Summer Herbal First Aid Kit

By Sam Derbishire, Supplement Educator

SunburnWe all get so excited for summer in CNY, but with summer come some unpleasant health ailments like sunburns and bug bites. Here are my favorite herbal remedies for these summer-specific concerns.

Lavender Oil for Sunburns
Lavender essential oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it well-suited for natural skin-care use. Unlike many similar essential oils and plant extracts, it’s safe to apply directly to small areas of the skin without diluting it with water. Apart from the immediate cooling relief it provides, lavender oil also promotes new skin.

Repel and Kill Ticks with Geranium Essential Oil and Relieve the Bites with Thyme Essential Oil
Apply geranium oil before heading out into the woods. It can also be applied to the area where a tick embeds to get the tick to back out of the skin. Thyme essential oil applied topically provides relief after removal of ticks.

Remedies for Cuts, Scrapes, Bruises, and Stings
Use Ed’s Herbal Salve for cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Try Apis Homeopathic for stings. Both work wonderfully and are safe for children.

All of these products are available at Natur-Tyme so ask our friendly staff to help you find them on your next visit to the store.

Keep Kids on Track Over the Summer

By Laurel Sterling, RD

MotherDaughterGardeningSummer time is a time of the year that schedules change for many of us, and it is easy to get off track in many areas of our lives. We stay up later with the sun being out longer so our sleep is off. There are wonderful parties, picnics, and BBQs that we attend and as a result our eating is not as optimal as it could be.

For our children, we tend to have them involved in activities and camps over the summer to keep them busy and out of mischief. I feel this also is a perfect time to get them more involved in things like gardening, cooking, juicing, etc.

My 6-year-old daughter Lily LOVES to help out in the kitchen; so I bought her a small Island bamboo cutting board to use for cutting up produce when we are prepping for grilling or juicing. This is a great time of year with all the fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables to get children more interested in juicing and cooking. At my house, we have cilantro, basil, and several mints growing in our herb garden right outside our kitchen door. Lily loves to make up her own juice recipes. Some are amazing and others….well…..let’s just say we are still experimenting with them!

Using more fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from your own gardens really gets kids connected to where there food comes from. They can see the entire “Farm-to-Table” process right in their own backyard! My daughter picks blackberries from the bushes in our yard, and we use the berries to make smoothies with the Lifeway Keifer and a protein powder. Vega French Vanilla and Lifetime Life’s Basics Plant Protein Mix Natural Vanilla Flavor are my two favorite protein powders to use. They are loaded with so many vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and more! These are a great way to sneak in additional nutrients that may be lacking from your child’s diet. You can also add Nature’s Way Liquid Coconut oil to your smoothie for some healthy additional fats, which are great for increasing cognition. Don’t we all need some of that?!

So let’s keep those kids on track, get them more involved with cooking, and make them healthier at the same time! All of the supplemental products I’ve mentioned are available right here at Natur-Tyme.

More great tips are available on

Healthful Summer Crafts

By Sam Derbyshire, Supplement Educator

herbsNearly 20 years ago, I found Natur-Tyme in my hunt for some obscure dried herbs. I had been learning to make my own soaps, salves, lotions, etc. and I was told about this little store that sold herbs by the ounce. I was in awe of the wall of jars that they had full of an amazing variety of herbs. As it turned out, the echinacea, ginseng, and comfrey I was looking for are rather common herbs.

Since then, I have tried recipes from many books. One of the few books I consider a ‘must have’ is Dina Falconi’s Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair (available at Natur-Tyme for $17.95). It has a multitude of recipes for many purposes. This book has recipes for everything from deodorant and sunscreen to sunburn care and cooling body splash. Here is the recipe for the body splash.

This is “an invigorating, cleansing and hydrating body splash for all skin types” from page 80 in the book Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair:

Spearmint Blend Body Splash

Combine equal parts dried spearmint leaf, dried nettle, and dried fennel seeds. Crush in a mortar and pestle (or food processor if mortar and pestle is not available). Boil 16 oz. of water and make an infusion with the crushed herbs. Steep for four hours and then strain. You can use more spearmint if you want a stronger mint smell. Pour strained infusion into a measuring cup and add an equal amount of 80 proof vodka. Stir together and pour into a container and splash as desired.

