Elise de Villiers, DI Hom
All winter long youve waited for the sun, and here it isbut waitarent you supposed to avoid the sun? Instead of avoiding our largest source of energy, follow these friendly tips to help you enjoy this summer outside!
All winter long you’ve waited for the sun, and here it is–but wait–aren’t you supposed to avoid the sun? Instead of avoiding our largest source of energy, follow these friendly tips to help you enjoy this summer outside!
The Bright Side of the Sun
We hear much about the dangers of the sun. While it is true that severe burns may lead to melanoma, the sun can also prevent cancer if exposure levels are safe. Moderate exposure to the sun promotes the formation of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is actually a steroid-hormone precursor that is formed when skin is exposed to sunlight. Research shows that vitamin D from sunlight is protective against multiple sclerosis and breast and colon cancers.
Respecting the power of the sun is a must. For the first few weeks of bright sun and heat, introduce your skin to the rays slowly. Start out with 10 minutes two to three times daily, and allow your skin to darken slowly, creating a natural outer resistance to the sun.
Our most powerful skin protection comes from the inside out. Every cell membrane in the body can be strengthened by consuming fresh, unrefined essential fatty acids (EFA). A plant-based EFA oil contains antioxidants and fat-soluble nutrients that can act as protectors to your skin cells. Other important skin protectors and healers are carotenes, vitamin E (with mixed tocopherols), vitamin C, selenium, zinc, sulphur (MSM is a good source), and plenty of fresh vegetables.
One of my favourite skin defenders is an antioxidant called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) from grape-seed extract. OPC molecules strengthen collagen proteins, improving the elasticity of skin. OPCs inhibit oxidative damage and protect the epidermis from sun damage.
The following homeopathic remedies are not used to protect skin, but should be in your natural first-aid kit for the treatment of minor sunburns and heatstroke.
Super Sunburn Remedies
Calendula cream or gel can soothe and repair all types of minor burns. Sunburns will heal quickly with topical applications of calendula and will prevent scarring.
We are often so concerned about sunburns and skin cancer that many of us overlook the risk for the dismal experience of heatstroke, which can be potentially life threatening. It is vital to consume water frequently while outdoors. There are also electrolyte-balancing products available at health food stores that can be added to water to prevent dehydration.
Help with Heatstroke
Be Sun Smart
Soak up those rays and know that healthy sun exposure will energize you and help your body formulate disease-fighting vitamin D. Get outside with your hat, shades, and a tall glass of water. Don’t forget to bring along your homeopathic first-aid kit–and have a great summer!