Ayurvedic remedies to treat and prevent sunburns

sunburn remediesSummer is here, and it is time to keep ourselves updated about the various remedies available, in case of sunburn. Most over-the-counter topical applications for sunburns contain steroids. Listed here are some natural alternatives, including ayurvedic and home remedies to treat sunburn.

Sunburn is an acute inflammatory skin condition, caused due to over exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ayurveda believes that people with pitta constitutions are more susceptible to sunburn.

Ayurvedic remedies:

Apply aloevera cream, or if you have access to an aloe vera plant, cut open and take out gel from the plant and rub on the sun burnt area.

Coconut oil is effective for soothing mild sunburns.

Apply tikta ghrita topically.

Take equal portions of sandalwood and turmeric and make a paste of these herbs with little cool water. Apply gently on the sun burnt area for a cooling effect.

Dip a guaze pad into cold cow milk and apply it directly on the sun burnt area for a cooling effect.

Make a paste of barley, turmeric and yogurt taken in equal proportions and apply.

Apply cool compresses/baths and soothing gel/creams containing aloe vera or sandal oil or sandal paste, or crushed lettuce pulp or Rose oil or mixture of olive oil and vinegar or coconut oil.

Ayurvedic oils such as Ksheerabala, Madhuyashtyadi, Chandanadi, Dhanwantharam, Pinda Thailam, can be used as per medical advice.

Ayurvedic medicines like Triphala, Manjishtha, Amalaki, Usheer, Saariva, Mandukpami, Haridra, and Gokshur are effective in case of sunburns.

Ayurvedic ointment made with combination of Saariva, Manjistha, Usheer, Chandan, Yashtimadhuk, Haridra and Mandukparni is beneficial when applied to affected parts.

Few other specific medicines used in Ayurveda to treat sunburns are Chandanadi-Vati, Rogya-Vardhini, Chandrakala-Ras, Kamdudha-Ras, Chandan-Bala-Laxadi oil, Mahanarayan oil, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut, Yashtimadhuk Ghrut, Shata-Dhout-Ghrut, Saarivasav, Usheerasav and Gandhak-Rasayan.

Home Remedies:

Mix two teaspoons of tomato juice and four tablespoons of buttermilk and apply on affected area. Leave for about half an hour and wash off.

Using cold water several times a day in the affected areas can be useful.

Cucumber is an excellent cooling agent. During sunburn, keep chilled cucumber slices on it or dab some cucumber juice with the help of cotton ball. You can also grate the chilled cucumber and apply on the affected part of the skin.

Apply refrigerated rose water on the skin to soothe the sunburn.

Make a paste of calamine powder with rosewater or cucumber juice and apply regularly on the skin.

Apply thick chilled curd on the affected part, or it can also be applied after mixing with calamine powder or sandalwood powder.

Buttermilk is also a good option to heal sunburn. Wash off the effaced skin with chilled buttermilk to heal it.

To prevent sunburn:

The best way to prevent sunburn is to minimise exposure to sunlight between 12 noon and 4pm when the sun’s strength is at its peak. If you have to step out of home during this time, limit your exposure to not more than half an hour.

Before going out in the sun, apply a few drops of neem oil mixed with sesame oil which works as natural sun blocks. Drink plenty of coconut water.

Apply neem oil on your skin before and after shower. Adding few drops of sesame oil to neem oil is also good. Alternatively, you can apply coconut oil.

Applying a paste of Indian aloe before stepping out in the sun can serve as an effective protection.

Avoid eating spicy and fermented food and reduce consumption of carbonated beverages, caffeine, oily and spicy food.

Drink extra fluids and keep your skin well-hydrated. Drinking water boiled with root of Hemidesmus indicus, camphor powder added to boiled and cooled water is good. Butter milk and mango juice are also effective in keeping summer heat at bay.

Also, sandalwood paste works as an excellent sunscreen, and protects the skin from sunburns.

Finally, drink plenty of water before stepping out in the sun. Also, drink lemon water, orange or watermelon juice or coconut water during the day, as they all keep the body hydrated and reduce the harmful effects of the sun.