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The nuts and bolts of summer fun

Summer is here and it's time for vacations. Whether hiking, camping, cruising, or retreating, an important part of an enjoyable vacation is staying safe and healthy. Equip yourself with these go-to healers so you are fully prepared for your travels, wherever they may take you.

:: First Aid Kit
Make sure that your kit contains a full supply of standard tools, including bandages, sterile cotton pads, gloves, a small pair of scissors, tape, triangular bandages and a face shield for CPR. Pharmaca carries all of these products from popular brands, as well as some ecofriendly and discount options. Complete your kit with a plant-based hand sanitizer from CleanWell or EO.

:: Sunburn
Protect yourself with a good sunscreen if you are going to be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes per day. A 2008 sunscreen study by the Environmental Working Group found that 80% of sunscreens tested contained hazardous ingredients or lacked full protection. Choose a mineral-based sun block like Badger or Sanitas for optimal protection. If you get sunburned, use Calendula ointment or Aloe gel topically to soothe.

:: Insect bites and stings
Internally treat swelling associated with bites and stings with the homeopathic remedy Apis 30C. Use a topical ointment to relieve itching. We like Aveeno Anti-itch Cream with hydrocortisone, aloe, oatmeal, and vitamin E. People with allergic reactions should talk to their doctor about getting a prescription EpiPen to take along on outdoor adventures.

:: Allergies
Pharmaca carries popular over-the-counter treatments like Zyrtec and Claritin, as well as natural options like Boiron Sabadil for relief of runny nose, teary and itchy eyes due to allergies. Children and pregnant women can breathe easy with WishGarden's Allergy Relief formulas.

:: Poison ivy/Poison oak rash
Pharmaca carries homeopathic remedies like Hyland's Poison Ivy/Oak formula and Rhus tox 30C, as well as standard treatment options like Benadryl anti-itch lotion. Even preventative formulas are available which can be applied to exposed skin before your walk in the woods.

:: Digestive disturbances
If you travel abroad, consider taking along some digestive support so you can indulge in local flavors. Arsenicum album 30C helps treat traveler's diarrhea. Jarrow's EPS probiotic capsules are stable at room temperature and can be used for diarrhea or indigestion of any nature. Try either Tums or DGL (Deglycerrhized licorice) for heartburn, and drink Smooth Move tea for relieving constipation.

:: Jet lag
Help get your body readjust to a new time zone with Sublingual Melatonin. This takes effect quickly and is convenient to carry when traveling. Try Hyland's Calms Forte or Rescue Sleep if you are trying to manage your sleep schedule.

Speak with one of our licensed practitioners or pharmacists about your summer plans, and we can help individualize treatment based on your needs.

Thanks to Preeti Kulkarni, ND, for her contributions to this article.

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