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Monday Mission: Get Natural Outdoors

Let’s talk about natural alternatives to all the chemicals we parents are made to believe are necessary from insect repellent to sunscreen.

A little boy and little girl lying in the gross with natural sunscreen on their faces

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to pick a category and find a natural product or homemade remedy to use instead of the conventional and potentially harmful version.

Upgrade one product that you use for outdoor issues like bugs, sunshine, and scrapes.

Seek out a totally natural and safe alternative to petroleum and chemicals you can’t pronounce.

Natural Solutions When You’re in the Sun

Bottles of natural sunscreens

If you’re tempted to use: Any sunscreen calling your name from the discount aisle with “SPF 700,000” and “Broad Spectrum Coverage!” emblazoned on the bottle.

Watch out for: Chemical sunscreens that may cause cancer just as quickly as the rays of the sun itself.

Natural ingredients to remember instead:

zinc oxide
titanium dioxide

If you’re not sure where to start to find those active ingredients, check out my reviews of over 80 safe and natural sunscreens my family has tried over the years. Yes, my family really has tried and tested over 80 different sunblocks, and we review a few more every year! I keep that post updated with the most recent reviews and thoughts on the old sunscreens, and I’ll keep adding new ones as I try them.

There’s also a section on how to evaluate a sunblock for yourself if it’s not on the list, in case you find something in a local store that you think is a winner but want to make sure.

Another natural option: Some folks, especially those with extra sensitive skin, may want to consider wearing sun protective clothing instead.

Natural Relief for When the Sun Gets You Anyway


If you’re tempted to use: Any cream or aloe that claims to soothe burns.

Watch out for: Aloes with all sorts of extra ingredients, parabens in your creams, ingredients you can’t pronounce in general, etc.

Natural ingredients to remember instead: coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP to get 10% off) , 100% pure aloe (check the ingredients, not just the front label), clay, beeswax (we just use MadeOn lotion for about everything around here, but there are stronger, more soothing options specifically for burns that incorporate some healing essential oils and such)

Possible home remedy: a soak in a baking soda bath, OR grow your own aloe plant

From the readers: A cool infusion of chamomile, calendula, and/or comfrey (or a combination); vinegar

Natural Repellent When You’re Running from Bugs

A mosquito on skin

If you’re tempted to use: That spray that people always use to keep the mosquitoes and flies away, because it’s what everyone uses and it works.

Watch out for: DEET is the main offender because it damages brain cells, can cause seizures, and is especially toxic to young children. There is no end to the sources that discuss the poisoning effects of DEET: 1, 2, 3. This article on Medline is particularly striking in its gravity and describes how to handle DEET poisoning, just in case.

Natural ingredients to remember instead: many essential oils and plants, such as citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, neem oil, lemon verbena, catnip, rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass, or cedarwood. Usually carried in water, olive oil , or coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP to get 10% off) . The citronella candles (you know, the ones bugs are attracted to and like to die in?) are fine, but try to look for one that uses real citronella instead of a fake.

Possible home remedy: My family has reviewed 16 natural bug repellents that use essential oils instead of DEET and my favorite, hands down, is Wild Things Natural Bug Repellent. Please be aware that there are some essential oils that are not recommended for use with children. My bug spray review post outlines that information, and I go into further detail here.

My husband tells me that the military has their forces eat a few matchsticks to ward off the biting insects. The sulfur in their bloodstream gets sweated out on their skin and keeps the bugs off. Not so sure how safe or natural this is, but it’s pretty funny!

Growing plants such as lemon verbena, pennyroyal, lemongrass, and geraniums around your house can give you a first line of defense.

From the readers: diatomaceous earth spray (made simply with food-grade DE and water) to keep bugs of all sorts off; a few drops of geranium oil (straight); eat onions and garlic liberally

Natural Relief for When the Bugs Get You Anyway

A mosquito on skin. Natural bug bite relief - stop the itch.

