Four years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to take a walk every morning; I’m happy to report that it’s one resolution I have kept! Spending time outdoors every day offers us wisdom and medicine that is free and abundant. One constant blessing is the bright Sun, who rises every day without failure, offering full spectrum light, which provides low UV light in the morning hours. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic practice to greet the Sun every morning.
The sun’s healing power is well known and researched; many doctors and physicians have worked with the Sun’s medicine. For example, in the early 1900s, Drs Auguste Rollier and Neil Finsen offered light therapy to their sick patients, maximizing their exposure to the sun as much as possible. Dr. Rollier built solaria hospitals in the Swiss alps with walls of windows, southern balconies, and retractable roofs to help alleviate the symptoms of rickets and tuberculosis. After a few weeks, his patients were often healthy enough to return home. Swiss surgeon, Dr. Oskar Bernhard, disinfected his patients by putting them in the sun for a few minutes before suturing their surgical wounds.
Along with natural disease prevention and curing, Dr. Rollier claimed that bare skin exposed to sunlight tones the muscles! Physician C.W. Seleebly states, “Properly aired and sunlit, skin becomes velvety, supple tissue, absolutely immune from anything of the nature of pimples, acne, and infection.” Rollier’s recipe for the best recovery from illness was a combination of a nutritious diet plus morning sunlight, enjoyed without sunglasses. He explained that eyes can receive the Sun’s benefit while in the shade, but not when wearing glasses. Nadine Artemis reminds us in Renegade Beauty, that eating sun-ripened food creates an internal SPF and that many skin issues, such as cancer, that are blamed on the sun today, are really the result of modern malnutrition.
Artemis highlights various studies that show melanoma surprisingly (or not?) is far more common for those who work indoors under fluorescent lights or are constantly on their computers, and exposed to harmful blue light. Dr. Bernard Ackerman, the founding father of dermatopathology, reports there is no proof that sun exposure causes melanoma. Indeed, Artemis highlights several studies confirming that correct solar exposure actually prevents skin cancer, and that there is an utter lack of evidence that sunscreens prevent skin cancer (although they may prevent burns).
Prolonged exposure to UVB rays can indeed create burns, which is why sunscreen blocks UVB rays. However, UVB rays also initiate our vital Vitamin D production. Plus, when UVA rays are separated from UVB rays, they become harmful. So, slathering on sunscreen actually inhibits necessary Vitamin D production, allows harmful isolated UVA penetration, and disables our skin’s natural warning system that tells us to retreat to the shade when needed. Artemis says that “we do want to avoid sunburns, yet getting sunburned is actually easier on our DNA than processing the cell damage from being in the sun with synthetic sunscreen.”
Most sunscreens are filled with chemicals that bake into the skin and then leach into the water when we swim or bathe! Artemis writes that an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes off in the oceans per year, bleaching coral reefs and disrupting the endocrine systems of marine creatures.
Try though they might, pharmaceutical companies have been unable to put sunshine in a bottle. This is because Vitamin D is a hormone mostly made by the skin in response to sunlight, defying its artificial manufacture. Our skin has thousands of receptors that collect and convert the sun’s rays into mitochondrial energy. To allow the conversion of melanin, sulfur, and the steroid hormone, Vitamin D, it is necessary to receive Solar light on our bare bodies and bare eyes, free of sunscreen, sunglasses, glasses, contact lenses, and clothing.
After a long Maine winter, I hungrily soak up Summer’s warm sunbeams, adding a morning swim and sunbathing session along with my daily walk, as often as possible! So, here are some of my takeaway tips on gathering Sunbeams and lessening exposure to artificial light:
☀️Sun Wisely. Avoid sunburning by building your relationship with the sun; begin exposure as early as you can in the Spring 5-20 minutes per day, especially in the morning before noon. Allow the light to hit as much bare skin and bare eyes as possible. Use the shade, clothes, a hat, or uncoated non-nanoparticle zinc oxide as a complete block when necessary, or apply botanical oils like St. John’s Wort oil or Raspberry Seed oil as a sun screen and Red Clover Violet Skin Healing Salve for sun spots.
☀️Gather Sunbeams daily and store as much Vitamin D as you can to last you through the winter.
☀️Set Night Shift Mode and/or Red Tint Mode on your phone on ‘constant’ to block harmful blue light. Use the Iris Tech app on your computer or screen to block blue light. Wear blue light blocker glasses when using screens or in artificially lighted areas. Use incandescent bulbs or blue blocker bulbs instead of LED or Fluorescent lights that emit blue light.
☀️Eat a nutrient rich well-balanced diet with sun-ripened whole foods; be aware of your water source and get a high quality filter or harvest spring water to avoid ingesting tap water (Read more about the importance of water quality in my blog post, Water Medicine).
☀️Take Rosita's Wild Alaskan Cod Liver Oil daily to support natural Vitamin D and A balance.
☀️Watch the Sunrise and Sunset to balance your serotonin and melatonin levels and align your natural circadian rhythms. Limit wearing sunglasses to only when necessary, ie walking in a field of white snow or white sand or driving into a glare.
☀️Download the dminder app which, depending on your location, calculates how long you need to bask in the sun to get the appropriate amount of Vitamin D for that particular day.
☀️Renegade Beauty by Nadine Artemis
☀️Vital Veda Podcast, Episode 10, Sun: A Divine Healer for Optimal Health
☀️Mythic Medicine Stories Podcast, Episode 67, Harvesting Light
☀️Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health Podcast, Episode 14, Sun Wisdom