Whether you are venturing outdoors, or tending to your garden, having these natural supports handy makes it easier to manage minor issues at home. Stay safe this summer!
1. Coconut Oil
In the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the coconut (Cocos nucifera) is said to nourish the body, increase strength, and promote beautiful hair and skin. Coconut oil is the oil base for herbal infusions. About 50% of the fatty acid naturally occurring in coconut oil is called lauric acid, which converts into monolaurin, an antiviral, antibacterial compound.
Due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil is great to apply to chapped lips, minor burns and cold sores.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is commonly used as an external support for cuts, wounds and especially itching and irritation. It contains vitamin C, saponins, coumarins, triterpenoids, flavonoids. It can also support inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Chickweed poultice has been used in ancient times to treat leg ulcers and arthritis.
Chickweed is a vulnerary, which are herbs that can be used in healing wounds and reducing inflammation. Chickweed has wide application in soothing minor burns, lesions, acne, wounds, eczema, psoriasis, insect bites, and gout. Check out Finlandia’s chickweed cream here.
This blend of essential oils are traditionally used to deter insects in swamp areas and it’s balanced to the skin’s natural pH level to enforce the acid mantle of our skin. This spray is great to have on hand before you venture outdoors, or you can spray on insect bites to help reduce post-bite inflammation.
4. Nettle Tea
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is great to keep on hand to arm your immune system against seasonal allergies. Nettle contains natural histamine, which helps to strengthen the body’s immune response. It’s also highly nutritive, providing vitamin C and quercetin which provide natural antihistamine benefits. Nettle is also rich in flavonoids, which help to reduce overall inflammation in the body.
5. Ginger Capsules
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) (940mg dried ginger powder) has shown to help with motion sickness when compared to Dramamine, an OTC for motion sickness. Ginger provides support for the digestive system by reducing intestinal spasms and gas. Ginger (5g fresh or 1g powdered) also contains gingerol, an anti-inflammatory compound that has proven to reduce arthritic symptoms and muscular discomfort. When compared to ibuprofen (400mg), 500mg powdered ginger has demonstrated promising results in reducing pain and inflammation.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) has been cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses in the Mediterreanean for thousands of years. The volatile oils contain thymol and carvacrol, which contributes to its amazing antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. To help ease nasal congestion, add 3-5 drops of oregano oil to a steaming bowl of water. The steam helps to break up mucus and also inhibit fungal infection. To reduce symptoms of sore throat, add 2 drops of oil of oregano in a glass of water and gargle a few times a day.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil provides strong antimicrobial properties thanks to its high terpinen-4-ol content (up to 45%). This compound helps to inhibit fungal growth which makes tea tree oil handy to have for athlete's foot or other fungal infections. Tea tree oil can also help to unclog pores by removing trapped dead skin cells and bacteria, which can help to reduce acne and scars. Be careful using undiluted tea tree oilcan sting badly. You can purchase a pre-diluted tea tree oil or add a few drops in a carrier oil/agent such as coconut oil or aloe vera gel.
8. Arnica Gel
Arnica (Arnica montana) gel is amazing to have for local healing thanks to its anti-inflammatory and vulnerary actions. Arnica helps to reduce pain through the immune system by stimulating phagocytosis to encourage healing. Arnica gel is a must have for all cases of pain such as nerve pain, insect bites, sprain and bruises, arthritic pain, sore muscles as long as the skin is not broken.
9. Aloe Vera
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis) is amazing for internal and external uses. Aloe vera gel contains compounds such as anthraquinone that has a laxative effect for occasional constipation. Aloe leaves are filled with soothing mucilage that provides soothing and healing effects for the digestive tract and the skin. Aloe gel can be applied to psoriasis, sunburn and dry hands from frequent hand-washing.
Apple cider vinegar is an amazing versatile ingredient for digestion, cleaning and washing fruits and vegetables thanks to the antifungal property of the naturally occurring acids. Dilute 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in about ½ cup of water to help stimulate digestion before meals. You can also gargle using the same dilution to help freshen breath.
For occasional bloating and sluggishness after
BBQ, consider a digestive enzyme instead of TUMS. Enzymes can help your
digestion by breaking down large molecules of nutrients into smaller molecules
that are easier to absorb.
Probiotics are also important to have to arm the digestive system against harmful bacteria and help with breaking down food into nutrients.
Lavender (Lavender angustifolia) derives from the Latin word lavare, means to wash. It has been used as a wound treatment for ancient warriors. You can apply lavender essential oil on minor cuts and bruises because it contains terpinen-4-ol that disinfects, camphor that helps reduce inflammation and swelling, and linalool that helps soothe the nervous system.
Tahlia Sage (C.N. P, BSc. Food, Nutrition & Health) is the founder of Tahlia Sage Wellness and a partner of Healing House Natural Wellness, and instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
Her coaching practice helps clients achieve their wellness goals by embracing functional foods and healthy lifestyle changes. Tahlia’s own health challenges and weight issues prompted her to pursue an education in nutritional science and holistic nutrition. Tahlia empowers her clients to regain balance with easy, concrete steps.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for information purpose only, please seek medical advice in case of injury or illness. Have a safe summer!