You can forgo the vodka and just use water if you wish, but it is an excellent preservative and helps it to dry quicker on your skin. If you do skip the vodka, this mixture will not keep for more then a week.

This same type of product can be made with ½ teaspoon of essential oil of Spearmint and ½ teaspoon of essential oil of fennel instead of the herbs in the above recipe. Note that the essential oils make this recipe quite potent.

Two Simple Refreshing Summer Recipes

By Genoa Wilson, Supplement Educator

HummusWhen we’ve waited so long for a summer to savor, it seems sacrilegious to complain about the heat.  But, with the dog days of summer stretching before us, it can be difficult to find inspiration to cook healthy meals when it’s too hot to hoot.

Consider a cooling tabouleh with herbs, tomatoes and cukes fresh from the garden or your local farmer’s market.

Soak 1 heaping cup of bulgur (available at Natur-Tyme), 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 or 2 teaspoons of sea salt in one and a half cups of boiling water covered for an hour until all water is absorbed and bulgur is cool.

Stir in ¼ cup of a quality olive oil (for a great value, consider Field Day olive oil that we sell at a HUGE discount everyday!), ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, a large amount of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, fresh chives or green onions, tomatoes, and cukes and refrigerate for several hours.

You can also get creative and add kalamata olives, feta cheese, peppers, or anything that strikes your fancy for a cool and refreshing nutritious whole grain salad.

Another warm weather favorite that my kids love to use as a sandwich spread or a dip with fresh veggies or pita chips is homemade hummus.

Using the blades in a food processor, combine 1 can drained garbanzo beans, 1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini, 1 clove coarsely chopped garlic, a splash of olive oil, juice from half a lemon, a sprinkle of salt, and enough water to form a smooth consistency.

Serve these two together on a hot summer night or take along on a picnic or camping trip. And be sure to grab all the summer you can – quick before the snow flies!

Maintaining Hydration


By Laurel Sterling, RD

In the summer, we tend to be outside more with physical activities, mowing lawns, gardening, parties, going for walks, and just plain having fun! We must remember not to ignore or dismiss our thirst mechanism. Typically when people think they are hungry, they actually are more than likely thirsty. Many times headaches are the result of dehydration, and one can feel dizzy, shaky, and lethargic when they are dehydrated. Sweating, stress, illness, and medications are ways we can lose our precious electrolytes.

Our bodies are made up of about 70% mineral water. It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses (64 oz) of water a day or half your body weight in ounces. Water increases your body’s efficiency by eliminating toxins, assists in weight loss, helps prevent muscle and joint pain, bloating and constipation, and it maintains healthy skin. Remember, for every one caffeinated product you drink, you will need to drink TWO 8 oz. glasses of water to offset it because caffeinated products are diuretics.

A simple way to maintain proper hydration would be to just drink more good ol’ water, but those who are very active outside in the heat may need additional support.

There are some great drinks like Harvest Bay Coconut Water and Essentia Super Hydrating Water that contain electrolytes to assist in rebalancing the body. Also, one could use E-lyte which is an electrolyte concentrate. This product can be diluted in water or other broths. Use caution with this product with children, those with high blood pressure, and people that are on a sodium-restricted diet. Other options are ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops that would be added to water. My personal favorite is the Trace Minerals Greens Pak. It has greens, vegetables, fruits, trace minerals, and more! I love the berry taste, and it is a fabulous product to add to your water bottle as you are headed outside.

Alexis’s Journey into the World of Natural Health & Beauty–Entry #5

Capers-Alexis_AFTERBy Alexis Capers – Alexis Capers is our Enhanced Beauty Salon and Enhanced Beauty Area manager. Join her every other Wednesday for a blog about her journey into natural health & beauty products.

