June: Summer Health

Photo: Cannon Beach, OR

Photo: Cannon Beach, OR

With the warm weather and sunny skies upon us, we hope you will be spending time in the great outdoors. Read our tips below to have a safe and healthy summer.

Ticks

Tick Bite Prevention: The most effective way to combat tick-borne illness is to reduce your exposure to ticks.

  1. Wear light colored clothing while hiking outdoors

  2. Wear long pants and tuck your pants into your socks

  3. Cistus incanus (Rock Rose) has anti-Lyme properties and can be prepared as a tea. Brew 1 teaspoon of the dried herb per 1 cup of boiled water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. You can make up to 5 days’ worth at a time and store in the fridge. Drink 1-2 cups per day. You can also transfer it to a spray bottle and spray your clothing, skin, and animals before going outdoors.

  4. Apply Sandalwood essential oil to your skin before going outdoors, as it has anti-Lyme properties. Mix 1-2 drops of the essential oil to a carrier oil (almond, apricot kernel, jojoba, olive, coconut and apply to your wrists, ankles, and the back of your neck.

  5. Do a thorough tick check after every hike, or after spending time outside. Make sure to have someone else check your scalp.

    1. Look everywhere! In/around ears, in/around the hair, under the armpits, around the waist, inside the belly button, in the groin area, behind the knees

    2. Make sure to check your hiking gear and pets

If You Are Bitten By a Tick:

Tick Removal

  • Using tweezers, grasp the tick at a right angle as close to the skin as possible

  • Pull upwards with even pressure - do not twist or pull quickly, as this can cause the mouth to break off and remain embedded in the skin

  • Clean the area with soap and water

  • Save the tick in a glass jar for testing.

If you think you may have been bitten by a tick, contact your provider as soon as possible. There are many treatments we can do to support your immune system while you wait for test results.

Tick Testing:

Even if a tick has been attached for less than 24 hours, it is unknown if Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses can be transmitted. It is still advisable to send the tick for testing.

Testing options:


UV Protection

While basking in the sun feels so good after months of grey skies, too much sun can have serious health effects. Most people can enjoy a maximum of 30 minutes of direct sun-exposure (less if you are very fair skinned or have a family history of skin cancer).

  • Cover up while outdoors - wear lightweight, sleeved clothing to stay cool and shield your skin from the sun’s rays.

  • Avoid suncreens with oxybenzone, homosalate, or octinoxate as these are known endocrine disruptors. Read more about sunscreen safety here.

  • Use a natural, mineral-based sunscreen with zinc or titanium oxide. Our favorite brands are

  • If you do get sunburned, avoid additional sun exposure and try the following remedies:

    • Apply a cool, damp towel over the affected area

    • Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, almond, apricot kernel) and gently massage over the burn

    • Apply fresh aloe leaf extract over the burn

  • When in the sun, always wear sunglasses that block UV light to protect your eyes


Staying Hydrated

Being active in summer heat poses a risk for dehydration. Drink water before you feel thirsty. Add a pinch of high-quality sea salt or use an electrolyte powder for mineral repletion.

Dr. Brooke Bodeen’s Watermelon Cooler Recipe

This is a recipe is adapted from Breitenbush Hot Springs. It’s great for keeping cool and hydrated in the hot summer months.

Ingredients

½ a medium sized watermelon

Juice of 2 limes

1 bunch of fresh mint leaves (about 12 leaves)

Filtered water

Directions

Scoop out the watermelon, separating the seeds (if seeded). Cut into 3 inch pieces. Place the watermelon, lime juice and mint in a blender. Add water until the fluid level reaches 32 ounces. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth texture.

Enjoy right away or store in the fridge for up to 2 days.


We hope you enjoy your time outside this summer.  Please speak with your provider if you have additional questions.

Kat Bodden