3 all-natural remedies to look good and feel well this summer


Every once in a while, I like to flip through my herbal and home remedies books to find simple solutions for everyday ailments.

It’s useful stuff. I like knowing how to relieve various pain points that may have been otherwise tempting to ignore or try addressing with random buys. Sometimes, powerful solutions are right in our pantries.

So today, I’ll share three remedies that, at least to me, seem timely and easy to integrate. You may have seen these suggestions before; perhaps they’ll actually be useful now.

Baking soda for stained teeth

As masks are coming off, there’s been a reported spike in demand for all kinds of beauty products, including teeth whiteners.

In my experience, whitening strips can be somewhat uncomfortable and inconvenient, not to mention expensive. For an alternative home remedy, try buffing stains out of your teeth: apply a dab of toothpaste onto your toothbrush then dip it into a small amount of baking soda.

“Home Remedies Rx” (Althea Press) says, “This mild abrasive will help whiten teeth and make stains disappear over time.”

Aloe for wrinkles and more

Aloe vera plants are said to wonderful air purifiers. I have one in my bedroom and appreciate it for several reasons.

You may already know that the gel is a helpful remedy for minor burns (including from the hot summer sun), as well as insect bites. It can serve us in the beauty department, too.

For a natural anti-wrinkle serum, regularly apply a thin layer of the gel onto your face after washing, and let it dry. “The malic acid the aloe contains will help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles while keeping skin moisturized,” according to “Home Remedies Rx.”

To extract gel from a plant, pick only the outermost leaves. Use what you need and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week. (For your plant to thrive, leave at least a week or two between cutting leaves and note that older plants — say, three to four years — recover best from regularly being picked.)

Apple cider vinegar for indigestion and sunburn

Apple cider vinegar has many promising qualities and healing effects. The two I find most relevant right now pertain to digestion and the sun.

Again, with the sun bearing down as folks hit beaches, mountains and other outdoor destinations, a sunscreen fail can happen — and hurt.

If you’re red and sore, add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath and soak for 10 minutes. You may find that this helps ease pain, especially when followed with an aloe rub.

As for digestive help, if Memorial Day is any indication, summer is party time.

If you eat too much and feel uncomfortably stuffed and bloated, combine 4 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Drink this to stimulate your digestive tract.

Just be wary not to overdo this. In small amounts, drinking apple cider vinegar can do a lot of good. Too much can cause other problems. Also, read the bottle to ensure you buy the purest vinegar possible.

Sure, an ounce of prevention can go a long way when it comes to frolicking in the sun (hello, sunscreen) and overeating (hi, moderation), but a lot of us are out of practice with things like travel and getting together.

In the end, I hope you don’t need any of this. But if you do, I hope it helps.

Marci Izard Sharif is an author, yoga teacher, meditation facilitator and mother. In Feeling Matters, she writes about self-love, sharing self-care tools, stories and resources that center around knowing and being kind to yourself.

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