I have written quite a bit about building your immune system and keeping it strong. That is your best defense against things like viruses and bacteria.
Now that summer is around the corner, I want to make sure you have the best solutions for fun in the sun and potential bug bites, including ticks. How you handle these two things can either boost your immune system or knock it down. Read on to find out more, including how to properly remove a tick.
Getting Good Sun is Important
The sun has gotten a bad rap over the last few decades. You need the sun. Most of you heard by now that the sun is what helps your body create Vitamin D, which is critical for your immune system. If you are constantly slathering on suncreen, you are not able to make Vitamin D from the sun.
I am not a big fan of sun glasses either. Yes, we need them sometimes when the sun is too strong, when driving during certain times of the day, etc. But did you know that your eyes need to absorb healing rays from the sun too?
This is especially important as we combat our constant use of screens and the blue light they emit. However, the research is finally catching up. The sun provides nutrients for our eyes too!
See this article for additional tips to having fun in the sun. It will include a link to the most current Environmental Working Group’s (EWGs) sunscreen database. Be sure to check the ingredients in your sunscreen before using it all summer long. Even better, use the tips in the article so you are able to get some of the benefits of the sun.
The key for your immune system is to get quality sun directly on your skin (without sunscreen) for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day. (Some of you may need to build up to this.) And, when you do use sunscreen, use the most natural one you can find. Learn how here.
Cautious But Not Fearful of Bugs
Ticks are another big warm weather fear for many. Yes, ticks carry microorganisms that can cause Lyme Disease, but so can other bugs. Fleas, mosquitoes, spiders just to name a few. These same insects can also pass on bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This is where a strong immune system comes into play.
There are some who believe you should take a round of antibiotics every time you find a tick attached to your body. However, each round of antibiotics knocks out as many good bacteria and other symbiotic organisms in your body as the bad bacteria. You need this good bacteria for a strong immune system. (Not to mention not all Lyme-related organisms are bacteria-based, so the antibiotic would not work on those.)
Instead, when necessary, I like to subscribe to a tick protocol that Joette Calabrese made popular, but which actually came from the Banerji doctors in India. See this article for more details.
In the mean time, be smart when you know you will be walking in the woods. Wear long sleeves, tuck your pants into your socks and wear a hat if you are concerned. The essential oil of citronella is also a good deterrent. You can mix 6 to 8 drops of organic citronella in a 2 oz. spray bottle filled with water and spray your clothes before heading out. Spraying 100% apple cider vinegar all over is also a good bug deterrent, especially for mosquitos.
How To Properly Remove A Tick
Always check yourself (and your kids) for ticks after being in the woods or walking through tall grasses. Especially check the edges of your clothes and hairline. They do not usually latch on right away so the sooner you can remove a tick the better.
If you do find a tick that is already latched on, the best way to remove it is by using tools like this – I especially like the tweezers. (I suggest getting a few and keeping one with you at all times.)
You do not want to:
- grab the tick’s body and pull, because that will squeeze the tick and potentially send more toxins into your body
- topically apply an essential oil or flame to the tick because that will aggravate the tick, potentially causing it to regurgitate and increase the risk of infection
- scrape the tick off because that can leave part of the stinger in the skin, which may result in an infection.
Ticks actually “bite” you by rotating its stinger into your skin, like a barb. So to remove the tick, what you want to do is grab the stinger. Either slide the tick remover tool between the tick and the skin or use the tweezers to grab the stinger as close to the skin as possible. Once secure, spin or rotate the stinger/tick three times so that it disengages and easily pulls out. (You may need to do this more than once.)
After a tick is removed or after other bug bites you can topically apply an essential oil to the bite/sting as explained here.
Most importantly, pay attention to yourself and love ones after getting a tick or other bug bite. If you are in any way concerned, you may want to start the Banerji Lyme protocol. I have seen it work multiple times, even when fever or chills occur (especially within the first 24 hours) or the bite gets especially aggravated,
One last bug bite tip: If you happened to get stung by a bee, the best remedy to have on hand is the homeopathic Apis mellifica 30X or 30C, especially if you tend to swell after a sting. You can take a couple of these pellets every 15 minutes for the first hour until the sting and/or swelling resolves.
Stay strong and healthy this Summer!