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4 Natural Home Remedies to Ease the Pain of Sunburn

At some time or another, we’ve all experienced the effects of sunburn – be it a light burn or a more heavy burn.

Although the sting of regret of inadequate protection (from UV exposure) can be an excellent incentive to plan more carefully on ‘future’ occasions, it’s of little help in soothing the immediate physical sting (i.e. pain) accompanying sunburn.

However if you ‘have’ found yourself having spent a little too much time in the sun, -- here are 4 natural home remedies to help ease the pain of sunburn, and assist in the body’s healing process:

1. Cool Milk Compresses: - The fat and lactic acids in milk are known to have soothing qualities for sunburned skin. Soak a soft cloth or cotton gauze in cool whole milk, and dab carefully onto the burned skin. Do this for around 20 minutes, and follow by rinsing off with cool water. (Due to the importance of the milk’s fat content, it’s important that whole milk be used in this treatment).

2. Cool, sugarless tea: - The tannin in tea is the active ingredient here, which helps to soothe and relieve some of the discomfort of sunburned skin. After brewing a big pot of tea, and allowing it to cool completely, slosh the affected areas with a soft sponge or washcloth. As with the vinegar (4), you could also fill a spray bottle, and spray the tea directly on the skin. And don’t throw away the used (cool) teabags. These are especially good for sensitive areas around the eyes – simply place the teabags over your eyes if they feel hot and tired. (If you have ‘St. John’s Wort’, consider using this as it contains cooling properties, which can help tone down some of the heat in your skin, as well as soothing the nerve endings damaged by the sunburn).

3. Aloe Vera: - Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat sunburn. As well as providing soothing relief, it may also assist in the healing process. Apply to the affected areas as needed. Although the gel extracted directly from an aloe Vera plant works best, if you don’t have ready access to one, you may use an ‘over the counter’ Aloe Vera Cream that contains the gel. For this to be effective, just ensure that the cream contains a high concentration of Aloe Vera than it does water or other solutions.

4. Water: - When exposed to the sun, your body loses water and essential body salts. Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much fluid, and begins to reabsorb fluid from the blood and other body tissues. To prevent the consequences of dehydration, increase your fluid intake to ensure you adequately re-hydrate your body for optimum recovery and health.

Sunburn should of course be avoided where possible -- particularly as it’s adverse affects not only include damage to the skin, but also the increased risk of skin cancer. Prevention and protection should always be considered the best treatment for sunburn, and will assist in ensuring your optimum long-term health!

DISCLAIMER: These are home remedy tips only, and should not replace your regular health care provider. If in doubt at any time in relation to your sunburn, please seek the appropriate health care assistance.

Brushing With Cranberries Maybe Later

Brushing With Cranberries? Maybe Later

Many of us remember the time from around last November when a flurry of reports citing Tel Aviv University and the University of Rochester suggested we might be brushing with cranberries soon.

The University of Rochester tested the effect of cranberries on a synthetic enamel-like substance, and found that the tart little fruit had strong abilities to repel cavity-causing bacteria, even warding off the formation of plaque.

Immediately, the world saw a super-effective cranberry toothpaste in its future. True, fluoridated public water had already cut down on our average number of cavities substantially, but perhaps if we combined fluoride with a super-toothpaste, we'd see them disappear altogether.

Not so fast, say researchers and dentists. One of the drawbacks is that normally, we add and consume vast amounts of sugar with our cranberries. Needless to say, the Rochester experiments did not add sugar to the mix, yet most of the popular cranberry products on our store shelves are loaded with it.

No problem, said those of us who like to keep up on dental trends. What if we just add xylitol, a somewhat scary-sounding but natural sweetener that's been shown to do its own number on S. mutans and even reverse minor tooth decay in some instances?

Even then, we still have a problem. Because cranberries are not only bitter, they're extremely acidic. Applying acidic products to your teeth can end up softening the tooth enamel. Our teeth have the ability to recover and harden up again, but if they encounter acidic substances too often, the enamel will eventually start to erode.

So for now, just wait, say dentists. The trick is to isolate all the beneficial compounds in cranberries while removing the need to partner it with truckloads of sugar, and avoiding the acid problem. Needless to say, manufacturers are on the trail, but they haven't gotten there yet.

That isn't to say you won't find any cranberry-containing toothpastes -- some, produced by smaller outfits, have already hit the market. If you look at these products, you'll see that they claim to have isolated all the positive cranberry compounds already. For those who like to experiment, it might be worth a try. But if you'd rather wait for a wider understanding that cranberry compounds have been properly identified and isolated before you switch toothpastes, go ahead.

Still, consider eating your cranberries anyway, even if it's not Thanksgiving. They've been shown to come with loads of benefits, including an ability to help prevent clogged arteries and inhibit hostile bacteria in the stomach and urinary tract. Cranberries have also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, and even aid in recovery from stroke.