If you’re tempted to use: A salve, cream, or numbing spray

Watch out for: petroleum as a carrier (plastic on your skin? Not necessary.), parabens, anything that says “not for children under two.” My pediatrician says that Benadryl, one anti-itch cream, is extremely harsh and doesn’t recommend it for anyone, children especially (this after I purchased two tubes for bug bites and hives).

Natural ingredients to remember instead: clay like Redmond Clay‘s first aid hydrated clay draws out toxins and decreases the itch. Pure aloe is another option for soothing.

From a reader: homeopathic apis for swelling or ledum for stings

How about calamine lotion? It’s actually made of zinc oxide and iron oxide, both natural substances but potentially toxic in large doses (link no longer available). If you’ve got a bottle, I’d finish it, personally, but I do like the idea of the clay or natural salve even better.

Possible home remedies: A thick paste of baking soda and water soothes bee stings. I still remember sitting at the kitchen table at my Busia’s house waiting for the baking soda to dry after my first (and only) bee sting. I was a pretty big wimp, but if I remember right, it made a world of difference! Witch hazel is also touted to take the sting out, as is rubbing with a cut onion.

Related: Treating Tick Bites Naturally and How to Remove a Tick Safely

My Experience Using Clay to Heal

Who in their right mind discovers she has a mosquito bite on her ankle and cries with glee, “Yesssss! I have a bug bite!”

Redmond First Aid Clay

Probably just me.

Using the Redmond Clay First Aid Cream on my kids was great, but it’s hard to get a good review from a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, even though I grilled them:

“Does it feel tight?”

“How long did it take to dry?”

“Did it stop itching?”

I was pretty excited to try it for myself.

At first, I thought that the thickness and wetness of the product was a huge downfall, since you’re supposed to put it on very thickly. However, even though it’s not super convenient to keep a piece of skin from touching anything for a couple minutes, it dries just like calamine lotion and actually quite quickly, so I don’t think it’s anything new.

The really interesting part, in my opinion, is that it stayed on the skin for more than a day, and that’s pretty impressive! It also really did stop the itch, although in a way that takes a little patience: the first sensation is that of an increased stinging/itching sensation for a few minutes because of the property of clay that draws out toxins. It doesn’t hurt, but it makes you want to scratch off the cream before it dries – easy for me to tolerate, but might be tough for my 3-year-old.

After the initial drying period, though, the itch went away. Score for Redmond Clay!

The clay also works for cuts and scrapes. My son had a pretty nasty wipeout on rough cement, and the hydrated clay under a bandage for two days absolutely knocked it out. Not that I expect things not to work, but I was actually totally, pleasantly surprised! Score two!

And – it comes in a tube, which I prefer over a jar of salve that I have to dip my finger into. Winking smile You can also buy the clay in a tub and mix your own with water for various uses.

I have a whole post about natural bug bite relief with lots more ideas, including which essential oils may be effective at getting the itch out.

For the Cuts and Scrapes of Summer Knees

You’re tempted to use: Your average “triple antibiotic ointment” or salve.

Watch out for: Petrolatum (petroleum jelly), triclosan (now banned in antibacterial soaps) parabens, anything that says “do not use on children under age two.”

Although I used to think it was the perfect natural solution, it is NOT recommended to use hydrogen peroxide on cuts. It may get the wound clean, but it’s a bit too powerful, causing cell damage that actually makes the cut take longer to heal.

Natural ingredients to remember instead: Plain old soap and water does an awfully nice job for most skinned knees, you know! Winking smile

Real clay mixed with water helps cuts to heal faster, too. One reason I’m enjoying the Redmond Clay First Aid tube is that it can take care of everything so I only have to pack one thing when we leave the house.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic; dilute with water and apply after washing (can use straight, too). Comfrey root and thyme are also often seen in healing salves, and coconut oil is another winner, often with beeswax to keep it sealed in.

