Natural ways to reduce summer health problems

With summer upon us, it’s time for fun and frivolity. But with the rise in heat, many of us may find that we also experience an increased incidence of summer health complaints. To avoid these pesky health concerns from getting in the way of your summer excitement, read on below for Clarissa’s top natural remedies. 

Hay fever
Ahhh, the dreaded hay fever season! Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and/or headaches sound familiar? Hay fever is one of the most common summer health conditions. Hay fever occurs when pollen from plants comes in contact with your mouth/eyes/throat and causes an allergic reaction.

While most people will reach for an antihistamine, there is a natural relief you can reach for (without the drowsy side effects). Quercetin is a natural plant chemical found in some foods such as apples, that can actually reduce histamine (the chemical released by our bodies in response to an allergy). One of my favourites is Quercetin B5 complex from Viridian. Always consult with a health care provider before taking any supplements.

For many of us, especially those of us staycationing, that may mean we up our picnic frequency, Pimm’s is in our glasses by 1pm and/or every meal becomes a BBQ! And while this is all fun, it can also increase our risk of dehydration, thanks to the combination of sunshine, foods high in salt, reduced intake of water and increased alcohol. 

To avoid dehydration, make sure to carry water with you everywhere you go. Clarissa recommends getting a reusable bottle to keep with you such as the S’well. It is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day but if you are in the direct sunshine then aim for even more.

And what about alcohol? Read our ‘How to drink smarter tips’ here.

Water Retention
Swollen feet in the heat or puffy face and hands? Water retention can be pretty uncomfortable and not so summer friendly, especially when summer calls for less clothes. Heat teamed with higher salt intake (thanks to those barbequed meats and picnic nibbles) can initiate body fluid retention. 

To avoid excess fluid retention, make sure to move every day – even walking can stimulate blood flow and excretion of fluid. Reduce salt intake by avoiding marinated foods, processed meats and added salt to meals. 

For a natural relief, you can try out Dandelion Root extract as a tincture or tea which can help reduce water retention. Always check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medication.

Word of caution. If you notice consistent swelling, particularly in the legs and feet, it is worth checking with your GP to rule out any underlying conditions.

The sun is out — and so are people, baring their skin to its rays. To protect yourself from harmful UV rays, avoid direct sunlight during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, and make sure you cover up with an SPF. And better yet, reach for a natural SPF. Long gone are the days of thick, paste like natural suncreams, nowadays the market is full of beautiful sunscreens that will protect your skin and the environment. Check out Green People’s Scent Free Suncreen and their after sun  is a dream. For an alternative natural after-sun, if you can get your hands on an aloe vera leaf, you are winning, Use the gel from inside the leaf and pop over your burnt skin for naturally healing relief.