Home Remedies for Sun Exposure

Photo by Sadananda

Photo by Sadananda

According to Ayurveda, sunbathing is good for health. However, it is best to bathe in the morning before 10 a.m. to get the best benefit from the sun's rays. If you must go out in the sun later than this, it is traditional to apply some coconut oil to your skin. You can also make your own medicated sun oil. Use 4 tablespoons each of Sandalwood, Manjista, neem and Shatavari. Add 4 cups of water and cook the water down to a cup. Add a cup of coconut oil and slowly cook until all the water has evaporated.

Keep your head covered and be especially careful if you have a bald spot. If you get burned, cucumber is a great remedy. Blend the cucumber and apply the pulp to the burned area. The cool astringency of cucumber will heal all but the worst burns. Aloe Vera is another well known burn remedy that comes from Ayurvedic tradition. For sun-damaged skin, you can make a medicated ghee (vegans can use coconut oil). Use 4 tablespoons each of sandalwood, manjista, neem and turmeric. Add 4 cups of water and cook the water down to a cup. Add a cup of ghee and slowly cook until all the water has evaporated. This medicated ghee can be applied to sun-damaged skin. If the damage does not clear up, see a dermatologist.

The following home remedies are also great for mild sunstroke, also known as "a touch of sun".

Drink plenty of Rehydration Tea. Recipe: 1 quart of filtered or spring water, 1/4 cup Mint, 1/6 cup Gotu Kola/ Brahmi, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 small squeeze lime.

Take 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel three times daily.

Apply sandalwood oil to the temples and navel.

If you have a headache, lie down in a room with the shades drawn and place a cool cloth on your forehead.

Prevention is better than cure. Wear a straw hat, drink plenty of room temperature water and cool mint tea. If you must do physical labor on hot days, try to start early and take a long lunch break.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Home remedies for bites and stings

Brown Recluse Bites

As soon as you get bitten, apply a paste of clay and turmeric to the bite. Although yellow Ganges mud is the traditional remedy, Bentonite clay is also effective. Ordinary turmeric powder from the Indian grocery or supermarket is better than nothing, but has been stripped of many of its curcumins (active ingredients). Either use organic turmeric powder from your local natural foods store, or buy whole dried turmeric from the Indian grocery store and powder it with a mortar and pestle. Better still, use grated or pulped fresh turmeric root, available at Whole Foods or at good Indian grocery stores. Apply the poultice twice a day until your bite is completely healed. Turmeric will stain your skin yellow, but in a few days it will wear off.

What to do if you don't start the remedy right away:

In this case, your bite may have become severe, with swelling or ulceration. If any of your skin looks black, seek medical help. Necrosis (tissue death) can result from these bites, or a MRSA staph infection can be mistaken for a spider bite. If no blackening or ulcerationhas developed, apply the paste as above two or three times daily. Also drink turmeric tea made from 2 tsp. of grated fresh turmeric per cup of water or 1 tsp. organic or freshly grated turmeric powder per cup. Drink this tea three times daily. A patient of mine juiced fresh turmeric and drank the juice three times daily, using a straw to avoid staining his teeth yellow. You should see a steady improvement every time you apply the poultice. If your bite continues to get worse, or stays the same, without improving, go to the hospital. CAUTION!! If you are pregnant, DO NOT drink turmeric tea.

Bee stings

The above selfcare remedy works well with bee stings. Be sure to drink the turmeric tea as well as using the poultice.

Wasp and hornet stings

I have used this remedy successfully for a terrible hornet sting. Again, it is important to drink the tea as well as apply the poultice, if you have a severe sting.

Ant Bite

You can use the same poultice effectively on ant bites. If you have no clay available, a simple paste of turmeric and water will really help the pain, redness and swelling.

Black Widow Spider Bite

If you apply the clay and turmeric poultice immediately after you are bitten by the spider, it will draw out some of the poison, causing you to have a less severe systemic reaction to the bite. I have been bitten, and had the experience!

ALWAYS keep some medicinal turmeric on hand, both at home and in your backpacking First Aid kit.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Peppermint Home Remedies

Peppermint Home Remedies

Peppermint was a favourite home remedy when I was a child in Britain, even though we were unaware of its Ayurvedic properties. My siblings and I all suffered from motion sickness, for which the remedy of choice was sucking on Polo Mints. And our school nurse dispensed peppermint water for everything from stomachaches to headaches to fainting fits to menstrual cramps—and it usually worked! Here are some Ayurvedic peppermint home remedies. 

Read More