From the readers: calendula salve with beeswax/olive oil as a carrier; epsom salt baths; coconut oil mixed with grapefruit seed extract; salt water (dissolve in boiling water, allow to cool, clean nasty cuts and gashes with it); aloe (after washing)

Other Itches and Annoyances

Poison Ivy (thanks to the great reader comments)

  • Dust with cornstarch to heal the itch.
  • Rub with rhubarb juice from a freshly cut stalk
  • Catch it early and rub with an alcohol based hand sanitizer (or plain rubbing alcohol) several times a day – you can often prevent it from becoming a full-blown weeping mess this way.
  • Homeopathic rhus tox

I’ll shared some product reviews of certain brands of these natural outdoor solutions with my typical brutal honesty.

If you’re looking to go natural in your other personal care routines, check out this head-to-toe list of natural body products.

What other outdoor ailments have you found natural solutions for?

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post from which I’ll receive a commission. See my full disclosure statement here.

Need More Baby Steps?

Monday Missions Baby Steps Back to Basics

Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.

That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and got them all spruced up to send to your inbox – once a week on Mondays, so you can learn to be a kitchen steward one baby step at a time, in a doable sequence.

Sign up to get weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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56 thoughts on “Monday Mission: Get Natural Outdoors”

  1. Katie –

    I’ll be happy to get you some Greenbug for People to try out. Let me know your mailing address and I’ll get it out to you asap.

    As far as some other pest control solutions, I can discuss pros and cons of all of them. For instance, a very important distinction is repellent formulas that are offensive to pests vs. deadly to pests. Example – citronella is used for mosquitoes but it is merely offensive and a hungry mosquito will go through it. In comparison, cedar is deadly (hence no bugs in a cedar chest or closet) yet harmless to humans, animals and the environment and no mosquito would cross through it.

    Let me know if you’d like to try out our Greenbug for Indoors too as it is great for ants, roaches, silverfish, etc. and is safe enough for use in the kitchen and nursery.

    Thanks for your efforts in natural living!

  2. Cinnamon Vogue

    I would like to add Ceylon Cinnaomon Leaf Oil as a suggestion. In many parts of the world they use this powerful and natural repellant for Mosquitos. All you need is 1% Ceylon Cinnamon Oil to water.

  3. It is to encourage anyone to do their own research prior to using ANY herbal or homeopathic
    remedy.Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for EVERYONE

  4. Aloe Vera applied to the bite is very soothing and anti-inflammatory, reducing the urge to SCRATCH and risk infection. It’s also antibacterial and dries to form a protective barrier, speeding the healing process. Store it in the fridge and it feels even better. For instructions for how to use the leaves of the plant and how concoct a spray with aloe at home, check out:

  5. Brandis @ Stir Crazy

    I just posted a homemade bug spray recipe on my own blog. I’m still working on the EO mix, but it’s working well so far. Not only have the mosquitoes left me alone, but the gnats have stopped swarming my face as well.

  6. Plantain (the weed, not the banana-like fruit) is good for bug bites. I’ve taught my children, if they’re outside playing and notice a mosquito/bug bite, to just chew a couple leaves and put them on the bite. Leaves taste gross, but won’t hurt you, and it’s a quick easy poultice they can do without having to stop and come in. Plantain is available pretty much anywhere, making it a convenient remedy.

    1. Plantain is AWESOME! We had it all over our yard when we lived in Arkansas. Can’t seem to find much of it where we live now (in Texas), and sadly what I DO find isn’t on my own property so I’m worried about chemicals. I need to get some plantain seeds and plant me some weeds in my yard!

      1. if you google for pictures of plantain leaves, there are 2 different types. The ones where I live are more “oval” shaped, but some areas have long thin leaves, is it possible you have the opposite kind that you’re used to, and so aren’t recognizing it? If not, I’d be asking someone who DOES have it (or someplace like along the side of the road, where nobody’s going to notice/care) to dig some up and plant it. I’m guessing most people will look at you weird for wanting a weed, but will be more than happy to have you take it off their hands LOL.

