Five common summer and spring complaints and how to deal with them.

When the warm weather rolls around, Canadians are all too happy to be outdoors without ice or snow. All the activities that were impossible or overwhelming during winter are ready to be enjoyed again. That also means that the reasons people wished for winter in the first place are back as well: Black flies, mosquitos, heat rash, allergies and sunburns.

So why not get a jumpstart on these ailments with the creation of your own emergency care kit for spring and summer? Certain natural health products and supplements can soothe symptoms, protect skin and rehydrate, when you know the right ingredients to look for.

It’s important that you speak with your family doctor before taking any supplements and be sure to be familiar with their formulas.

Seasonal allergies

Around 20% of Canadians experience some type of seasonal allergies. It’s the sneezing and stuffy, runny nose, itchy throat and watering eyes as well as sinus blockages that can deceive people into believing it’s a common cold. The high pollen counts that cause this discomfort are from trees, grasses, plants (such as ragweeds) and outdoor molds that begin to appear in February.

For relieving symptoms of seasonal allergies, products containing Histaminum Hydrochloricum are what to look for. It is used in homeopathic remedies for skin irritations and pain as well as treatment of allergies.

Insect stings and bites

When spending time outdoors, bug bites and stings become an unfortunate reality of warm weather. The most frequently complained about insects are recognizable: Black flies, wasps and mosquitos. Stings and bites from these bugs are a nuisance and can be painful.

Items which include the ingredient Ledum Palustre, also known as Marsh Labrador Tea, are a good way to treat bites and stings. It was traditionally used for puncture wounds. Apis Mellifica is another ingredient to keep an eye out for that is used for bites and stings. It is made from honey bees with their venom removed.

Heat rash

Heat rash can ruin any physical activity, inflicting itching, swelling, redness and tiny red blots to areas where sweat collects. It is caused when sweat ducts become blocked and inflamed during periods of high temperatures and humidity.

Calendula is a common ingredient in products designed for general itching as well as for heat rash and eczema. The more familiar Aloe Vera plant is also used for soothing skin irritations.

UV rays

Sun exposure is one of the best things to enjoy during spring and summer. Not simply for the warmth and light that the sun provides but the vitamin D intake and enhancement in mood.

Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can be hard on your health beyond sunburns to include eye diseases, premature aging and skin cancer. This is why protecting skin from the sun is important. Zinc Oxide, used in a wide variety of sunscreens, can better protect from UVA rays over other common sun blocking ingredients such as Titanium Oxide.

Dehydration

Water is generally the best choice when it comes to quenching thirst but when sweating for prolonged periods, minerals important to the body can be lost. Muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and headache are all signs of dehydration.

Certain beverages such as sports drinks are designed to help restore the minerals lost during exercise through sweating. Not all drinks are the same. Be sure to look for products that contain both sodium and potassium, restoring electrolytes and the minerals most often lost in sweat.

More Inspiration: On the topic of sun, you might find this article on getting the right amount of sun helpful!

Author: Charmaine Millaire is the editor for Optimyz magazine. She also writes extensively on women’s health and related issues.

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