Last weekend we went to a Celtic Festival in Elizabeth, CO. The weatherman said it would be below 90 degrees this weekend. The weather man lied.
I ended up only wearing part of my costume and the baby ended up demonstrating Celtic naked baby, and we both drank A LOT. I am sure at least 5o strangers saw me nursing my little man. It was uncomfortable but bearable for me and N. Unfortunately my husband and one other reenactor in our group did not fare so well.
Thankfully, I am from AZ and know how to deal with HOT weather and how to recover from a long day outside in the heat.
How to naturally treat heat exhaustion
- Remove the affected person from the heat if you can, at least move them into the shade.
- Apply a cold wet wash cloth to the back of the person’s neck, be sure to cover the side of the neck where the carotid arteries which supply blood to the brain. Add peppermint oil to the wash cloth to help with the cooling. If there is cool flowing water close have the person jump in, or at least soak their feet in the water. The head and the feet are the two spots in the body that lose heat the fastest.
- Feel free to douse the person in water. If you feel the need to pour a bottle of water over your head, and you have access to more drinking water do it! Take a cold shower if you have access to one. When N was getting hot and fussy I wetted down his shift so he could get some good evaporative cooling from his shirt. It cooled him down well enough so he could finally nap.
- Drink water! A lot of water! Dehydration is very common with heat exhaustion. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water so that you are sweating and peeing. If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion or dehydration try to give them water with 1tsp mineral salt (Real salt, Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt for example) and 1tsp juice or something else with a little sugar and potassium in it per cup of water. This will help naturally balance electrolytes in the body. If we drink too much water without providing essential nutrients we can cause our body to go into shock. We need sodium and potassium (and a lot of other trace minerals) for proper body functions like the heart beating, and if we sweat out all our sodium without replacing it we can suffer a lot of bad health problems.
- When a person has become dehydrated make sure they don’t drink their water too quickly or they might throw it all up. Sip water frequently instead.
- Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte solution. It has a very similar nutrient make up to human blood plasma and is very nourishing during any physical activity. If you know you are going to be out in the hot sun for any amount of time try to keep this on hand. I hate the taste of coconut water so I drink it diluted with water.
- Put 2 drops of peppermint essential oil on the back and sides of your neck, on the inside of your wrists, and on the bottom of your feet to help cool you down. Peppermint essential oil increases the blood flow to your skin helping your body release heat quicker and maintain a normal body temperature. Peppermint is commonly used to reduce fevers, so it not only feels cool, but it actually does cool your body down. You can also create a peppermint mist in a spray bottle by adding 25 drops of peppermint essential oil in a 5oz water bottle and spray when you are feeling over heated.
- My daddy always told me after a long day out in the hot sun there was nothing better for you than french fries with ketchup. Now we all know how OCD I am about whole food but we went and got some fresh-cut french fries and ketchup for Mike for dinner afterword and he felt a lot better. I am guessing it is because potatoes are high in potassium, combined with the salt on the fries it probably helps level out some of those vital micro nutrients.
If a person has stopped sweating, becomes lethargic, unable to walk, unable to move, unable to drink, looses consciousness, or has a fever of 104* or higher seek medical attention immediately. This can be a life threatening condition if not treated.
So keep hydrated, keep cool, and use peppermint oil liberally! You can even use it before you get heat exhaustion to maintain a normal body temperature and keep cool. You can use peppermint oil on kids, just be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil first.
How have you naturally treated heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
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