Recipes to Help You Manage the Summer

Summer is here and for many that means dealing with insects, insect bites, sunburns, and minor cuts and abrasions resulting from being outside a lot, enjoying the weather. So here are a variety of recipes to help you manage the inconveniences of being drawn to nature!


1 cup aloe vera gel 1 cup yogurt (plain) 1 cup vinegar (apple cider)

Mix all of these ingredients together in a jar and keep in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. Use on sunburned skin once an hour for the first three hours after a burn to provide relief. Make sure to keep away from eyes and nostrils.
10 drops lavender essential oil 5 drops chamomile essential oil (Roman) 2 drops geranium essential oil
2 oz apricot seed oil
2 ounces sweet almond oil
Mix all of the ingredients together and gently rub over sunburned skin. This is also very good to use when you want to replace moisture taken from sun exposure. Try adding one tablespoon of this mixture to your bath, for over all soothing, cooling and healing. This mixture will help to reduce peeling, but if you do peel, keep in mind that your body is ridding itself of damaged layer of skin and healing. This mixture will also help to stop the itching, which is often a sign of healing.

1/4 cup tea- tree tincture* 1 cup witch hazel
Mix together and place in a dark, glass or plastic bottle, one with a spray pump will be quite handy. Store in a cool, dark place and it will keep from eight to twelve months. This is a great recipe to always have handy for those times when you get a scrape or abrasion. As a matter of fact, I always packed this in our camping kit.
Wash minor cuts and abrasions first, then spray or dab this on. It may burn a bit, but better to suffer a tad now than get infected!
* A tincture is alcohol and herbs/flowers combined. The alcohol is used to pull the essential oil from the herb/flower and to suspend it there for later use. While you can make your own tincture with 90 proof vodka, fresh herbs/flowers and a few months of wait time, it is quite a bit simpler to purchase tea-tree tincture in your local health food store. If, however you'd like to give it a go, all you need to do is bruise about six tea-tree leaves and push them into a bottle of 3/4 cup of 90 proof vodka or other low smell, 90 proof alcohol. Shake the bottle vigorously, then place it in a cool, dark place. Once a week shake the bottle for about a minute. After two months, strain the liquid, throwing away the plant material and retaining the liquid. This tincture should remain good for about a year.
This rash relief formula is quite easy. Just add the following ingredients to your favorite unscented, uncolored lotion.
1/2 tsp. chamomile tincture*
1/2 tsp evening primrose oil
4 drops stinging nettle tincture
Mix the tinctures and oil together, the mix with an equal amount of lotion. Rub mixture over the rash, leave on for one hour, then wash off with tepid water. Of course if the rash persists or if you run a temperature with the rash, you should see your physician.
*As noted in the previous recipe, you can purchase tinctures at your local health food store, or you can make your own, whichever you prefer.

1/2 cup eucalyptus leaves
1 1/2 cups cedar wood shavings
3 cups rubbing alcohol

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl or jar. Cover and let stand 5 days. Strain the solid ingredients out and save the remaining liquid. Store tightly sealed. To use, pour into a small spray bottle and spray lightly on skin.

Here are three remedies for AFTER you are bitten by insects.
  • When bitten by a mosquito or black fly, place one drop of lavender essential oil directly on the bite. But only use this directly on the skin if you know for certain that you do not have a sensitivity to lavender. If you do not know this, add 2 drops to one teaspoon of oil and, after mixing, rub a small amount of oil into your skin, at the inside of your elbow. If it itches or turns red, wash off with soap and water and do not use lavender again in any form. If it doesnt bother you, cover with a band aide and wait 24 hours. Then uncover and check skin. If there is not redness, swelling or irritation, then you are good to use the essential oil. *Know that some people still do not recommend the use of lavender directly on the skin, as sensitivities can build, change, and develop when you least expect them.  
  • For multiple bites, take 1 cup of vinegar (apple cider) and mix with 10 drops of essential oil of lavender and 5 drops of essential oil of thyme. Blend well and add to a tub of tepid bath water. Pour mixture into the tub and swish to mix well before putting yourself or your child into the tub. Soak a washcloth or a sponge in the water and then use it to liberally wipe down the body areas affected by bites. Make sure to keep this water away from the eyes.
  • Take 1/4 cup sweet oil and mix in 5 drops each of eucalyptus, thyme, chamomile, and oregano essential oils (you may substitute oregano extract if you'd prefer), This bug bite soother recipe will last about 6 months, so you can have a bottle on hand all summer long!

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