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Poison ivy and other summer rashes

By Perry T. Hopkins (Naturopath, TBWP)

Most of us are familiar with the things in summertime that get under our skin. Bug bites can be itchy and frustrating and last a short time. Others may suffer scratches from berry bushes and brush that might infect the outer layer of the skin. Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Sumac, and stinging nettles are probably the harshest of these things that get under our skin. With their rashes that last up to four weeks or more, the chronic itching and sometimes the loss of joint range of motion from these lovely plants can hamper our summertime fun. We all have different remedies we use to help relieve the symptoms or discomforts.

Here are a few precautions one can take to avoid the onset of the above mentioned skin irritations:

*After being out in the woods or areas that may have irritating plants, bugs, brush, or thorns, take a hot shower with extra soap. Hot showers can help remove the histamines before the itching sets in.

*Applying a natural witch hazel to the skin when out in the woods and when first leaving the woods can help prevent the onset of infections and start the healing from bug bites, scrapes, scratches, and skin contamination.

*Taking the homeopathic Rhus Tox a couple days before going in the woods and just afterwards is like an immunization action towards poison ivy and some other rash causing plants.

Here are a few tips for a faster recovery after you have the rash, bites, or scrapes.

*Witch hazel helps heal up open sores.

*The homeopathic Calendula can be applied as a cream to the skin to rejuvenate and heal.

*The homeopathic Rhus Tox helps with skin rashes especially from Poison Ivy. It also helps with joint aches and pains that get better from movement.

*The essential oils of tea tree, lavender, geranium, roman chamomile, rose, melissa, rosewood, and palmarosa can help with recovery of most summertime hazards; bug bites, rashes, scrapes, and most often sun burns too. Just don’t apply the oils and go back out in the sun as it will attract the sunlight and may cause additional sunburn.

*Aloe Vera is one of the top 15 herbal antibiotics and works great for skin healing, and is soothing to most burns, scratches, bites, and rashes.

*Paste made from baking soda and water can be applied topically to help reduce acidicness and reduce inflammation.

*Drink plenty of water to help flush out the toxin from the inside of the body.

*Eat more fruits and vegetables with less starches and proteins so the immune system is stronger.

*Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids help the immune system in healing and fighting infections.

*Vitamin A / Beta-Carotene help heal and build new tissue as well as boost the immune system.

*Chlorophyll can help the body replenish fresh blood faster speeding up any kind of healing the body needs to do.

*Salves, lotions, oils, waters, vinegars, or teas made with the herbs Calendula (marigolds), Melissa (Lemon Balm), Lavender flowers, nettle leaf, jewel weed, Echinacea, melaleuca, eucalyptus leaf, peppermint, spearmint, and/or rose petals applied to the skin may show great benefit for comfort and faster healing.

*Taking Garlic and Echinacea internally may help boost the immune system and reduce the chance of getting infections as well as speeding up healing.

*Healthy eating and lots of water is the key to most health issues.

Enjoy what’s left of your your summer everyone! Health and happiness!

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