Natural Remedies

So you can enjoy your summer
rachel-pic-2Along with warmer weather comes numerous challenges. Mosquitoes, traffic, and sunburns are just a few. This season is full of hectic and relaxing events that ensure it won’t be boring. As a part-time resident of Asheville, finding natural remedies and substitutes is something that I thoroughly enjoy. To aid your summer experience, I have compiled a list of recipes that can be created from household items. From bug spray to deodorant, these DIY projects will be fun to make and beneficial to use! Unfortunately, they may not help with the traffic.

30 SPF Sunscreen

  • 1 Tbsp. beeswax granules/pastilles
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. zinc oxide powder

1) Melt the oils and beeswax in a double boiler ( or a glass bowl sitting on top of a pot with boiling water) turned to a low simmer.

2) Add in the zinc oxide powder.

3) Thoroughly blend in the zinc oxide until there are no clumps, and whip the oils just a bit.

4) Pour into mason jars and store.

Whipped coconut oil and aloe vera lotion

  • 1 aloe vera leaf
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
  • Essential oils of your choice (optional)

1) Scoop out the gel from a small aloe vera leaf and blend it.

2) Put the extra-virgin coconut oil in a bowl.

3) Add the blended aloe vera gel.

4) Whisk the mixture using an electric or hand whisker for 5 to 10 minutes until you get a fluffy, frosting-like consistency.

5) Optionally, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender and peppermint oils and whisk again.

6) Transfer your whipped coconut oil lotion into the glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for several weeks.

Using aloe leaves

1) Place the leaves upright in a cup to let the dark yellow resin drain out. The resin contains latex, which can be slightly irritating to skin. It’s best to drain it out so it won’t get into your gel.

2) Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel off all of the skin on one side of the each leaf. This will leave a canoe-shape, half filled with gel.

3) Scoop the gel out with a spoon.

Shaving cream

  • 4 Tbsp. solid shea butter
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp.sweet almond oil
  • 10-12 drops pure lavender essential oil (optional)

1) Using a double boiler, (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering hot water) add the shea butter and coconut oil and let them melt over the lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat once completely melted.

2) Add almond oil and essential oils and stir to combine completely.

3) Transfer bowl to a fridge and let the mix harden. Remove from fridge and whip with an electric-mixer until the mixture is the consistency of frosting.

4) Let this sit on the counter for a couple minutes before transferring to an airtight container (a mason jar) for up to a month.


  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 40 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of one or a combination of lemon, orange, peppermint, or frankincense essential oils

1) Mix all the ingredients together and place in a jar (it is easier to mix when the coconut oil is slightly melted).

Apply a small amount with hands. If you use peppermint, wash your hands after you apply.

Bug spray from fresh or dried herbs

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 cup witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
  • Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, or lavender (using at least one herb from the mint family is recommended).

1) Boil the water and add 3-4 Tbsp. of dried herbs in any combination from the above.

2) Mix well, cover, and let cool.

3) Strain herbs out and mix water with witch hazel or rubbing alcohol.

4) Store in a spray bottle in a cool place and use as needed.


  • 40-50 drops of essential oils. You can use one kind of essential oil, or mix and match from the following:
  • Rosemary, Citronella, Clove, Geranium, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Mint, Lemongrass, Basil, Thyme
  • 1 cup of your favorite carrier oil, such as coconut oil

1) Mix essential oil(s) into your carrier oil.

2) Store in a small glass jar or tub.

This can be dabbed lightly on wrists, inside the arm, behind the knees and around the ankles.

Keeping mosquitoes away

  • Choose a breezy location; any breeze above 1 Mph makes it difficult for them to fly.
  • Wear tightly woven clothing; avoid cotton. This will block their bites.
  • Dress in bright colors; these are less attractive to them.
  • Plant basil, lavender, peppermint, sage, and rosemary to act as natural repellants.
  • Avoid the mosquito peak during dusk.


  • 2 Tbsp. liquid soap
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Tbsp. red cayenne pepper

1) Mince the onion and garlic and mix with the water.

2) Add the cayenne pepper and allow the solution to sit for 1 hour.

3) Add the soap and mix the solution well.

4) When the suds subside, strain the solution into a spray bottle. Refrigerate the solution with the spices for up to 2 weeks.

Sprinkle this mixture on plants or put it in a spray bottle to spray plants. Spray the natural bug killer directly onto insects.

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