Summer is the season for being outdoors. But with the outdoors come bug bites, sun burns, and plants that make us itch. For fast relief from itch and pain, try these 2 simple DIY skin-healing recipes.
Brew a strong tea from a mixture of equal parts chamomile, rose petals, calendula, St John's wort, plantain, chickweed and lavender buds. If you're missing a few of these, that's absolutely fine, even using just chamomile on its own would be soothing and skin-healing. Let tea steep until it has cooled, then strain out herbs.
For 1 cup of brewed tea, add 1/2 cup of alcohol-free witch hazel and 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice or gel. Witch hazel is an astringent, meaning it closes our pores. When the pores close, they heal faster. Witch hazel is such a potent healer, it is often the primary ingredient in hemorrhoid formulas! It takes away itching, swelling, redness and burning. You can find witch hazel at most health food stores. Aloe vera is very soothing for the skin and it reduces the amount of time it takes to heal a burn by a third!
A decadent and optional ingredient is to add 1/4 cup of rose water. Rose water is very soothing and cooling for the skin. It removes redness and swelling and helps the skin to heal. Make sure you buy water extracted from rose petals and not rose scented water (a cheaper and less effective version).
Mix all ingredients and pour into a glass or BPA-free plastic bottle with a spray pump. (Your witch hazel or rose water might be sold in just such a bottle for you to reuse!). Store it in the fridge so it's nice and cool when it's sprayed on. Apply on any bites, burns, stings and itches for instant relief! Will keep for at least 6 months.
Itch Be Gone Paste
Mix together dry ingredients: Equal parts zinc oxide, bentonite clay, fine sea salt, baking soda, powdered plantain, powdered chickweed to double the amount powdered oatmeal.
For example, use 1 Tbsp of zinc, clay, salt, baking soda, powdered plantain and chickweed to 2 Tbsp of powdered oatmeal. Use a coffee grinder or dry attachment of a blender to powder the herbs and oatmeal. If your sea salt is course, I'd also grind this so the powder feels very soft when it is applied.
Store dry ingredients in a jar, in a cool dry place.
Zinc oxide is great for taking away itch and has long been used in diaper rash and eczema creams. Clay, sea salt and baking soda are all very effective skin-healers and itch reducers. Plaintain and chickweed are to herbs you can find at a herbal dispensary (or in your yard if you want to forage and dry your own). Chickweed is great for reducing itch and plaintain is a demulcent herb, meaning that it has a gel inside that helps our skin to heal. Oatmeal contains salicylic acid which is very soothing to the skin and helps to heal a number of skin conditions, including rashes and eczema.
When you have an itch, painful blisters, a burn, scrape or other skin boo boo, shake some of your powder into a small bowl and stir in witch hazel or aloe vera juice until you make a thick paste. Cover area with paste and allow to dry.
Instant relief and long-lasting healing!