With summer around the corner, many people are looking for a little change. Want a change but not ready for the full commitment? Try henna (henna application services available at our salon) instead! Check out these tips from our stylists on henna and how it benefits your hair:

1) It is safer than chemically coloring your hair and more gentle.

Pure henna is safe and gentle for your natural hair.  As you may know, chemical dyes can have an array of negative consequences; but, with henna dye, there are no such risks.

2) Your hair will be stronger and thicker.

Another one of the great benefits of henna for natural hair is that the color molecule in henna is absorbed into your hair shaft where it binds with keratin (the protein your hair is made of). It can also fill in any weak spots in your hair. The result? Stronger, thicker hair.

3) It adds shine and bounce.

One of the benefits of henna for natural hair you will love is that you will often notice that your hair is shinier after you have used henna in it. Many people also experience an added bounce to their hair.

4) It may loosen your curls.

Now, this is one of the benefits that may not apply to everyone. However, if you have really tight curls and you want to loosen them up, without chemicals, henna may be the solution for you. Over a period of time and several treatments, you may see a loosening of your curls, so you don’t have to worry about a drastic curl change that you can’t reverse.

5) It’s easy to apply.

One of the most appealing of the benefits of henna for natural hair is that it doesn’t require an expert to apply it. Henna dye has been used by many people for decades without the need for professional help. At the Enhanced Beauty Salon here at Natur-Tyme, we can give you instructions on how to apply it or you can see a stylist and have them apply it for you.

Products that I’m falling for: To keep those unruly locks tame, reach for these; I love them! Alaffia Curl Rejuvenating Tonic, and Curl Defining Gel will put a soft spring in your curl.  Aubrey Sea Buckthorn Leave-in Conditioner & Curl Activator is a great two-in-one product for control and definition. I never leave the house without Giovanni Frizz Be Gone!  Curly or straight, it keeps me looking polished! And John Masters Dry Hair Nourishment and Defrizzer is superb for treating dull, dry hair!


Homeopathic Remedies for Fun in the Sun

Carol B. Blair, BS, CNC, DiHomSunHat

We all know how short our Syracuse summers are and the last thing we need is to spend downtime suffering from bee stings, sunburns, poison ivy, or overextending ourselves from the “weekend warrior” routine. So I’ve put together a few homeopathic remedies to help get you back on track more quickly should one of these ordeals occur.

  • Arnica Montana is the one remedy I suggest everyone keep in their household. It’s a great remedy to have on hand when you overwork in the garden, bicycle a little too far, or are injured. The typical symptoms when this remedy is needed are sore and achy muscles, bruising, or injuries such as sprained ankles. For more serious events such as an accident, it is my first go-to remedy. Often the person who needs Arnica the most says, “I’m fine.” Arnica can also expedite the healing process after surgery, which is why plastic surgeons recommend it!
  • Another very important summer remedy is Apis Mel. This is the remedy for bee stings. When Apis is needed, the typical symptoms are red, itchy, and swollen areas with stinging pains. I carry this remedy in my purse because I have had reactions to bee stings in the past.
  • For those times when you enjoyed the sun a little too long, try homeopathic Causticum or Cantharis. They both work well to help reduce the pain and redness of the burn. Often these remedies will also help prevent blistering in more severe cases.
  • Last but not least is the remedy for that person who is sensitive to poison ivy. Here Rhus Tox is the typical antidote although there are others. The person who needs Rhus Tox has the characteristic poison ivy type rash with intense itchiness. They tend to be restless and thirsty as well. If you are prone to outbreaks from this miserable weed, Rhus Tox may be taken prophylactically. As an aside, many studies have shown that this remedy is also excellent for helping to relieve the pain of arthritis.

Because homeopathic remedies work on an energy level similar to acupuncture, all of these remedies may be used in conjunction with standard allopathic treatments. They are also safe for children. The typical doses are 6C, 12C, 30X, or 30C three times a day with the lower doses being used for children.

If you need additional help, our entire Natur-Tyme staff is very knowledgeable and can help you everyday at the store. I am available on weekdays only at Natur-Tyme at 671-5175 or by appointment.


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