An Herbal Column By– Miss Jess

With the onset of summer, our attention turns toward being outside whenever we can.  This can pose a problem for those of us who have fair complexions.  We are the people who get burned by the strong rays of the sun,  or we are the people who are at high risk for skin cancer.  Whatever the case, there are ways to treat sunburns so that they heal quickly.  The number one item to have on hand is aloe vera.  It is used to rejuvenate the skin and relieve pain and inflammation. It is also great for cuts, abrasions and other skin conditions like eczema.  ( It is also recommended following radiation therapy.)  The other must have is chickweed.  It’s packed with vitamins A and C.  It 
acts as a strong anti-inflammatory.  Aloe is used to cool eczema and sunburn.  It can help speed up the healing process of both.

Your skin is your largest organ. As such, compresses and baths can help cool it down fast.  I might  apply the chickweed as a compress.  
To this you could add chamomile and lavender.  Both of these are good or calming skin conditions.  Peppermint could be added as well.  It 
has been shown to increase the flow of blood to the skin, thus it is cooling.  Rose hips, a natural source of vitamin C, has been proven to help reduce fevers and sooth the skin.  In addition to compresses for the affected area, drinking herbal tea can help speed up the healing of a sunburn.  I’ve read of a few “burn” teas.  Most consist of a combination of any of the following, rose, chamomile, lavender, mint, 
marigold and coriander.

Speaking of tea, remember to keep hydrated if you are going to be outside whether sunny or cloudy.   When we sweat, we can lose a lot  of fluids.  Kathy at Goddess Blessed, makes a great summer refresher 
of various types of mint.  Just snip of some leaves and add them to a carafe of water. I like to leave a pitcher full of assorted herbs out on the patio to make “sun” tea.

Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather whenever you can.  You’ve  got a gardens worth of herbs to help you stay safe when playing out in the sun.

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