Summertime Remedies from the Garden
Summertime activities like hiking, gardening, and camping often result in sore muscles, cuts, scrapes, insect bites, sprains, sunburns, and other discomforts. Luckily, you can treat yourself with homemade herbal remedies straight from your garden!
These simple recipes can turn classic herbs into medicinal preparations that soothe, heal, and rejuvenate. Rosemary and Thyme are natural pain relievers with antiseptic properties, plus Rosemary increases circulation. Lavender, Calendula, and Chamomile are calming, anti-inflammatory, and healing making them useful for treating minor abrasions, cuts, and scrapes. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are refreshing, cooling, and relieve soreness. Sage helps deodorize and can be used as a disinfectant for minor cuts and abrasions. Oregano is one of the best herbal antiseptics available and has been used historically for aching muscles and spider bites. How amazing that we can grow all of this medicine right in our own gardens!
Aloe Vera, Lavender & Peppermint Sunburn Spray
Aloe Vera and Lavender offer immediate relief, shorten healing times, and are soothing while Peppermint is cooling and refreshing.
- 4 oz organic Aloe Vera Gel
- 15 drops organic Lavender essential oil
- 10 drops Vitamin E Oil
- 2-5 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
Mix all ingredients, pour into a 4 ounce bottle, and apply to the skin as often as desired. Store in refrigerator to increase its cooling effect upon the skin.
Herbal liniments offer instant relief for pain, inflamed muscles, bruises, and sprains.
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Fresh or dried herbs – combine any of the following: Calendula flowers, Chamomile flowers, Eucalyptus leaves, Lavender flowers, Peppermint leaves, Rosemary, Thyme, or Oregano.
Chop herbs finely and place in a clean glass jar. Cover thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and cap with a tight-fitting lid. Place the jar in a warm area and shake daily or as often as possible. After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth and pour the remaining liquid into glass bottles with mister tops. When properly stored in a cool dark place, the liniment will keep almost indefinitely. Make sure to label the liniment for “External Use Only”.
Herbal Massage Oil
This botanical-infused goodness accelerates healing times and soothes aching muscles, sprains, and areas that are inflamed or swollen.
- 4 oz herbal infused oil (see recipe below)* – choose one or a combination: Calendula, Chamomile, or Lavender.
- 10 drops Organic Peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops Organic Rosemary essential oil
- 5 drops Organic Eucalyptus essential oil
- 5 drops Organic Juniper Berry essential oil
Pour all ingredients into a glass bottle and roll between palms to distribute the oils evenly. Massage into sore and tender muscles. If in a pinch, organic extra-virgin olive oil may be substituted for the herbal infused oil oils, but it will not have quite the same medicinal effects.
Calendula, Lavender & Shea Butter Balm
A soothing and healing balm. Rub into sore muscles or apply to minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites, rashes, chapped skin, and other skin irritations.
- 3 oz Calendula flower infused herbal oil (see recipe below)*
- 1 oz Shea Butter
- 1/2 oz Beeswax
- 20 drops organic Lavender essential oil
Melt beeswax, Shea butter, and Calendula oil over a double boiler until melted, then remove from burner and mix in the Lavender oil. Quickly pour into tins or glass jars and allow to cool thoroughly before using or capping jar.
Milk & Oatmeal Herbal Bath
Nothing feels better on sore muscles than a peaceful soak in a bathtub!
- 1 cup organic Milk
- 1 cup organic Oatmeal
- 1 handful fresh Chamomile flowers or 2 TBSP dried
- 1 handful fresh Lavender flowers or 2 TBSP dried
- 1 sprig fresh Rosemary or 1 TBSP dried
Place oatmeal and herbs into a cloth or muslin bag and tie under the tub faucet. Turn hot water on and allow it to run through the bag so that the bathwater will be infused with the healing properties of the herbs and oatmeal. Once that the bathwater has reached desired temperature, pour the milk directly in. You can continue to use the bag like a washcloth and rub it along your skin, especially in areas that need some extra care!
Herbal Foot Soak
Soak those tired “dogs” with this rejuvenating and therapeutic blend of salt and herbs fresh from your garden.
- 1/2 cup Epsom Salt
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Sprigs of fresh Chamomile flowers, Eucalyptus leaves, Lavender flowers, Peppermint leaves, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, or Oregano. If fresh herbs are unavailable, substitute with dried herbs or a few drops of essential oil.
Boil water and pour over herbs, then add salt and olive oil. Once the water has cooled to a comfortable temperature, soak feet for as long as desired. For an even more luxurious experience, place a few smooth stones into the bottom and gently roll your feet over the stones to naturally massage and relax them.
*Making Herbal Infused Oils:
Place herbs in a clean, dry glass jar. If using fresh herbs, then wilt them first for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) and cut into small pieces before adding to the jar. You can skip these extra steps if your herbs are dried. Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1 inch of oil so they will have space to expand. Stir well and cap the jar tightly. Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake once or more per day. After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth. Make sure to squeeze out every precious drop of oil! Pour into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place.
Happy medicine making!