        1. Sweetpeas, I do know both types of Plantain by sight. We had both in Arkansas. I’ve seen the narrow-leaved Plantain around here, but only in places where I don’t want to pick them, due to not knowing the chemicals to which they may have been exposed.

          I won’t pick herbs that are close to roadways where they are likely contaminated with vehicle exhaust, or from yards/parks where I don’t know if they use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides (which don’t always work, haha!). I’m *really picky* about my herb pickin’, LOL! (I also won’t take their seeds, for the same reason. If I’m gonna grow ’em, I want ’em as natural and preferably organic as possible.)

          I’ve drooled over the shepherd’s purse in the park, too. I just need to make use of my OWN yard-space to grow my little friends! 🙂

    2. I keep plantain infused in olive and also made into a salve on hand at all times.

      My grandma used to call it medicine leaf. It is the BEST EVER remedy I’ve used for bug bites.

  7. For safe, natural and very effective pest control – Greenbug for People is the ticket. We started Greenbug because of the dangers (and prevalence) of synthetic pesticides. The active ingredient is cedar – like cedar chests and closets where you never see a bug – because cedar is deadly to pests but harmless to humans, animals and the environment. Kills and repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas – even bed bugs. Greenbug is the ‘green’ way to wipe out ‘bugs’!

  8. Witch hazel gives a nice cooling feeling, but NEVER USE IT ON AN OPEN WOUND, for example if you’ve scratched a bug bite until it bleeds. I had used witch hazel for years, and then one day I used it to clean a cut, and I broke out in horrible eczema in the area! My doctor says that getting witch hazel directly into your bloodstream can cause an allergic reaction and, in some cases, a lifelong allergy. (I’ve been afraid to find out!)

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention aloe for scrapes. It works really well both for healing and for preventing scabs from itching and cracking. It’s not a cleanser, though–wash with soap and water, then apply aloe.

    When venturing into seriously buggy areas, “flowers of sulfur” is a sulfur powder you can sprinkle on your clothes. It repels ticks especially. The downside is that it has a strong smell and takes many washings to come out of the clothes.

  9. My husband and I go hunting quite a bit and were always getting attacked by mosquitoes. Our friends told us that if we eat lots of onions and garlic that it would keep them away. We now eat onions and garlic in just about everything now, and we have maybe had a couple of bites between the two of us in the past few years. Down side is you might smell a bit worse when you do sweat 🙂

  10. My brother used to work for Organix South (who produces TheraNeem products) and hooked us up with their Herbal Outdoor Spray. Ingredients: neem oil, cedarwood, white thyme, lemongrass, citronella, and several others. We love it and I feel so much better putting it on my kids! He also started my mom on their menopause product and it’s the best thing she’s used for it. Maybe you could review theirs. I’d love to see how it compares with others.

    My question is about sunblocks: The ingredient Zinc Oxide is the active ingredient in many diaper rash pastes. Is it possible that finding a butt paste without nasty ingredients would be more economical than the marketed sunscreens? Or could you make your own??? Buy the powder and combine it with an oil or butter?

    1. Sarah,
      Thanks, I’ll check with them!

      As for zinc, you can definitely make your own sunscreen. In fact, Renee from MadeOn just might be releasing a recipe for that, coming soon! (Shhh, don’t spill the beans!) 😉 My only hesitation with diaper creme as sunscreen is that I believe sunscreen usually uses about 20% zinc oxide, and if I’m not mistaken diaper cremes are more like 13%. ??? It’s worth a try on your arm sometime! Although including an antioxidant is a really good idea, and the diaper cremes might not have that.
      🙂 Katie

      1. After reading the post I looked into it and actually saw one with 40% zinc oxide. Just have to make sure we don’t get other stuff thrown in in the process. Also, when you buy the zinc oxide, you want to avoid nanoparticles which are absorbed into the skin.

