Herbal Summer Skincare

The kids were unfortunate enough to unintentionally discover a wasp's nest last week. During our road trip absence the wasps were busy building a nest under one of our deck chairs. We didn't realize this till the kids went to pick up the chair to move it.

There were tears and there was plantain, lots of plantain.

This reminded me that once upon a time I wrote about herbal remedies on the blog. These days, although I still use homemade herbal remedies (tinctures, poultices, and infusions), I don't write about it much.

Since this is the season for stings, rashes, and scrapes I thought it would be good to point you to a few of my herbal resource posts. Pin this page or bookmark it however you like. I am not a dispenser of vast herbal knowledge because I've only needed to use a few herbs to do the trick.

These posts go back a few years. Enjoy.

What herbs to grow (or buy)

What to make with those herbs

  • I always have on hand my herbal salve to rub on cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes, dry skin, and insect bites. We take a little container with us everywhere in the summer. I've never written a tutorial on making this particular salve but I have the ingredients listed here and a salve tutorial here. Put the two together and you'll have a healing herbal skin salve tutorial!

  • Herbal Insect Bite Relief: Mix up this powder and keep on hand to apply to itchy bug bites.

What about insect repellent?

I have not been successful at making an herbal insect repellent. After a few failures it's been a couple years since I've tried anything. In this blog comment I explain what we use for bugs.

What about sunscreen & burns?

I don't make an herbal sunscreen. As far as I know, herbs can't protect your skin from the sun (you'll need a real sunscreen or clothing to do that) but plant preparations can come to the rescue of burns.

Aloe vera gel, store bought or from your own plant, and a calendula salve are two herbs that come to mind for healing sunburn.

Herbal Teaching

Where to buy:

What are you using this summer for herbal skincare?

This post contains affiliate links.

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  • Mindy

    Mindy on July 17, 2013, 2:57 p.m.

    This one is one of my (many) favorite posts!  This is my interest at the moment (herbs and essential oils) so your timing is impeccable!  And I just discovered plantain...it's been around since childhood and I had no idea what a great weed it is!


  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on July 17, 2013, 9:26 p.m.

    Ugh, poor kids. I had never in my life been stung and just this past Friday I got stung by a wasp. Horrible, horrible pain. I felt like such a weenie. I could barely ice the spot (and this coming from a very athletic sports player who iced with injuries all the time!) without gasping.

    I never knew what weed that was either, until your post--so that's plantain. It's everywhere on the outside of our community garden. I've never found a great mosquito repellent, either. I even tried white vinegar for awhile (smell dries within 10 seconds) but I found I had to apply it every 20 minutes or so to get it to work. Once I found out that perhaps my lotion was attracting bugs, I stopped wearing it in the summers, but I read that mosquitoes are attracted to some sort of chemical in one's blood. That's why some people (like me) get bit so much more than other people. My husband is a big believer in the long pants, long sleeves during summer thing. Is anyone in your family hot-blooded? I think I might go for the bug bites instead ;) Sarah M


  • Penny

    Penny on July 17, 2013, 10:04 p.m.

    I ripped apart a wasp's nest a year ago - and suffered the consequences.  My daughter, fresh from Audubon camp, told me to rub mint toothpaste on the stings - worked like a charm.  Maybe not as gentle as your remedies, but considering I needed it right then and there, it was a wonderful thing.  Tools in the toolbox... 


    This info is all wonderful - printing your advice to ponder, ad looking into those wonderful books you recomend - thank you!  I hope the kids are ok!


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