The weather is warming up here…
…and this always means my inbox is full of emails from patients and readers asking:
How can you reduce your chance of tick bites (and other insect bites)
while still connecting to the earth outside?
I really don’t want you to limit or stop your healing practice of connecting to Mother Earth outside daily.
Instead, let’s deter the bugs all together.
As I was giving one of my patients advice about this exact topic today, I thought this would be the perfect information to share with my blog readers too! So here we go:
To help prevent bug bites…
I use a two-pronged approach:
Spray directly on skin, pets, around doorways and porches and windows and anywhere inside or outside of your home that bugs tend to congregate — safe to use directly on the skin — when sprayed on exposed skin it helps deter them from landing on you at all.
This is my #1 go-to recommendation to avoid mosquito bites and tick bites.
Grab a big spray bottle of CedarCide and it will last you all spring and summer — and I carry a little 1 oz. bottle of it in my car as well for spontaneous use while outside at sporting events, parks, road trips, etc…
Cedar oil is safe, all natural and no nasty DEET or other toxic chemicals that cause neuronal cell death. Repels ticks as well as flying insects.
I use this so often that my daughter tells me that this cedar oil spray is — and I quote her here: “the smell of my childhood.”
She says that every time I spray it and she catches the scent. I just love that!
2. Burning sage or incense around the yard:
A few incense sticks or a sage stick burning on your outdoor patio table while you eat dinner helps immensely to deter flying insects from buzzing around your food and spoiling your meal!
I like to light an incense stick and push it into the grass like mini-smoldering smoke signals in a perimeter all around the area we are using… or leaning an incense stick in an open glass jar I am recycling or just having a little incense cone in the center of our patio table.
Or, better yet if you are having a summer fire pit or bonfire going, simply throw an entire stick of sage into the fire.
The sage scented smoke that the fire will emit keeps mosquitoes and other annoying bugs at bay for the entire area.
We love it. Usually when I throw a sage stick into our bonfire that is enough insect control, no need for additional bug sprays.
I hope those two tips will help you feel more comfortable getting out there and connecting to Mother Earth year round, including in these warm buggy days that lie ahead!
To help treat bug bites:
Summer is filled with little cuts, scabs, scrapes and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, likely some bug bites.
So if you (or your children) get a few bug bites and scratch them up, you can help the scratches heal in a holistic way that minimizes scarring… simply use honey!
You already know I love honey to ease seasonal allergy symptoms and I love honey for wound healing as well!
Findings published in the International Wound Journal show that when raw honey was used on all types of wounds, it:
- promoted healing
- minimized necrosis
- minimized the amount of skin that sloughed off the wound
- reduced wound size
- decreased affected area around wound
Not only did it help speed wound healing, but it made a measurable improvement in over 84% of wounds!!!!
We are talking:
- post operative wounds
- general skin wounds
- pressure sores and more!
Honey has well-known antimicrobial benefits, doesn’t spoil, is easy to have on hand and is portable (no refrigeration required!) so it really makes perfect sense to use as a secondary wound dressing in children older than 12 months old.
- First be sure to flush out any wound with lots of water… for a long period of time… 2 minutes ideally.
- Then, depending on wound type you may consider a topical antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, or antibacterial dressing, and then honey. Then cover the abrasion with a sterile bandage.
- For minor wounds, use deep cleansing and then raw honey as a dressing, but be sure to have any deeper or larger wounds evaluated by a physician.
Because honey is so safe and so effective for so many different types of wounds… and because it speeds healing and decreases the amount of skin that is affected by the wound, I feel that honey ultimately will be shown to reduce the appearance of scarring as well.
So for post operative wounds or acne infections or stretch marks or injuries that you want to minimize scarring in… bring on the raw honey!
Sweet news, indeed!
And now that you are armed with some holistic tips on avoiding the bug bites and tick exposures that warm weather brings… it’s time to wish you a very very happy upcoming summer!!!
Keep grounding outside and enjoy the beautiful display Mother Earth brings us without fear!
P.S. — For More Skin Care Tips:
Want more holistic skin care advice that is based on medical literature and my own personal dermatology training as a physician?
June 19 – 23, 2017
5 days to totally transform the health of your skin.
I combine all three: the latest medical studies, my personal experience as a physician treating skin for over 15 years, and a holistic mindframe that understands there is more to skin than just surface function.
Filled with fun daily topics, a live skincare Q&A call and even a goodie bag filled with my very favorite holistic skin care items…
Let’s do a makeover together!