Ok, enough with my musical theater reference.
Although I love the above referenced song, I am not so sure I agree. Summer is not easy in our home. When you add up four kids-worth of camps, sports practices, and activities; two businesses worth of responsibilities; and regular summer family excursions it is downright hectic and can become exhausting. We are always both sad and excited when school starts back up. Sad because we usually feel we’ve missed most of the summer fun, and excited to get back to a more “normal” routine.
This year though, we have committed to trying to keep summer sacred. This year, Craig and I both are making a more pronounced effort to shave off more “easy” time with our kids.
We are also preparing to ensure we have everything we may need. We have found natural remedies that work really well (in many cases better than store-bought remedies) for common summer challenges like pesky bugs and sunburns. Here are some of our favorites:
“Get Lost” Bug Spray
We tried quite a few different recipes, and this is the one we have found to work best for us.
In a 4ml spray bottle add:
20 drops repellent blend (I use doTerra’s Terra Shield)
15 drops lemongrass
15 drops peppermint
10 drops cedarwood
(optional, 10 drops lavender)
Fill remainder with your choice of either pure witch hazel, fractionated coconut oil (FCO), or distilled water.
- If you use water, shake well before each use.
- This is natural, so you will need to reapply every 3-6 hours as needed.
- For dogs, the oils in this recipe are considered safe, especially at this dilution.
- For cats, EXCLUDE the peppermint and cedarwood but add the lavender (peppermint is toxic to cats and can cause death if ingested or absorbed through the skin, and cedarwood is listed on the caution list for cats).
- For horses, I have read that it is better to include the lavender and fill with 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 distilled water. Do not spray the mixture too close to horse’s eyes though (peppermint can sting), spray into your hands and then rub around ears and on the neck.
Bug Bite Soothing
Whether it is a mosquito bite or bee sting, just apply lavender to the affected area. If it is a tick bite, it is best to mix Melaleuca and Lavender to ensure it is clean (or use the First Aid Spray below).
First Aid Spray
We took a general first aid spray recipe and added two more oils to make a more well-rounded first aid spray. In a 4 ounce spray bottle, mix:
25 drops lavender
25 drops melaleuca
20 drops frankincense
15 drops helichrysum (optional, but we wouldn’t go without it)
Fill the remainder with fractionated coconut oil
This is what we used to help Craig’s face heal after a traumatic injury (Craig is my husband). It is also what we use for general cuts, scrapes, bruises, and tick bites. Some say this would be OK for minor burns too, but I find Melaleuca to be too drying for burns or very dry skin, so I personally wouldn’t choose it unless I had nothing else.
Sunburn Soothing Spray
Sunburn can make things very uncomfortable. We have found this mixture to be very soothing.
In a 4 ounce spray bottle, mix:
20 drops of lavender
10 drops of frankincense (or 10 more of the Lavender if you don’t have any)
2 tablespoons of pure vitamin E oil
Fill remainder with apple cider vinegar
Shake, then spray onto the sunburned area. If the burn is really bad, we’ve soaked soft cotton fabric in more chilled apple cider vinegar and laid the fabric gently over the burned area (after spraying).
Note: We do not use aloe vera because it can be drying, and because our son is allergic to latex. The outer layer of the aloe plant has a substance with very similar makeup to latex, so he reacts. It makes his skin feel like it’s on fire, which obviously is not what we’re going for when he has a sunburn.
You know those days when you are sitting in your car or outside and even the breeze makes you sweat? When the heat is really heavy and seems like it just won’t break?
You can make your own “cool breeze.”
Just mix peppermint with either water or fractionated coconut oil in a spray bottle, then spritz the back of your neck, belly, lower back, or back of your knees. The peppermint creates a cooling sensation. Even a hot breeze will feel cool when it hits the peppermint on your skin.
You only need about 20 drops in a 4 ounce spray bottle. Just be sure to shake before you spray if you use water to dilute.
Note: Some say that mixing with water will increase the potential of a skin reaction, so if you have sensitive skin, you may want to use the FCO instead. We have never had any problems, even with our kids.
In a 2 ounce spray bottle, mix:
12 drops peppermint
12 drops of your choice of lemongrass, basil, or rosemary
fill remainder with distilled water or fractionated coconut oil
You can spray this into your hands, rub them together, cup your palms around your nose, and take deep breaths; OR spray onto your clothing or in the air around you. Do not use citrus oils because they are photosensitive (if you apply them to your skin and go into the sun you are far more likely to burn and it can discolor the skin).
These are some of our top “must haves” as we start enjoying summertime. What are yours?
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Disclaimer: I am not a Physician. I am a wife, a mom, a certified health coach, and someone who loves learning about natural wellness tools and sharing with others the incredible things I learn through my classes, research, personal experiences, and the experiences of friends and family. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Rather, they are intended to support your body in its efforts to restore balance and maintain health.