Summer Helpers: Salt, Peppermint, Honey

by Joanna on August 8, 2012

Today we’re going to tackle some of summer’s toughest problems: feeling bloated, being too dang hot, and getting sunburned. Let’s get started!

The B Word

I hate the word “bloat.” Not only is it an unpleasant experience, the word itself just sounds terrible when you say it. All around yuck.

Bloating happens when excess fluids build up in the cells. The body holds on to water when there is too much salt in the diet and/or when we are dehydrated.

Salt molecules are large and require a lot of water to push them through the kidneys. The body will ‘hang on’ to extra water to help push out the salt molecules.

In a similar fashion, when dehydrated, the body holds on to extra water so that cells and systems have enough water to function.

The best trick to cure bloating? Drink more water. When your body has regular access to water, it knows it does not need to ‘hang on’ to it and will release the excess.

The second best trick is to reduce salt in the diet. By reducing salt just a few milligrams you will see the water weight come off. Keep hydrated to help the process along.

Keeping Cool

Everyone knows the cooling sensation that mint can bring. All types of mint (peppermint, spearmint, etc.) are refreshing and invigorating. You can use the cooling properties of mint to balance summer heat.

Keep yourself cool this summer with this one trick:

1. In the morning, run a washcloth through the coldest water you can find.

2. Place one or two drops of peppermint essential oil in one corner of the cold washcloth (this keeps it from directly touching your skin). And then fold and place the washcloth in a plastic zip-close baggie.

3. Keep the washcloth in your purse. Pull it out and press it to your face when you’re feeling warm- the cooling sensation of the cold and the essential oil will remind your body to cool down.

Sunburn

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about getting sunburned. In that blog I looked at several ways to handle a sunburn, including drinking plenty of water and putting hydrating ointments on the burn.

My apiarist  friend, Cindy, reminded me of another option to help with sunburn: honey.

There is some research-based evidence that manuka honey is at least as good as other healing ointments, and also contains antibacterial properties to reduce infection.

I hope these tips help you with some of summer’s most annoying health difficulties.

May you enjoy the season and all it has to offer! 

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Here's my disclaimer: I'm here to let you know that you alone are responsible for what you do with the information found in this website. What I offer is information, not medical advice. I'm not a registered dietician. I'm not a nurse. I'm not (technically) a therapist, although I've been trained as one. I've also been trained as a health educator and a minister. I've got several degrees that make me a bonafide smarty-pants, but whatever information, tools, and ideas I share with you are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. I do hope that you will help yourself to anything you find useful and that feels safe for you. Because while I may not be a doctor/ lawyer/ nurse/ whatever, I do know some stuff and I am here to help.