Hooray! Summer is finally here and that means spending time outdoors, going to the beach, sunbathing and enjoying a barbeque. Although summer may be your favourite season because of the great weather and all the fun activities to do outside, there is the potential of sunburns along with insect bites and stings. Many of us find these consistently high temperatures difficult to adjust to and thus it is important to take measures before sun exposure to avoid dehydration, sunburn and even sunstroke.
Below you find some essential homeopathic remedies and other natural aids to use when the days are long and the temperature high. Have fun but play safe!
A day out in the sun often leaves you with bright red skin that is hot to the touch and very sensitive. Severe overexposure can create water-filled blisters and permanent damage. People with very light skin tones and red and blond hair tend to burn the quickest in direct sunlight.
- Cantharis is the first remedy to turn to for sunburn. It’s useful for all sorts of burns including scalds and chemical burns with rawness and smarting. Great remedy for sunburn with blisters. Repeat every half hour if the sunburn is severe.
- Urtica urens is the remedy of choice if the pain after sun exposure has a prickly, stingy or itchy sensation. In fact, if the sensation is of this nature from the beginning, then start with this remedy instead of Cantharis.
- Belladonna is indicated for hot throbbing sunburn, often accompanied with a throbbing headache. Bright red skin.
- Sol – when all else fails, use Sol. The person who needs this remedy sunburns very easily. Ideal for symptoms from severe sunburn. It’s also a great remedy to take before one goes in the sun to prevent skin rashes and headaches.
Topical ointments or tinctures such as Aloe Vera gel, Coconut oil or Calendula tincture are also very helpful to soothe the skin after excessive sun exposure.
Sunstroke / Heat exhaustion
A sunstroke is a serious condition that happens when someone has been in the sun for too long. The body’s cooling mechanism has become overwhelmed, then fails. Symptoms of a sunstroke may include a throbbing headache, dizziness and light-headedness, lack of sweating despite the heat, red, hot and dry skin, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, rapid shallow breathing. The person may feel confused or disorientated. In severe cases a sunstroke can lead to unconsciousness. Seek medical assistance immediately! While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, move sufferer to a cool area, increase ventilation by opening windows or using a fan, and remove any unnecessary clothing. Encourage them to drink water. Gently massage the skin to encourage circulation. Try one of the homeopathic medicines listed below.
- Belladonna – extreme sunburns, hot & red skin, with throbbing headache. Glassy eyes and dilated pupils. Delirious state.
- Gelsemium – overwhelmed by exhaustion. The individual might experience changes in vision and sore muscles. They are drowsy with a headache in back of head, and are not thirsty.
- Glonoinum – sunstroke with violent, bursting headaches, dizziness and mental confusion. The person may also have palpitations, nausea and vomiting.
- Arsenicum album – sunstroke with nausea and vomiting. Restlessness and weakness.
- Lachesis – headaches from sun exposure, especially if they are worse on the left side. Individual feels worse after waking from sleep, Sun headaches with a bursting and throbbing sensation in temples. Feels faint and dizzy.
- Natrum carbonicum – headaches from exposure to sunlight. Headaches in hot weather with nausea.
- Veratrum album – profound prostration. The individual might have fainted or fainted. Face is pale with profuse and clammy sweat, extreme cold and and feet. feeble and rapid pulse.
Keep hydrated! Avoid dehydration, so keep drinking plenty of water. If you get dehydration symptoms after excessive sweating, try the homeopathic remedy China 30c – the No 1 remedy for dehydration. Weakness and listlessness caused by loss of fluids after sweating. It’s also great following diarrhoea and vomiting or failure to drink enough, Coconut water with its natural electrolytes is also great for hydrating after lots of sweating.
Insect Bites & Stings
Homeopathic remedies can be useful for relieving the pain and swelling of insect bites and stings. If a person is allergic to the venom of a stinging insect, or if a bite is from a poisonous spider, emergency medical treatment is needed right away. However, homeopathic remedies can still be used to reduce the early trauma and to help recovery.
- Aconite should be used immediately while symptoms are intense and can be followed by another remedy, as indicated. The person needing Aconite is fearful or panicked about being stung. The pain can be cutting, burning or stabbing, along with swelling, tingling and numbness.
- Apis is a useful remedy if a bite or bee sting causes puffy, tender swelling that is pink or red and hot to the touch. The affected area stings and burns. Cold applications bring relief.
- Cantharis may be indicated if a bite or sting results in intense, scalding and burning pain. The affected area is red and blisters may develop.
- Hypericum is known for its soothing effect on injuries to nerve-rich areas. It is also useful for puncture wounds, including stings and bites. Shooting pains or pains with tingling and numbness characterise the remedy Hypericum.
- Ledum is indicated for swellings that extend some distance from the bite, often with a bluish tinge, a feeling of numbness and aching pain. If the swollen part seems cold, but the application of ice or cold water brings relief, Ledum is strongly indicated.
- Urtica urens is great for reddish blotches that burn and itch intensely (like nettle sting) after an insect bite. It is also useful for hives that sting and itch.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment. Be alert that the individual might be suffering from heat stroke, which is different from heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.
*Note: Please consult a professional homeopath if symptoms are serious and persist.
Ulrike Holzer LSECH MSCH MARH (Registered Homeopath)