Stevie Satisfies Appetites, Treats Ailments

Isabel Hulkower, Columnist

Hello Oberlin, and welcome to a fresh new school year chock-full of delight and intrigue. We are currently in the ephemeral time where classes have started but it’s not yet so cold that the only option is “Netflix and chill.” Now is the moment to soak up some sunlight, swim in the Arboretum or maybe even toss some sort of disc if that’s your area of expertise. However, with all this excitement, you might have forgotten about the inherent dangers of all this phys­ical activity. Rest assured, friends, it’s still on my mind. So, in the spirit of “doing it yourself,” I’ve compiled some dorm-room remedies to common outdoor ailments. And for maximum accessibility, every treatment can be made exclusively from things you can find at Stevenson. That’s right, the solutions to all of your low-key medical problems are just a swipe away.

If you love being outside but you’re freaked out by sunscreen — which I totally get — then a big splotchy sunburn is inevi­table. If you end up getting a little crispy, don’t worry; just head straight for some dairy products. The lactic acid in milk can help ease inflammation and break up dead skin cells. If you’re down, the best way to use it is to fill a bowl with milk, then add ice to heighten the chill effect. Dip a cloth into the mixture and apply it to the burn for about 10 minutes. Alternatively you can do something a little sloppier and reach for some yogurt. Plain unsweetened yogurt is full of probiotics that help rebuild dam­aged skin, so if Stevie actually has it in stock, it can be a great asset. On the day of the sun exposure, smear it right onto the burn and let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping it off, then repeat twice more as the day goes on. Using dairy should kickstart the road to recovery, unless you are a se­rious vegan, in which case I highly recom­mend some aloe vera.

Another hazard of the season is all of the bugs buzzing and crawling around everywhere. Bug bites come in all shapes, sizes and unmentionable locations, but every last one of them needs to be neutral­ized immediately. The salad cart holds the key to abating your pain, because a raw onion is a very popular old-timey remedy. Find the juiciest slice in the bowl, tape it onto the bite and wait for the sulfur to neutralize the itch. There are also many people who use honey to ease the discom­fort of bug bites; it is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, plus the stickiness will discourage you from scratching. When it’s available at the salad cart, some apple ci­der vinegar is good for almost anything, and bites are certainly not immune to its magical powers. Just dip a cotton ball in a diluted mixture — about half vinegar and half water — then hold it on the affected area. To be honest though, the best remedy is probably already in your arsenal. Some natural mint toothpaste is about as good as it gets for soothing your irritated skin.

Additionally, the Arb has lots of great stuff, but while you’re looking for it, you’re bound to run into poison ivy. When you notice that you have developed a rash, grab some cucumbers and apply them to the affected area to soothe it right up. Oth­erwise, get your hands on a banana peel or watermelon rind for their cooling proper­ties. On the go, a black or green tea bag will do the trick; just moisten it and place it on the skin while the tannic acid relieves itch­ing and contracts inflamed tissues.

Each of these ailments will eventu­ally go away in time, but these little tricks should have you healing in style. Remem­ber: Stevie truly is the cure for what ails you.