The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Sunburn

Definition

Dermatitis due to excessive exposure to the actinic rays of the sun. Complication of sunburn is sunstroke. Sunstroke is an acute and dangerous reaction to heat exposure.
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Causes

Over-exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or in a tanning salon. Often falling asleep while sunbathing. The amount of exposure that will cause a burn depends on the individual, the place, the time, and the atmospheric conditions. Avoid the sun when the ultraviolet rays are at their strongest, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reflections from water, metal, sand, or snow may double the amount of rays absorbed.

Remember, ultraviolet rays can penetrate clouds, thus burning is possible on hazy or cloudy days.

Prevention is the key word here. Never go out in the sun for extended periods without a sunscreen lotion. Be sure the sunscreen lotion is the right percentage of protection for your skin tone.
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Symptoms

Burns are classified in three degrees. A first-degree sunburn reddens the skin. A second-degree sunburn causes reddening of the skin with some water blisters. A third-degree sunburn requires the immediate care of a doctor and causes lower cell damage and the release of fluid, resulting in eruptions and breaks in the skin where bacteria and infection can enter.

Sunstroke is characterized by high body temperature, usually above 105 F.; cessation of sweating; headache; numbness; tingling and confusion prior to sudden delirium or coma; fast pulse; rapid respiratory rate; usually elevated blood pressure. The basic defect is failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body.
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Nutrients

Potassium, 99 mg. per day, is lost during sunburn, must be replaced.

Protein (free from amino acids), taken as directed on the label, is needed for tissue repair.

Vitamin A capsules, 50,000 IU per day until healed.

Vitamin E capsules, 100 IU per day (may increase slowly to 1,600 IU for third-degree burns), aids in healing of scar tissue and aids in tissue repair.

Vitamin C plus bioflavonoids, 10,000 mg. per day, is needed for tissue repair and healing but also reduces scarring.

Aloe vera gel, apply 3 or 4 times per day, is good on burn after healing starts, reduces pain and scarring.

Calcium, 2,000 mg. per day, is necessary for pH balance and potassium utilization and reduces stress on tissues.

Magnesium, 1,000 mg.

Silicon, taken as directed on the label, helps repair connective tissue.

Unsaturated fatty acids, taken as directed on the label, is needed for tissue healing.

Vitamin B complex/PABA, 100 mg. per day, is important for serious burns, PABA is good for protecting the skin.

Vitamin E ointment, use ointment on burn after healing starts or open a capsule and apply, helps prevent scarring.

Zinc, 100 mg. per day for a month, then reduce to 50 mg. per day, is used for tissue healing.
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Herbs
  • Aloe vera
  • Chamomile
  • Cleavers
  • Horse Chestnut (external use)
  • Jasmine, yellow flowers
  • Lambkill
  • Lemon
  • Lobelia
  • Sandalwood
  • Tansy
  • Witch hazel
  • Wood strawberry

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Recommendations

In sunstroke, effective therapy may save the patient’s life. Without delay, the nude patient should be placed in a bathtub filled with ice water. This will not cause pain, shock, or cutaneous vasoconstriction. The patient’s temperature will need to be monitored carefully. Remove from bath when temperature falls to 103 F. or 39.4 C. If ice water and a bathtub are not available, place wet sheets on the nude body, fan vigorously, and massage the skin. The use of sedatives may be required to control convulsions. Careful observation of the patient for signs of fluid imbalance and renal failure will be required for several days.

Diet for second and third degree burns is very important. Eat high-protein foods for tissue repair. Plenty of fluids taken as the sun can quickly dehydrate the body.

If first or second degree burns, apply cold water compresses immediately.
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Suggestions

Remedies for first or second degree sunburns:

  • make a large pot of strong tea and let it cool. Soak cotton in the tea and apply to the affected areas. Leave on for up to 30 minutes.
  • dissolve 1 lb. of baking soda into a tub of cool water. Soak in the tub for 30 minutes.
  • massage aloe vera juice on the sunburned area. Reapply every hour. Aloe vera will also help moisturize and relieve the skin dryness.

Use pure products without mineral oil, paraffin waxes, alcohol, or coloring.

Another remedy for first and second degree sunburn: Boil 2 to 2 1/2 lb. chopped horse chestnuts in water. Add the decoction to bath water for sunburn.
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Bibliography

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 15th Edition, F. A. Davis Company, 1915 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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