Did you get too much Sun this Holiday weekend? 

It is the first weekend of summer, officially!  The kids are finished with school and no more early morning alarms for them.  Even when the rest of the house has to get up for work, there is still something calming and relaxing about summer.

Memorial Day weekend kicks it off and it is typically the first weekend most have spent more than 15 minutes in the full sun.  It also means that new brand of sunscreen you wanted to try out, probably didn’t work so well, mainly because you didn’t put it on to start with or you didn’t put it on frequently enough.  Now I do have an opinion on commercially made sunscreens and it’s not a good one.  I think for another blog post we can talk about sunscreens and how to make your own!  For today, let’s just get some natural remedy relief for the sunburn you already have.   

I have quickly learned there are a hand full of herbs and oils that are my “go to” for everything. Interestingly enough, these remedy plants really are adaptogenic and can work magic on so many ailments.  This makes them diverse and a must have for any remedy first aid kit (that sounds like another blog post too). 

When using herbs for sunburns, choose ones that calm inflammation, and those that promote healing. Good choices include elder flower, green and black tea, plantain, comfrey, calendula, lavender, St John’s wort, witch hazel, yarrow and chamomile. This is not a complete and final list of course, but these are a few that I have at home and use for a multitude of things.   

Here is the thing, you have to PREPARE ahead of time for these unexpected situations. Sunburns, cuts, abrasions, bruising, bleeding and more.  This is the difficult part with plant medicine, there is NO EASY BUTTON.  While the remedies are easy to make, and the application is also super simple, you can’t typically just throw a bunch of herbs together in a split second and BAM your better.  You have to prepare them.  You have to speak to them and ask for their help in healing.  You have to mean it!   

For today and your needs for immediate relief, I will give you two recipes to work with. One will help you from this weekend’s festivities the other you will prepare to have on hand for the next time. I believe they both work well, however, I know that switching things up helps heal faster.  

The easiest and quickest to throw together in a pinch I like to call “Spray the burn away”

It consists of essential oils and hydrosol water.   

Spray the burn away 

8oz spray bottle (glass or stainless steel)

½  cup organic, no alcohol Witch Hazel

¼ Cup distilled or true spring water from the source

¼ cup organic aloe vero juice 

5  Drops each of 100% therapeutic grade essential oils (I prefer Young Livingfor a number of reasons, regardless, you have to make sure it’s pure) Essential oils only have to contain 4% of plant material to be called an essential oil.  Thus, most of what is available in the stores have 96% synthetic chemicals making up the difference.  For a fragrance this may be fine, but for healing properties and to use as real remedies, this is a big red flag.  

            Lavender

            Peppermint

I like to keep this in the fridge as the cool spray feels great on burned skin!  Shake well before spraying.  Spray liberally and let it completely dry before covering with clothing. 

It’s also important to use organic to ensure there are no pesticides lingering in the herbs or oils.  This can have a negative effect on your skin and exacerbate the inflammation. 

The next recipe takes a little more prep work, but the results are spectacular.  This too is a spray.  I am partial to sprays for sunburn as it doesn’t hurt like rubbing on a lotion or cream!  

Pint mason jar or other glass jar

16 oz spray bottle

16 oz organic no alcohol Witch Hazel

½ oz plantain leaves

½ oz calendula flower

½ oz yarrow

½ oz thyme 

Mix all herbs and witch hazel in mason jar.  Let macerate for 4-6 weeks, shaking the mixture daily.  After 4-6 weeks, strain out the herbs (I use a fine mess strainer and cheese cloth). 

Bottle the remaining mixture in your spray bottle and keep in the fridge.  This will keep indefinitely.   

As with the “Spray the Burn Away”, spray this on liberally, let dry before putting clothes on. Repeat as often as needed.   

Most of these herbs and oils can be purchased from The Remedy Room at Salt on the Rocks.  The Remedy Room is Huntsville’s only resource for the budding herbalist or those beginning their journey with natural alternatives. It was developed to create an easy environment to begin learning about “nature’s medicine cabinet”.   

Salt on the Rocks can be found at 2350 Whitesburg Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35801.  Contact us at 256-429-9160 or by email at admin@saltontherockshuntsville.com