  11. I’m amazed at how only two drops of doTerra’s TerraShield works. It’s a combination of 15 different essential oils- and with only two drops it isn’t a strong odor. I can’t believe I used those horrible sprays my whole life!

  12. When I worked on the first aid policies for a camp, the doctor we consulted with said never to use peroxide on cuts. Saline is always better (if you can’t get to a sink). So, squirt bottles of saline (nasal spray) went into all of our first aid kits.

    Calendula is my go-to first aid item. I use it on sunburn, bug bites, cuts & scrapes.

    I really wish I could do more with natural bug repellent, but oddly, my chemical sensitivities make it so that I can’t tolerate the smells of the essential oils. I wish there were something unscented that might work.

    1. Zebe,
      Sounds like I should learn more about calendula; you’re not the only person to rave about it in these comments.

      Maybe the matchstick thing would work for you? 😉 I wonder if rubbing them on the skin would work as well…

  13. for cleaning large scrapes like road rash you can’t beat salted water. My little brother came home one night missing half of the skin on his face! (skateboarding accident) We had no first aid supplies,so I put a pot of water on the stove and dissolved some salt it. When the water was hot not boiling I used a clean face cloth and cleaned his face up. He said it stung, but three or four days after the scab just fell off! No scaring!

  14. I only recently found out about the harmful effects of the sunscreens that I have been using. Unfortunately I live in a country where that’s all that is available:-(

  15. I use tea tree oil on all cuts and scrapes straight up and cover with a bandaid. Works really well on hang nails too! I also use straight lavender oil on burns. Takes out the sting and has helped prevent blisters even on laser induced “burns.”
    I have been using a mildly effective “natural” bug spray but it wasn’t cutting it in the garden the other day. Might try the geranium oil suggestion or maybe Made On repellant lotion.
    This year I have switched over to using all mineral sunscreen and I am really liking Aubrey Organics mineral sunscreen without fragrance. I can use it on me and the toddlers but I can’t put it on their face. They both seem to be having a reaction to it on their face but not on their bodies. Anyone have a suggestion for baby faces? They won’t leave on hats or sunglasses. Nor will they leave the “hood” up on their stroller. Toddlers are so much fun… 🙂

    1. Elizabeth,
      The Aubrey Organics I reviewed included titanium dioxide and PABA as the active ingredients – if that’s the same on yours, maybe you need a zinc oxide based cream for the little faces. I really like Kabana, very gentle, and TruKid and Loving Naturals are nice as well. I have a few face sticks that I’m testing out right now with good results, so watch for the updates to the review post (maybe Friday?). Good old toddlers… 😉 Katie

      1. Hmm, maybe I’m using Avalon? Not Aubrey. I have to go read the tube…but it’s on the table outside and it’s currently dark and creey out there! Whatever it is it was on the EWG’s best sunscreen list and I don’t think it has titanium dioxide in it but I did note that it has dimethicone or some other silicone in it (probably to make it go on smoother) and I wasn’t thrilled with that. I haven’t seen any of the above brands in the store and for me I have to be able to see it, touch it, smell it before I buy it. I really love companies that send samples-do you know if any of these do?

        1. Elizabeth,
          Come on over to my house and fiddle with 30 of ’em! 😉 I’ve been taking them to mom gatherings and offering just that, but not many people are bold enough to really play with all the options. I got all mine as samples through one way or another…my hunch is that TruKid might, and Kabana is a maybe b/c they’re a small company, and one I am currently testing called Green Goddess sent some samples. It takes some calling around, that’s for sure! Good luck! 🙂 Katie

          1. If I lived nearby I would take you up on that! I LOVE to play with that kind of stuff!
            When I finally looked at the tube again it was Alba Botanica-there are way too many “A” names out there! And it does have some Titanium dioxide in it so I’m going to keep looking for a new one and find a stick for the girls faces. Less likely to run and cause reactions. I am of the belief that avoiding the sun during peak hours is the best prevention and then wearing some clothes during the rest of the time but I have been wearing sunscreen more often lately out of pure vanity. I’m trying to prevent age “spots!”
            I’ll try the companies you mentioned and see if they will let me sample. Thanks for all the great info!

