by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
It’s that time of year again when people are going on vacations (exotic and local), attending reunions, enjoying barbeques, and playing once more outdoors in the hazy, lazy days of the upcoming summer season. As much fun as this time of year is for many who are sequestered indoors due to climate or ongoing work commitments most of the year, summer-fun can cause a variety of health issues and injuries. Having some things on hand to circumvent or at least alleviate some of these health issues and injuries is a wise plan to consider.
Of course, if you have chronic health problems, take medications, or know for certain anything listed is contraindicated for YOU, then you know to avoid using it. If you aren’t sure, always check with your healthcare team or pharmacist. And if you feel emergency or urgent medical attention is required, seek proper treatment without delay. But if the most you would do is manage the complaint on your own with home remedies or over the counter products, the following support products are good to have available for use.
Food Borne Illness
Whether you are attending a family barbeque at someone’s home, a public park, or tasting cuisine in a foreign country, lack of proper sanitation or food storage, or undercooked food can bring the onset of digestive complaints and food poisoning. Lack of sufficient hydrochloric acid or inadequate enzymes, the first line of defense to consider, can be enhanced by using a digestive enzyme. Good ones to use are Renew Life Digest More or Parazyme. Aside from assisting with the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vegetable fibers, some of the ingredients enhance the body’s ability to ward off food borne pathogens and parasites. Read the labels, choose the best one for YOU, and follow label directions for administration.
Another good product to have on hand for possible food poisoning or food borne illness is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal binds and adsorbs ingested toxins. If, after eating anything that makes you feel ill, nauseous, or you experience other intestinal problems, and you are suspicious of a food borne illness, some activated charcoal may help. Activated charcoal is available in health food stores, some food markets, retail drug stores, and online sites.
Add in a good probiotic such as Kyo-dophilus 9 or Renew Life Ultimate Flora and you stand a better chance of warding off food borne illness.
Aches, pains, strains, & bruises
Participating in the annual family reunion soft ball game, or going on a hike of many miles when the most walking you’ve done all year is from your desk to the office department printer, or doing any physical , strenuous activity when you are used to being sedentary can create a lot of aches and pains. Mild trauma which causes strain or bruising is another frequent occurrence when being more active in the summertime.
Consider having some Epsom Salts, Baking Soda, and essential oil of lavender, clary sage, rosemary, or frankincense (or combinations of these oils) to add to bath water. Soaking for 20 minutes or so can alleviate some of the aches, pains, and muscle spasms from over activity. For bruising, strains and sprains that don’t require formal medical treatment, using Arnica cream over the area of injury can help reduce the swelling and bruising.
If you know you will be in areas where insect bites and stings are a probability, it is best to have a non-toxic insect repellant to use. For years I have used “Bugrepel” water based spray. It is available from www.bugrepel.com in various sizes. It works against multiple biting insects and is safe for adults, children, and pets. It is made of all essential oils and does not contain any DEET. I have recommended this to my clients also. I keep a bottle in my beach bag and if it is a day when flies or other bugs seem to be around and in attack mode, I just spray it directly on my skin, beach chair, and towel and remain undisturbed. It is also great to use if you will be out hiking or in wooded areas for it is also a tick repellent. It is one product that repels over 100 insects and bugs.
Multi-Purpose Travel Kit
Guna Inc. has a Travel Kit which is comprised of products useful for several complaints when travelling. It contains products for bowel issues, immune support, dizziness/ motion sickness, and sleep. The items in the kit are: Guna Bowel, Guna Dizzy, Citomix, Guna Virus, and Guna Sleep. The website for information and to order directly is: www.GunaInc.com . This kit is great to have on hand even if not travelling to foreign countries. But I would definitely have this kit with me if I were planning on being in any remote areas or places where I could not easily get some basic over the counter products. I’ve received many emails over the years from clients in foreign countries with complaints and they are not able to find the help they need locally. So this kit would most definitely be in my suitcase.
Sunburn, Windburn, Dry Skin
Good skincare should be practiced year round. But if exceptionally dry skin from exposure to the elements occurs, or you have mild to moderate sunburn or windburn, then I suggest using emu oil, castor oil, and/or pure aloe vera gel. Each has its own unique benefits. I use all three year round for skin hydration, moisture, texture, firmness and to combat against aging skin. www.Vitacost.com carries Aloe Life Skin Gel, Heritage Products Organic Castor Oil, and several brands of good quality pure emu oil.
Putting 2 cups of pure apple cider vinegar or baking soda in bath water and soaking for 20 minutes can relieve some of the discomfort of sunburn or windburn. So can putting cool compresses over the worst spots using baking soda or apple cider vinegar mixes. However, if the skin is severely blistered or broken, then just use cool water compresses until medically evaluated.
Follow up with healing oils or moisturizers and pat skin dry. Do not rub already damaged skin with harsh cloths, sponges, loofah brushes, or towels.
To prevent sunburn and windburn, use a non-toxic sunscreen, be aware of length of exposure to the elements, use protective clothing or devices to prevent windburn when warranted, or umbrellas if you intend to spend long hours on the beach. Pure coconut oil works as a non-toxic natural sunscreen alone or you can mix it with other ingredients. www.iHerb.com sells Isvara Organics, Coconut Sunscreen that is already mixed with a few other essential oils and sun protectors that are non-toxic.
Whatever your “summer fun” plans are, do your best to prevent problems from starting, stock up on products that are non-toxic and safe to circumvent or at least alleviate any problems that may arise, and enjoy any time of respite communing with nature, family, and friends.
Wishing you health, living your best life, and having your best summer ever.