7 Natural Treatments for Bug Bites, Scrapes, Itches & More
by Judy Dutton
For kids, summer comes with the added risk of injury, from scrapes to bug bites to poison ivy. But according to holistic health experts, a bunch of natural treatments can be found right in your own home, and even cobbled together into your own kid-friendly summer first-aid kit. As with anything, of course, you should consult your doctor first to make sure these treatments are right for you. Here are a few worth considering:
Use it for: Itchiness from poison ivy or posion oak
This summer treat can also be rubbed on the skin to relieve itchiness from poison ivy or poison oak. "Watermelon juice permeates the blisters and neutralizes the toxicity of the sap," says Lindsay Christianson, a holistic health coach at Bloom-and-glow.com. Just let the red juices dry naturally and don't wash it off.
Use it for: Bug Bites
Made into a paste with water, baking soda can work wonders applied on bug bites, says Sandy Muran of the California-based health center Longevity Healthcare. The reason? Baking soda's alkalinity neutralizes the PH of your skin, easing inflammation.
Use it for: Sunburn
This plant is a go-to staple for sunburn since it reduces inflammation, says Christianson. If you're using the plant, just cut off a leaf, squeeze out the juice, and apply to the affected area; if you're using an ointment or cream, store it in the fridge so it can cool the skin.
Use it for: Tick removal
If you spot one of these ornery insects half-burrowed into your child's skin, dab the area and tick with a cotton swab of peppermint oil. "Peppermint oil is deadly for ticks because it contains a toxic blocker called octopamine, which causes the insect's central nervous system to break down and die," says Chad Laurence, a corrective chiropractor in Hockessin, Delaware. "Often the head will come up when you place peppermint oil on the skin."
Use it for: Cuts and scrapes
Honey dehydrates bacteria in a wound, making it clean and infection-free. "It needs to be a high quality honey -- generally raw is best because all of the nutrients are intact," says Christianson. Just place a dollop on a sterile gauze and dab the area.
Tea Tree Oil
Use it for: Athlete's foot
Also called Melaleuca Oil, it is a great anti-fungal and antibacterial essential oil can curb athlete's foot, ring worm and other fungal infections, says Amy Paolinelli, cofounder of 3girlsholistic.com. Just combine 5-10 drops of the essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (which also has some anti-fungal properties).
Use it for: Bruises, swelling
Did Junior's little league game leave him with a few bruises or sore muscles? Applying cream made from arnica, a member of the sunflower family, increases white blood cell activity and speeds healing, says Christianson.
Are there any home remedies for your kids that you swear by for summer?
Photo via Jessica Lucia/Flickr