  16. For cuts and scrapes, we use coconut oil mixed with grapefruit seed extract. Used this mix to treat cradle cap and other skin ailments on myself and kids. Antibiotic properties without the yuck chemicals.

    1. Jeannie,
      My 3yo still has cradle cap, and no one can ever tell me how to get rid of it! And the solution was in my linen closet all along. I can’t thank you enough! Woo hoo! 🙂 Katie

      1. We use Jason Brand “scalp normalizing shampoo” with tea tree oil and I think we have finally concurred my 4 yr old and my 17 month old’s cradle cap. It doesn’t seem to sting their eyes either! It’s the only shampoo that we use any more! I feel like we’ve tried so many different oil combinations trying to defeat it… And none have… I just wanted to offer another suggestion in case the idea above doesn’t work… We highly recommend Jason.

  17. EASIEST Bug Repellent: Geranium Oil! Straight up, we don’t even dilute it (just a few dabs goes a long way) and we have never, ever had a reaction. You could certainly dilute it though if you are concerned. But it is the easiest to just carry a little bottle of the stuff, and dab it on the whole fam when we go out. It really works! and it smells nice. Sometimes I wonder when diluting it, it is probably important to dilute it in a carrier that won’t attract bugs, which I would think many would (almond, olive, maybe coconut?), though I know soybean oil is naturally anti-bug. I just need to spring for some non-GMO soy oil and I’ll be in biz.

    I do like to make a mix, with (geranium)+rosemary+citronella+cedarwood+eucalyptus but of course you have to spring for all those oils which adds up if you’re in a pinch. geranium oil is really affordable and i think it works great by itself, so why fix what ain’t broken?

    also for my DOGS i use the above mix with a bit of clove and peppermint. dilute a tad and put on their spine every other week or so. obviously MUCH better than the neurotoxic stuff!!

  18. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Love this post! I make our own sunscreen (that we very rarely use), bug spray and antinbacterial ointment. I agree completely, not only are there safe alternatives… they work better too!

  19. I’ve become a big fan of epsom salt baths for everything from bruises and bug bites to scrapes and sores.

  20. We’ve started using the Bug Block bar from MadeOn Lotion. I am so excited that it actually works! So wonderful to find something with all natural ingredients to protect from insect bites!

    1. Anna Whiteside

      So the MadeOn bug block works well? We have terrible mosquitos all day, all summer. I was just considering buying some from MadeOn, but was hoping to hear from someone that had tried it first!

      1. It has been working for me and my kids. I usually seem to attract mosquitoes so I feel like I can say pretty certainly that it works. We live in Middle TN and I have used it at dusk when our insects seem to be the worst. Good luck!

      2. Anna,
        We had good luck with it last year, and I just got a new bar b/c I lost the old one…Sometime before the end of the summer I’ll review a bunch of them officially. 🙂 Katie

  21. Wow– some of my favorite topics today! I am not an *expert*, nor a *professional*, but I do have a few tidbits for you relating to this post (These are things that work *for MY family*; YMMV):

    1) Sunscreen: sunscreen actually coats the skin and blocks it from being able to create Vitamin D, that all-important substance that we all seem to be deficient in. We don’t use sunscreen for normal daily outside activity. When we will be out in the sun for a LONG period of time… well, honestly, I still need o go review some of those other “safer” sunscreens such as you mention in the post.

    2) SunBURN relief: A cool infusion of chamomile, calendula, and/or comfrey (or a combination) is so nice! There are other “weeds” that would be great for relieving sunburn too.

    3) Mosquito repellant: I have actually mostly just followed the “get out of their way” method: when the mosquitos come out, we go in! I recently heard (and I can’t give credit because I don’t recall WHERE I heard it, sadly!) about using a diatomaceous earth spray (made simply with food-grade DE and water) to keep bugs of all sort off (I intend to try it for my pets for fleas!).

