Summer 09: Bugs, Bites, Burns…OH MY!

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The season full of “fun and sun” are upon us but so are the unfortunate sunburns and bug bites! Have you wondered what natural remedies are in your home to cure the complaints? Here are a few for sunburns:

1. Apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to sunburn by cottenball..

2. Apply mayonnaise as a skin cream to sunburn.

 3. Apply peanut oil to sunburned area(s).

 4. Apply thin slices of cold cucumbers, apples, or potato directly to the skin.

 5 Apply cold, plain yogurt then rinse with cool water.

Our contemporary contribution for bug repellent is DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), a powerful insecticide found in over 400 repellents.  DEET can peel paint, damage rayon and spandex, and melt plastic.  Up to 56 percent of DEET applied to the skin enters the bloodstream, and reactions to it include skin rashes, lethargy, muscle spasms, nausea, and irritability. It’s hardly worth using DEET to deter insects unless you’re someplace with high rates of insect-borne disease or you experience severe allergic reactions to bites and stings. (

There are natural alternatives to DEET, made primarily from plant essential oils, which can protect you in less threatening circumstances.  Look for products containing any of the following: lavender, eucalyptus citriodera, litsea cubeba, geranium, rosemary, peppermint, cedar, and/or tea tree oil. For more information on properties of essential oils, go to and click on “Learn About-Plant Oils” button.