Saturday, May 19, 2012

Herbs For Sunburn Relief

Summer is almost upon us, at least for those in the Northern Hemisphere; although this year- for some- it already feels like summer. With the hot summer months come vacations and those lazy days hanging out in the sun in your backyard, or at a park or pool, or on a towel on a sandy beach. Some sun is good, we need daily doses to stock up on our Vitamin D which is a very necessary preventative for many diseases, but too much can create all sorts of health issues from sunburn to skin cancer to premature aging.

The average person only needs about 10 to 20 minutes a day of sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. However, the actual amount needed depends on where you live, and your skin type.  Fair skinned people need far less, maybe a few minutes of midday sun, whereas very dark-skinned people need up to 4 times that amount of sun exposure a day.
So how do we get enough Vitamin D without getting a sunburn?  Using sunscreen actually prevents your body from absorbing Vitamin D, so your best bet is to sit in the sun for however many minutes your body needs to soak up the D and then slather on the UV protection for the rest of your sunbathing day. 
But if you do happen to turn lobster red, like the little girl in the Coppertone ad, there are some natural ways to help relieve pain of sunburn:
Take a cool shower or bath to stop the heating process, then gently rub one of the following into your skin:

ALOE VERA GEL-  soothes and heals the inflammation- cut open a leaf if you have a plant, or apply a store bought gel for relief,

CHAMOMILE TEA-  is great for skin irritations, so boil some tea, cool off and then apply.

GREEN TEA- the quercetin, Vitamin C and antioxidants in green tea help heal the skin. Again, apply cooled off tea to your skin.

WITCH HAZEL- also helps relieve sunburn. Apply with some cotton onto the burned area.

Here are some other home remedies for sunburn.

I have never had the patience to sit in the sun, so have never had to deal with a sunburn, but the above remedies seem relatively harmless.

Remember, if you have a severe sunburn, go see your health practitioner.

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