    4) After bugs bite: I have one child who is allergic to bee stings. Not “rush to the hospital” or “get an epi pen”- allergic, but enough to make me step up and take notice. He stepped on a honeybee at the age of two and I seriously thought his poor little foot was going to explode! He and his bee allergy was the ONLY thing that convinced me to keep Benadryl in the house, as I continued to search and pray for a more natural, EFFECTIVE solution. I finally found it: homeopathic apis. There are other homeopathic remedies that are good for all sorts of other issues that I needed help for as well: rhus tox for poison ivy, ledum for hives/ant stings, and borax for those annoying sores one sometimes gets in the mouth.

    5) cuts/scrapes: when my kids come to me with a cut or scrape, they know that the first words out of my mouth will be “have you washed it yet?” The next thing I’ll say to them is “You know where the Baby Balm is!” (as I look at the injury to make sure it does not require more than this, of course). For years, I have made my own salve of chamomile,calendula, and/or comfrey (or sometimes other herbs, but these 3 are my “standby”) infused in olive, almond, and/or jojoba oil; then combined with beeswax and vitamin E and/or grapefruit seed extract. We use this salve for everything from diaper rashes to cuts and bruises (yes, bruises: comfrey is remarkable for bruises!).

    I *strongly* encourage anyone to do their own research prior to using ANY herbal or homeopathic remedy! Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for EVERYONE/every use it’s touted for. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, and just as with over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs (both of which we try to avoid at all costs), each person’s body will respond differently to various home/herbal remedies.

    1. Do you have any recipes/amounts for what you use, particularly the Baby Balm? I’m tiptoeing into the world of holistic medicine and it helps to have suggested amounts. I do have some great herb/oil books, but I’m curious about yours.

    2. Important: I have heard that a person can be moderately allergic to something like a bee sting their whole lives, then one day they have a severe allergic reaction that can kill them. This does happen.

      So if I were you, I would definitely get an Epi-pen, hoping your child doesn’t ever have to use it. Better to be safe than sorry. You may want to reassure the child so he/she doesn’t live in fear, but by the same token, it is better for everyone to be aware that sometimes these things happen.

    3. Renee,
      Thank you so much! Want to write a guest post on this (basically this with amounts, how to, and a photo) for when we’re moving the first week of July? I’m totally serious; I’d love to have this information captured on KS for everyone to read.

      Great point about natural not always being safe. My aunt is so allergic to eucalyptus oil that any of my “bug sprays” would send her running from the house wheezing.

      Thank you again! 🙂 Katie

      1. Katie, I would love to do a guest post for you. I just emailed you about this (please let me know if you don’t get the email. I am new to the blogging world, so please forgive my naivety.).

        1. Renee,
          I don’t see the email! I’ll send you the guest post guidelines quickly though – thanks – Katie

  22. Calendula salve (olive oil/beeswax combo) is very nice as a transition away from Neosporin. Helped me feel like I was doing something to help, and the calendula is good on lots of things.

  23. If you are unlucky enough to tangle with poison ivy, a dusting of corn starch really helps with the itchy rash–even though you will look funny.

    1. Beth @ Turn 2 the Simple

      I haven’t had poison ivy since I heard of this, but it would be worth a try — rhubarb! Rub the juice from a freshly cut stalk onto the itchy patches. I guess you probably also could puree it and put on itchy patches.
      Another thing that works great but isn’t all that natural and stings is an alcohol based hand sanitizer (or plain rubbing alcohol). If you catch the poison ivy early you can often prevent it from becoming a full-blown weeping mess by putting rubbing alcohol on the itchy spots several times a day — my husband used this often.

  24. My dad used Chickweed Salve for bug bites. Just make sure that the rest of the ingredients mixed in with it are safe, like olive oil and vitamin E.

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