Texas Living

DIY Defense: First-Aid Home Remedies

By Kristy Alpert 7.26.17

Ready for an adventure under the biggest star in the Lone Star State — the sun? From camping and tubing the river, to backyard barbecues and lazy days by the pool, these fun-in-the-sun days may end up leaving us burnt, scraped, and in need of relief. Aside from having quality health insurance, the next line of defense is a well-stocked first aid kit or medicine cabinet.

While over-the-counter salves and creams from pharmacies and grocery stores may be convenient, they also come at a cost — to your wallet and your body.

According to research from the Environmental Working Group, one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products are hazardous industrial chemicals, many of which are better suited for car maintenance than body protection and first aid.

Fortunately, using all-natural remedies all summer long doesn’t mean forgoing skin care altogether — it’s easy to whip up some natural and safe products at home that are equally as effective as their over-the-counter counterparts. Protect your family’s skin this summer with the following first aid home remedies for burns, scrapes, and cuts.

Heal Cuts and Scrapes

Heal scrapes and cuts with lavender essential oil or a few ingredients in your kitchen. Lavender oil is known for having antibacterial, antiseptic, and soothing properties, so simply put a few drops of organic lavender oil on a wound to help disinfect it and speed up the healing process. No oil in your cabinet? Reach for some garlic or raw honey instead. Both items have antibacterial qualities that clean out and soothe open wounds. Crushed garlic has the added benefit of being an antifungal as well (just don’t leave fresh garlic on a wound for more than 20 minutes since it’s so powerful).

Repel Mosquitos

Repelling mosquitoes is as easy as rubbing a few fresh lavender flowers on your skin, but if you want something a bit more powerful, fill a squirt bottle with half water and half apple cider vinegar and add 10 to 15 drops of lavender essential oil (rosemary, sage, or mint also work well). Then just shake it together and spray it on as needed to repel mosquitoes.

In Case of Emergency

Ensure you always have fresh burn ointment on hand by growing an aloe vera plant in your house. Place the plant in a sunny spot and simply cut off one leaf at a time for sunburns, using the sap (gel) inside the leaf to sooth scorched skin and heal minor scrapes. Don’t have a green thumb? Turn to your refrigerator for burn relief; that’s right, a small layer of yellow mustard will pull the heat right out of a burn. 

Don’t let the summer sun keep you cooped up inside — enjoy the outdoors with these DIY first aid home remedies for your summertime adventures in the Lone Star State.

Take summer safety to the next level with these tips for staying safe at the beach.

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