North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Creating your natural first-aid kit


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Tea tree oil and witch hazel are both good treatments for bug bites.

With summer in full swing and the sun out you might be noticing a few different ailments we don't see in other times of the year like bug bites, dehydration and sun burns. We also tend to get more active in the summer which can lead to sore muscles, bumps and bruises. Before you reach for your first aid kit try adding some items to your natural first aid kit.

Sun Protection: We hear a lot of conflicting information on sun screen. Some are said to be healthy, some full of cancer-causing chemicals. If you are unsure, then buying a more natural cream is best. Prepping for summer or a sunny vacation can be done in the kitchen too. Many fruits and veggies such as citrus fruits, carrots and green tea can boost your skins ability to stay protected from the sun. You can also avoid the sun screen when possible by wearing sun hats and sun clothing and taking shady breaks from the direct sun.

Sun Burns: Sometimes a sun burn is unavoidable. If you do get burned first start by increasing your water intake, remember we have literally burned our skin. To treat the burn itself try some witch hazel on a cotton round or cloth to smooth over the skin. Apple cider vinegar, plain yogurt and of course traditional aloe vera gel are all good options as well.

Bug Bites: Stop scratching. It's hard, but scratching the bites can cause bacteria to get into other bites and lead to infection. A great solution is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil can take the sting out of the bite. You can also use tea tree oil in your shampoo to clarify and tone as well as a foot bath to get your toes ready for summer. Using witch hazel is another great solution for bug bites. The herb Plantain is a good remedy for Poison Ivy or scrapes as well. You can mix it with some water and put right on the bite or rash.

Scrapes, Burns or Cuts: Calendula cream is great for a burn and to promote healing. You can buy it in cream form and put it on scrapes, burns and cuts. Colloidal silver is a great option to use on cuts or scrapes that need healing. You can also drop it in the eye to alleviate sore or red eyes. If you have a cut or are bleeding, the herb Yarrow is a good to help stop the bleeding. Use it with some water or in an ointment directly on the cut. You can also mix it in a bath to treat multiple cuts and scrapes.

Sore Muscles: Arnica is a good solution for inflammation if you sprain an ankle, get a bump or bruise or have muscle pain after a long summer hike. If you have a small bruise rub some cream on it, but if you have more inflammation take it in the pellet form (small pills) also.

Hopefully you can add a few more natural remedies to your first aid kit this summer and have a safe and fun summer.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville. She can be reached online at


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