When the summer sun begins to shine its light on the Great White North, Canadians shed their winter layers and soak up some much-needed vitamin D. However, as many of us learned from a young age, along with more skin exposure comes a risk of sunburns, rashes from plants like poison ivy, eczema, heat rash and, my personal favourite, bug bites. Don’t let the bugs deter you and from family from enjoying the gorgeous summer air! An easy way to relieve pain and itching from these minor, yet uncomfortable, skin ailments can be found in this simple, home remedy.
Chamomile Ice Cubes:
Chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, is a plant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When taken internally, as a tea, it can soothe flighty digestion, assuage menstrual cramping and headaches and calm nerves. When applied topically to skin, however, this versatile plant has the power to relieve pain, itching and decrease redness. In the form of ice, these cool cubes of chamomile can be applied directly to red, hot, itchy and painful minor skin infections or rashes to provide relief and to prevent further infection. It’s a safe, easy and effective remedy, great for the whole family and a great way to expose kids to natural, at-home self-care.
2 chamomile tea bags
1 ice cube tray
Steep a very strong cup of chamomile tea by adding 250 ml of boiling water to a mug full of 2 chamomile tea bags. Allow to steep covered for 10-15 minutes, then cool to room temperature. Spoon even amounts of tea into an ice cube tray. Making more cubes is preferable to making bigger cubes; you don’t want to create a mess all over the house when they start to melt. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer for an hour or two until the cubes become hard.
Take out one chamomile ice cube at a time and apply it directly to problem skin areas. The cold from the ice relieves inflammation, while the healing properties of the botanical tea calm inflammation and prevent infection. It’s a great at-home remedy that kids can apply to themselves in order to relieve discomfort, stop scratching and promote skin healing so that they can get back outside and enjoy the summer sun.