Summer is a wonderful time of year — lots of sun, fun, sand and barbeques. But we can definitely enjoy fun in the sun the natural way. There are some simple tips and remedies that will help you to remain at optimal health this summer.


Sun safety is of course the primary goal. Sunburn damages the skin and heightens the risk of skin diseases. Some exposure is healthy for our valuable vitamin D requirements. Vitamin D helps to maintain healthy bones and is what gives you the warm fuzzies in the sun.

This little vitamin has a huge role to play on mood and the lack of it is what causes S.A.D. , seasonal affected disorder. Reduced serotonin in the brain can cause anxiety and depression. However, we must remember how powerful the sun rays can be and the effect it can have on our skin.

There are some great natural sunscreens available and the beauty with them is that they are free of chemicals that can cause toxic build up in the body.

Our skin absorbs any product we place on our skin and obviously at various levels depending on what we use. During the summer months we apply lots of sunscreen and sun care products on our skin so the more natural they are the better.


The same applies to deodorants. Laffe’s is a great natural hemp based deodorant that works really well. It contains no aluminium and therefore reduces the risk of breast cancer and other metabolic disorders.


Dehydration is another condition that needs to be prevented where possible. Our body is largely made up of water and almost all metabolic processes which occur in our bodies use water as a medium for chemical reactions. Water keeps our cells plump and healthy, our blood ph balanced and dehydration can cause havoc with our nervous system, water balance and general well being.

By the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so my advice is not to wait, sip away all day on a water bottle during the summer. We sweat to cool down our body temperature but at the same time we lose essential electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and magnesium. The same thing occurs when we have a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.

Gastro complaints

Gastric complaints rise over the summer months and can be caused by viral or bacterial infection. I suggest to my clients to take a course of acidophilus at the beginning of every season to keep the bowel healthy and reduce the risk of infection.

Higher levels of good gut bacteria help to ward off the nasty bacteria which can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. If a gastric complaint hits your family there are plenty of natural remedies available to help reduce the discomforts and length of symptoms.

Slippery Elm powder is a favourite with me. It soothes the mucus membrane linings of the gastrointestinal tract by coating it and in turn lowers the sensitivity of that lining in cases of infection and inflammation. Personally I use it every time one of my family members has an upset stomach and it works like a dream. Slippery Elm powder is also very nutritive so is great when there is a loss of appetite too.

Homeopathic remedies such as koromiko for diarrhea, nausyn and nux vomica for nausea and vomiting are great and safe to use for babies and breastfeeding mums. These products should be in your cupboard as first aid measures they are a god send.

Mosquito bites

For the mosquito bites take Vitamin B1, the little critters won’t like the taste of you then. Natural insect repellents are available at all health stores but one of my favorites is the Tui Bug Balm. It works and is pleasant to use and goes a long way. Again remember anything that goes on the skin can be absorbed and we can really pile on the repellent during the summer.


Skin irritation and heat rash can be a problem for sensitive skin during summer so I recommend Lucas Paw Paw cream as a general all rounder for the skin and it is exceptionally good to use as a lip balm too.

Calendula oil and Vit E oil is very nourishing for the skin and helps to keep skin supple and healthy. Eczema can improve with the sun but it can also be aggravated by heat and salt water. Although the sea water is healing it stings like mad so be prepared with Aloe Vera gel to cool down the inflammation and irritation. Aloe is great for bites and sun burn too.

Bee stings

Apis cream is the bee sting cream and obviously bees love the summer too with all those beautiful flowers in full bloom.

General health and wellbeing

For general health I recommend a bit of an immune boost for summer, the heat does promote bacterial growth and so start with the Echinacea, Vit C and Zinc now. If your health has been out of whack then I really do recommend a parasite cleanse and then replenish the gut with probiotics.

Nasty little parasites can cause a low level infection and inflammation which impairs the immune system over time and causes general debilitation and lack of vital energy. Cleansing can help to improve your health enormously.

Swimming is great fun and good exercise and also can increase the risk of ear infections. Bacteria can enter the ear canal and cause an infection very easily. Dry the ears or even wear a swimming hat especially at the local swimming pools.

Some other herbs to remember are

  • Golden seal for bacterial infection anywhere in the body
  • Fennel and Yarrow for digestive problems
  • Agrimony for kids with diarrhea and low appetite.
  • Levisticum for ear infections (homeopathic remedy)
  • Coldmed for summer colds
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Tracy Harris is a registered NZ naturopath and herbalist, and natural health writer, who has both a natural health shop and a natural mother & child store in Auckland.

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