Do It Your self Herbal Medicine

PART 3. THE REMEDIES

9

COMMON AILMENTS

BUG BITES

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Warm weather brings opportunities for outdoor fun—and drop-ins by unwanted guests: namely, gnats, mosquitos, and other bugs whose bites can leave pain, itching, and swelling behind. In most cases, herbal remedies zap the irritating sting quickly with no lasting harm done. If, however, you suspect that you have been bitten by a tick or notice symptoms of tick-borne illness, seek medical treatment immediately.

Aloe Vera–Peppermint Gel

YIELD: 8 OUNCES
STORAGE: PLASTIC SQUEEZE BOTTLE
TIME: 5 MINUTES

Aloe vera and peppermint combine to take the sting out of bug bites while relieving swelling. Make a batch ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator indefinitely.

1 (8-ounce) bottle alcohol-free aloe vera gel

20 drops peppermint essential oil

1.In a large bowl, add the aloe vera gel and peppermint essential oil, and whisk until well blended.

2.Using a funnel, transfer the gel to a plastic squeeze bottle.

3.With your fingertips, apply a small amount to the affected area.

4.Reapply as needed to keep itching and swelling under control.

Lavender–Tea Tree Spray

YIELD: 4 OUNCES
STORAGE: GLASS BOTTLE WITH SPRAY TOP
TIME: 5 MINUTES

With cool witch hazel extract plus anti-inflammatory lavender essential oil and disinfecting tea tree essential oil, this spray soothes insect bites quickly.

4 ounces alcohol-free witch hazel extract

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops tea tree essential oil

1.In a glass bottle, combine the witch hazel extract, and lavender and tea tree essential oils.

2.Cap tightly with a spray top.

3.Shake well before each use.

4.Spray enough liquid onto the affected area to cover the bug bites.

5.Repeat as necessary to keep discomfort to a minimum. Store in the refrigerator or keep in a cool, dark place between uses.

Soothing Aloe and Calendula Salve

YIELD: ABOUT 1 OUNCE
STORAGE: REFRIGERATE IN SEALED CONTAINER
TIME: 15 MINUTES

Calendula helps stop the itching associated with bug bites by easing inflammation. Aloe and lavender help to heal damaged skin and prevent infection. Before going camping, whip up a batch and keep it in the refrigerator or in a cooler—odds are, you’ll need it!

½ tablespoon calendula oil

½ tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoons aloe vera gel

10 drops lavender essential oil

1.In a small dish, combine the calendula oil and coconut oil.

2.Add the aloe vera gel and the lavender essential oil.

3.Use a small whisk or fork to stir every few minutes until the oils and aloe gel stop separating from one another.

4.Cap tightly and store in the refrigerator.

5.To use, apply a dab onto each bug bite with your fingertip.

6.Use as often as needed. Top with a cold compress to help stop any swelling.