Surviving summer--- natural home remedies

Summer heat triggers a surprising variety of ailments. Here are some natural home remedies that spell relief.

Athlete's foot
Soothe skin and clear infection by putting 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in a bowl of cool water and soak your feet for 10 minutes twice daily. Apply tea tree oil directly to the affected area.

Bites and stings
Apply one drop of peppermint oil directly to the bite. Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Or, make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and a little water and apply that.

Heat exhaustion
Give sips of ginger tea, or place a few drops of rosemary oil on a tissue and inhale it. Acupressure can help you stop feeling faint: Press firmly between the base of the nose and the upper lip, for 1 minute. Take Siberian ginseng - this herb helps the body adapt more easily to extremes in temperature.

Prickly heat
Try an oatmeal bath: Grind dry rolled oats into a very fine powder in a blender, and add 2 cups to a bath of lukewarm water. Don't rinse off, simply pat skin dry. Another idea is to chill wet chamomile tea bags in the fridge, then place them on the inflamed skin. Chamomile contains an oil called azulene, which has very effective anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and pain-relieving properties.

Sore eyes
Chlorine, salt water and hot winds play havoc with your eyes. Add 4 drops of lavender essential oils to a cup of spring water and mix well. Soak two cotton wool pads in the liquid, squeeze out the excess water and place a pad over each eye, then lie down with feet elevated higher than your head.

Cool down by soaking in a tub of tepid water for 15 minutes. Adding a cup of bicarbonate of soda or 500 ml of strong black tea to the bathwater will help. Avoid soap. Drink plenty of liquids - your body needs all the moisture it can get. Then smooth on a light moisturiser containing vitamin E or aloe vera. Some people get relief from thin slices of raw cucumber or tomato - they feel cool and help reduce inflammation on small areas, like the nose or tips of the ears. Plain yoghurt is also soothing - pat lightly on all suburned areas, then rinse off in a cool shower.

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