Make plantain and marshmallow your go-to for natural sunburn relief

Too much sun can happen. It can happen unintentionally after a day of play outside, or simply because you forgot to reapply that second round of sunscreen after swimming. Whatever brought you to that moment when “too much” hits, you don’t have to suffer without help — there are plenty of natural options to help alleviate the pain of sunburn. And, while aloe also helps, isn’t the answer here.

Spring broadleaf plantain growing in North Carolina.

Chelsea Farley, who studied Western Herbalism at the California School of Herbal Studies, said that broadleaf plantain and marshmallow root is a good choice to relieve sunburn naturally.

“I make body wraps soaked in a cold plantain leaf and marshmallow root tea,” said Farley. After you get the wraps nice and wet, apply directly to skin for a cooling and healing effect. Repeat as needed, but you should start to notice relief rather quickly, she said.

You can also make a plantain and marshmallow infused honey to apply directly to your skin. “It’s sticky, but it works,” said Farley.

This plantain is not that large banana you fry up for a delicious snack, but a common backyard or roadside weed (depending on what part of the country you live in). It is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and has also been purported to relieve the itchy/burning sensation one experiences with a reaction to poison ivy.

If you can’t find plantain lurking about in nature, you can usually find it in the bulk herb section of your local health food store.

Marshmallow Root, another common herb found on health food store shelves, commonly shows up alongside other ingredients in teas for cold and mucous relief. But, that relief isn’t limited internally; its inflammation reducing properties can be transferred to the skin as well.

Organic Farming

Farmer sees beyond organic to increase food nutrient density, sustainability

“We are what we eat” is an old adage that is true more today than ever before. Highly processed foods and chemical additives are being looked at in a whole new light as scientists are proving links between obesity and their consumption. There is also a large debate going on across the globe as to the safety of utilizing synthetic fertilizers.

With all of the information available — both transparent and hidden — it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what is “right” and what is “wrong” in food choices. The biggest things people need to understand are: 1) that not all foods are created equal, and 2) the way food is grown does have an impact on the sustainability of health and the environment.

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Why The almost Natural Mama?

People define living naturally in a plethora of ways. For some people, it may be living off-the-grid in a solar powered home, for others, it may mean choosing to eat organic food over conventional food. For me, it is the pursuit of making healthy, informed choices for my family, lessening my impact on the environment, and helping to create a happy, sustainable home. Continue reading “Why The almost Natural Mama?”

Health coach helps bring balance for increased wellness

When you feel tired and worn out, it’s hard to get anything accomplished. Day-to-day life can feel like a drag. But, when you feel energetic, the world opens up in new and wonderful ways. Possibilities that seemed beyond your reach in the past somehow seem obtainable now.

Finding that health balance is a struggle for some people; not knowing what parts of your life need to be changed to increase health and wellness is a common issue. This is where a health coach comes in.

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Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Cheryl Johnson, CMJ Photography

Today’s disposable lifestyle is not sustainable. Fast fashion, chemical laden beauty products, highly processed foods, copious amounts of screen time, and one-use plastics create waste in the environment and in our bodies. The word “natural” once signified safe choices, but not so much anymore.

Living a natural, sustainable lifestyle is about daily choices — choices in the foods you eat, choices in how you spend your money, choices in how you live your life daily, choices in what products you utilize, and so much more. The almost Natural Mama explores ways to help increase sustainable living for everyone.