The upside to summer is more time spent outside.

The downside is increased exposure to outdoor irritants and allergens, like biting insects, poisonous plants, and skin-damaging sunburns. Here are 4 all-natural remedies to keep on hand that will help you and your family maximize fun in the sun!

1. Clay and Mint

Healing from poison oak and poison ivy is a slow process, but a simple homemade paste can help calm the itch and inflammation while you wait. Bentonite clay powder mixed with a few drops of mint essential oil will both sooth and cool your rash for a few hours. Check this out for more about the power of bentonite clay and how to create a quick 5-minute poultice at home.

2. Oats

Prickly heat is the name for a red rash with blisters that develops with the sweat ducts are blocked. An easy go-to natural remedy for heat rash is a cool oatmeal bath. When applied topically, oatmeal is anti-inflammatory and soothing. Fill your tub with cool water and add one cup of finely ground oatmeal powder. A coffee grinder or blender can help you achieve the finely ground quality if you only have whole oats at home.

3. Baking Soda

Summertime is bee season! Bee venom is highly acidic, so the best way to treat it is with something extremely basic. Apply a simple paste of baking soda and water to a bee sting for 15 minutes and watch how quickly the sting loses its zing.

4. Herbal Salve

While exploring hiking trails, campgrounds, or even just your backyard, kids (and adults!) can come back with all matter of scrapes. A small tin of herbal salve can speed up the healing time of surface skin wounds. Look for comfrey, calendula, or plantain salves. Or if you like homemade remedies, a simple google search for DIY Herbal Salve will give you direction on how to make your own.

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