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Last Updated: Jun 7th, 2011 - 13:02:30 

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Make use of Mother Nature-First Aid Kit this summer
By Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.
Jun 7, 2011, 1:02pm

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From Natural News

(NaturalNews) Who can resist summer's siren call, beckoning us to the great outdoors? When you commune with Mother Nature, you may encounter more on your outings than expected. From angry insect stings to a sunburned skin, it is a good idea to BE prepared.

Bruises are the result of life and are not life threatening, but they are not very attractive either. Here are some ways to minimize this common occurrence.

First, apply an ice pack to the area for thirty to sixty minutes. Afterward, soak a gauze or cotton pad in witch hazel, and then apply witch hazel to the area.

Daily doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoid promote faster healing. Furthermore, vitamin K and zinc each day can speed up bruised skin repair. (NOTE: If you bruise easily and frequently, consult a physician.)

From carelessness at campfires to run-ins with BBQ grills, burns are bad news. A burn that is painful and red, which does not blister, is generally considered first degree. Blistering occurs with second-degree burns. Third-degree burns indicated by several layers of skin are charred to either black or white. Second-and third-degree burns both require professional medical attention.

For minor first-degree burns, soak the affected area in cold water, without applying ice, butter or oil on this type of burn. After, dry the skin and treat the burn with an antibacterial agent. Use Honey or St. John's wort to heal first-degree burns. Cover the skin with gauze to keep clean. Later, apply aloe vera lotion or vitamin E oil to minimize scarring. Supplements can help burns heal: beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.

An occasional cut, insect bite, or sting is almost inevitable during summer activities. To treat cuts, try honey, St. John's wort cream, or tea tree oil. Cotton or gauze soaked in calendula tea is another option.

For bee stings, begin by using a sharp-edged knife to scrape out the stinger. Try to avoid pulling it out, since that method may squeeze it and release more toxins into the body. To relieve pain and inflammation, take calcium and vitamin C with bioflavonoids for a day or two. Applying vitamin C cream topically can also be helpful.

After a bee sting occurs, it is very important to watch for allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing, which can happen to people or pets hours after the sting occurs. If such symptoms develop, seek emergency medical treatment.

It only takes one case of poison oak to convince most people to stay away from these skin-irritating plants. For people who are sensitive to urushiol, an oil found in the plants, the slightest contact can result in a painful itching rash. A soapy shower directly after eliminates the itch. Also apply Aloe vera or Vitamin E oil. Internally, the natural antihistamines in vitamin C and bioflavonoids decrease swelling.

For sunburn relief apply ice cubes directly until melted, then pat dry and apply aloe vera lotion. You can also apply cooled black tea, Vitamin E, vitamin C, calendula, comfrey or zinc oxide ointment. If the skin is extremely painful, fill a spray bottle with 2 spoons of vitamin C powder. Then mix with one-half cup aloe vera liquid and spray on skin.

With a little care and planning, many summer hazards can be avoided. But when an injury occurs, natural remedies may be your best bet for summer first-aid as well as year round relief for minor injuries. (Note: Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take any herbs or large doses of vitamins, minerals or other nutraceuticals without consulting a health care practitioner).

The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines by Siegrid Klein, Robert Rister and Chance Riggins. American Botanical Council, 1998.

Totonchi A, Guyuron B. randomized, controlled comparison between arnica and steroids in the management of postrhinoplasty ecchymosis and edema. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2007 Jul;120(1):271-4.

Schneider C, Schneider B, Hanisch J, van Haselen R. The role of a homeopathic preparation compared with conventional therapy in the treatment of injuries: an observational cohort study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2008 Feb;16(1):22-7.

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