily. Strain and store for application to bite area. For MOSQUITO BITES, make a paste of ¼ cup cornstarch, juice of one lemon and one teaspoon witchhazel astringent. Apply to the bite to relieve itching and swelling.
To repel FLIES, use straight onion juice or make a mixture of one dram sassafras oil and one dram eucalyptus oil added to four ounces of rubbing alcohol and five ounces of water. Mix and apply to the skin of both humans and animals. To repel MOSQUITOS you can apply citronella oil directly to the skin. Pennyroyal oil works very well, too, but should never be used by pregnant women (and you should know it can also bring on your menses - even midcycle). If you have an infestation of ANTS in your kitchen, sprinkle cinnamon chips under the floor cabinets and by doors. It confuses their sense of smell and direction so they can't go back out & tell all their ant friends where your goodies are!
© Copyright 2005 Karen Charboneau-Harrison, All Rights Reserved.