Herbal treatment of sunburns
How to heal sunburns
It is very important to take into account that very serious sunburns require hospital care. Serious burns should receive medical care, too. (See types of burns)
The natural treatment for sunburns is intended to use natural remedies for first degree burns or minor second degree burns.
Phytotherapy: medicinal plants preparations for sunburns
Phytotherapy in the treatment of sunburns is based on using a number of medicinal plants whose primary objective is:
– Anti- inflammatory plants that reduce swelling.
– Anti microbial plants to prevent infection.
– Restorative plants, able to regenerate the skin.
Medicinal plants for sunburns
Among all the suitable plants we can distinguish the following:
– Aloe (Aloe vera) It is one of the most important natural remedies for treating burns. Aloe relieves pain, reduces inflammation and redness and prevents infection (Apply aloe gel on the burn. This gel can be purchased at health food stores or pharmacies or, more easily, can be obtained by cutting a leaf and squeezing it with the non-cutting edge of a knife on a flat surface. You can also peel the leaf and rub it gently on the burn)
– Vervain (Verbena officinalis) (Infusion of a half tablespoon of dried plant, wash the affected area).
– Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) The analgesic properties of lettuce can be used to mitigate the pain of sunburns (Decoction of lettuce leaves in water for 15 minutes. Cool and apply the liquid with gauze on the affected area)
– Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Cabbage exerts a tonic value to the skin, especially when mixed with a little olive oil. (Crush a fresh leaf and apply it as a poultice on the affected area. Change it every quarter on an hour.)
– Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) It helps cure sunburns, prevents pain and diminishes the possibility of infection (Apply witch hazel water on the burns with a lot o care)
– Plantain (Plantago spp) Applying a poultice, made with pounded fresh leaves applied on a sunburn, relieves pain and help regenerate the skin.
– Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) Demulcent properties of marshmallow are granted by its wealth of mucilage, pectin and sucrose. These sugary components, especially the mucilage, in contact with water, forms a kind of protective paste, like a gel that cures or prevent inflammation and relieves pain. (Boil a handful of roots in water for 10 to 12 minutes. Moisten with liquid and put a gauze over the sunburn)
– Hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.) Same as the marshmallow is rich in mucilage. (Infusion with a tablespoon of dried leaves and flowers per cup of water. Apply a compress over the affected area.)
– Carrot (Daucus carota) It assist skin to heal of the sunburn and prevents infection. (Grate a carrot and apply it on the sunburn)
– Linden tree (Tilia sp) the linden flowers are used as a very suitable choice for the external treatment of sunburn. They help reduce the burning, reduce inflammation and promote recovery of the affected skin (Apply the liquid from the infusion of one teaspoon of dried flowers per cup of water over the affected area)
– Apple (Malus domestica) (Apply apple pulp as a poultice on the sunburn. Change every quarter hour)
Other traditional home remedies to heal burns
Other home remedies that have been used for treatment of sunburns are:
– Bathing in cold water: To relieve pain and reduce general warmth, prepare a bath with cold water – not frozen – and introduced in it for a few minutes. If you plan to take a shower, the force of water on the sunburned skin is usually unpleasant, so it is better to take a bath.
– Apply cold compresses: It’s another way to reduce pain and swelling. Dip a cloth in cold water – not ice-and apply it against the burned area. This method is recommended when the burned areas are of lesser extent.
– Use yogurt and cold water: Another option for specific areas is to apply a layer of yogurt on the burn and then clean it with cold water.
– Use skimmed milk: Mix one cup of skim milk in a litter of cold water. Wet a towel and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes. Make a new application every 3 hours.
– Apply tea bags on eyes: When the sunburns affect the eyelids, tea bags can be used Dip the bag in cold water and apply over the sunburned eyelids.
More information about burns and their natural treatment.