It’s time for us herbalists to evaluate our apothecaries and make sure we have our herbal remedies for summer on hand! Here are a few herbal remedies I recommend keeping in stock this Summer, separated by use!
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Please keep in mind that this post is not medical advice. If you have a medical concern, speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional to ensure your safety!
Lacerations, Burns, Stings, and Other Skin Irritations
- Aloe Vera – keep a plant happy and healthy to always have this soothing ingredient on hand! It is a cooling, mucilaginous plant perfect for treating burns, both from the sun and from the stove (after being treated with cool water and necessary medical attention in bad cases).
- Calendula – this skin-soothing herb is antimicrobial, and a great addition to salves, soaks, and compresses for wounds and burns. It can also reduce the itchiness and inflammation associated with bug bites and stings.
- Colloidal Oats – for anyone with sensitive skin, especially for those of us that are prone to rolling around in freshly cut grass, colloidal oats is a must have. After a long day of gardening, playing outside, and smacking off mosquitoes, colloidal oats make a wonderful bath soak.
- Comfrey – Comfrey is essential in my compresses for quick wound healing. It’s rich in allantoin, a phytocomponent that can help speed up the healing process.
- St. John’s Wort – while it can be photosensitizing and should be used with sunscreen, St. John’s Wort is a powerful herbal remedy for burns and wounds.
- Colloidal Silver – Burns benefit especially well from short term colloidal silver use. It can help reduce healing time and improve the appearance of scars before they happen.
- Jewelweed – if you’ve ever had a traumatic encounter with poison ivy, keeping a jewelweed plant on your property will help soothe those fears. Not only is it a great remedy for poison ivy, it’s also a beautiful native plant in the U.S. to host on your land!
- Plantain – this herb has a range of uses including pain reduction from bug bites and stings, poison ivy relief, and itchy rashes. This is another plant you benefit most from when fresh, and is also native to the U.S.!
- Yarrow – keep yarrow on hand as a great blood clotting styptic and antimicrobial herb. It’s an excellent first aid herb to be familiar with.
- Lemon Balm – Lemon balm and other aromatic plants such as lavender, citronella, and mint can sometimes help prevent bug bites from mosquitoes and other insects who are naturally averse to their scents.
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – Lemon Eucalyptus is a type of Eucalyptus that can be used as a natural tick and insect repellent. While not as effective as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus with additional para-menthane-3,8-diol enriched into it (read more about OLE here), Lemon Eucalyptus is a good way to gently repel mosquitoes on your person.
Bruises, Sprains, Strains, and Breaks
- Arnica – I love using arnica for sensitized skin as well as bruises and muscle pain. It does an excellent job improving the symptoms and appearance of bruises!
- Boneset – while I haven’t seen a ton of official research using this herb, I have personal experience with its gentle bone-healing benefits! It’s definitely worth keeping around for compresses and teas, especially for breaks in hard-to-set areas like the feet and hands. It is also great for pesky summertime colds with feverish symptoms.
- Comfrey – similar to boneset, comfrey can be used as a compress to help speed up the healing process of broken, sprained, and strained areas of the body.
- Ginger – infusing ginger into oil is a great way to keep it on hand. It offers a way to soothe worn out muscles and achey joints, which summertime activities tend to bring about.
Summer Colds & Allergies
- Sage – a must-have for sore, scratchy throats. I keep sage leaf on hand year-round.
- Yarrow – an antipyretic like yarrow is always good to have on hand for when fevers get a bit too high. Always call a doctor if a fever reaches 103 F, and a hospital if it starts to rise past this, especially in children.
- Ginger – summer influenza can sometimes come with tummy aches. Ginger can help reduce nausea in various preparations.
- White Willow Bark – this herb has a similar component as the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, called salicin. This ingredient can help soothe minor aches and pains, from headaches to menstrual cramps, and is much gentler on the stomach than its pharmaceutical counterparts.
- Mullein – perfect for dry coughs, Mullein is a great herb for lung health. Saponins in mullein hydrate lung cells and help the body expel mucus. Mullein is especially good for anyone suffering form asthma, especially if Summer tends to exacerbate their symptoms.
- Turmeric – a natural antihistamine, turmeric is perfect for reducing inflammation in the body from allergies. Pair it with freshly ground black pepper for a boost in curcumin (a major component in turmeric) effectiveness.
- Stinging Nettle – thanks to its ability to help regulate mast cells, stinging nettle can be a great help for those suffering with allergies and autoimmune disorders like eczema.
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