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Nature¡¯s Camping Secrets

The warm weather brings the need for the great outdoors. You¡¯ve gathered your tent, sleeping bag and the rest of your gear and you¡¯re headed toward the pristine paradise of Mother Nature. Sure, you¡¯ve brought the first aid kit, but what about the supplements that may help you stay healthy while camping?

Sunburn

Sunburn is the burning or discoloration produced on the skin by overexposure to UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays from the sun. Researchers have found that taking green tea reduces the numbers of sunburn cells, skin redness and DNA damage. Studies have also shown that antioxidants protect the skin from sunburn by offsetting the damage produced by UV rays. The combination of vitamin C and vitamin E have significant protective effect against UV rays.


Bug bites and repellants

Although they are trying at times, insects such as mosquitoes and black flies are part of the beauty of nature. There are a number of herbs that are traditionally used as insect repellants, such as black cohosh, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, turmeric and lavender. For insect bites, supplements such as vitamin C and quercetin are helpful in minimizing the release of histamine caused by the bug bite.


Sprains

In nature, the terrain is not always flat and smooth like the city sidewalks. Sprains and strains, particularly of ankles, are very common when hiking, canoeing or camping. Research has shown that bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory agent, is helpful in healing minor injuries, particularly sprains and strains; muscle injuries and the pain, swelling and tenderness that accompany sports injuries. Used in combination with turmeric, bromelain is an even more effective anti-inflammatory agent.

Burns

Be careful around the campfire. Fire safety, both for your own health and for the prevention of forest fires, is an important part of camping that cannot be stressed enough. What can you do when you get a burn? Topical application of aloe vera gel has been shown to improve healing time following a burn. Arginine has also been shown to be effective in treating burns. A randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the immune function of patients given arginine orally. The researchers observed that arginine improved the recovery of immune function and protein function in partial-thickness burn patients.

Enjoy the great outdoors.