Summer is a blessing and a curse. There’s nothing better than playing out under the sun’s warm rays, but a little too long in the sun can cause skin damage. But have no fear, herbalism is here! Beat the heat and soothe sunburns this summer with a cooling and soothing frozen calendula(Calendula officianalis)infused aloe vera(Aloe vera)gel ice cube.This recipe for DIY frozen aloe and calendula cubes will come in handy after the long days spent in the garden, the afternoons by the sea, or those children’s parties that seem to always be scheduled during heat waves.
We’ve all had sunburns, but the effects don’t lessen with each occurrence. The skin, bright red and tender to the touch, becomes irritated and sensitive. As the burn sets in, so can the incessant itching that goes along with it. I recently enjoyed the sun too long at the beach and let me tell you, my skin was red as a lobster! Thankfully, I had some tried and true herbal allies to calm and soothe my skin.
As a new(ish) herbalist, while going through theMastering Herbal Formulations course, I discovered the most interesting and fundamental practices. Looking at an herb’s energetic properties and herbal actions when combining herbs was something new, but easy for me to implement. With energetics in mind,I created a power duo to provide a rush of cool as well as a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect.
If you haven’t yet tried a cold pack, frozen washcloth, or in this case, ice cubes on your skin during summer, this is your sign to do it now! Opposing forces can offer balance; in summer, where there’s extreme heat, there are cold herbal recipes to bring down the discomfort.
Most of us have seen this succulent plant with its thick, juicy leaves. Inside of those spiky leaves is a famous gel with a long history. Cleopatra and Nefertiti rubbed fresh aloe on their skin as a means to preserve their beauty (Gage, 1996). The desire to look young is essentially the hope to retain one’s skin elasticity, smoothness, and an overall healthy appearance. Aloe vera can thankfully do just that!
Boasting a cooling energy, it is no wonder that aloe vera has been used to soothe sunburns, skin problems, minor wounds, and even frostbite. The reason we see aloe vera used for after-sun care or in various topical first aid products is largely due to the salicylic acid and magnesium found in this plant, which works together to ease pain (Herbarium, n.d.). Furthermore, salicylic acid is an organic compound used widely in various products and medications. Most notably, the positive effects of its topical use include skin exfoliation and anti-inflammatory properties (Arif, 2015).
When applied to the skin, the cooling properties of aloe vera, especially in gel form, are able to soothe a sunburn. The skin happily drinks up the moisture and some of the heat from the burn is quelled. With continued use, the skin is able to peel and shed the sunburn, allowing new skin to take its place.
Have you heard the name “the herb of the sun” when referring to calendula? This sunny, golden flower is unique in thatit opens its petals when the sun shines and withdraws them as the sun fades. With an affinity for all things solar, it makes sense that calendula provides soothing gifts to sunburned skin.
Notably, calendula can be used in helping wounds, sores, varicose veins, pulled muscles, bruises, and you guessed it, soothe sunburns(Heinerman, 1996). This plant ally is a powerful flower to include in topical herbal creations.Calendula’s anti-inflammatory and astringent actions combined with its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties make it a common choice for a wide variety of skin issues (Hoffmann, 2003). When used topically in this DIY recipe, calendula provides hydration that the skin desperately needs when inflamed, burned, or irritated (Akhtar et al., 2011).
DIY Frozen Aloe and Calendula Cubes to Soothe Sunburns and Hot Skin IssuesBeat the heat and those sunburns this summer with this soothing, cooling, and skin rejuvenating recipe. Use these simple herbal ingredients and your skin will thank you!