7 Herbal Remedies That Will Save Your Summer

When summer woes leave you miserable, relief can be as close as your own backyard.

By Jean Nick


#6: Oats or cornstarch.
When prickly heat, sunburn, multiple bug bites, or poison ivy/oak/sumac rash strikes—and you can't alleviate it with any of the previous plants—a soothing herbal bath is the best recourse. Add 1 cup of organic oatmeal, whirred in a blender until it has a flour-like texture (don't put loose whole oatmeal into the water or you will be calling the plumber later), or 1 cup of organic cornstarch, to a tub of warm water. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, frequently pouring bathwater over parts of you that aren't under water. It will soothe irritation and help unplug pores. Repeat as necessary.

#7: Ginger.
If motion sickness threatens to put a damper on your vacation, a tea made from fresh minced ginger root (a 1-inch chunk for 2 cups of water) or dried powdered ginger (1 teaspoon) simmered in water for 15 to 20 minutes will often help prevent or sooth the upset. The tea is good hot or cold and can be sweetened with honey or stevia, if desired. Chewing a small bit of candied ginger is a more portable remedy that will yield the same relief. Ginger beer or natural ginger ale that contain real ginger are also options, but note that most commercial versions don't.

Farm gal, library worker, and all-around money-pincher Jean Nick shares advice for green thrifty living every Thursday on Rodale.com.