There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the Zika that’s carried by mosquitoes. All reports suggest that the public should use chemical repellants when outdoors during the times of days when mosquitoes are present, but there are natural alternatives to repel biting insects.
Nature provides the most effective and gentile remedies, some we may have in our own herb gardens this time of year or you can also purchase essential oils from health food stores.
The following single oils can be used as natural insect repellants. Basil, Chamomile, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme.
A herbal tea containing fresh or dried herbs, used topically, is one approach. Make the tea fairly strong and let it cool before applying it to the skin. The tea will not be nearly as concentrated as using essential oils, but it is a way to start with whatever herbs you may have at home. You can put the mixture in a spray bottle and store in the refrigerator. Refresh your batch every few days. Chilled Lavender tea, which is very refreshing, can be also be sprayed on your face and body on hot summer days.
Mosquitoes especially dislike Lavender and Red Thyme Oils, and applying a couple of drops on a tissue or cotton ball and placing at your bedside can really help keep them off of you while you sleep indoors or out.
To use the pure essential oil, it is common to dilute the oil in a base of either water or a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil or safflower oil, to mention a few. The usual dilution is 2-6 drops of an essential oil into 1 teaspoon of a base oil to use topically.
To make a water –based splash, add 5-6 drops of an oil to 1 teaspoon witch hazel, and then add 4 tablespoons filtered or spring water to the mixture. Shake well and spray on the skin.
The following is one of the best formulas to keep mosquitoes and most insects away: 4 drops Thyme oil, 8 drops lemon grass, 4 drops Lavender, 4 drops Peppermint.
Add this blend of oils to the above mixture of witch hazel and water to make a great splash. Re-apply as needed when outdoors. This is a good mild blend for use with children as well.
If you do get bitten, there are several topical essential oils you can use undiluted on the affected area. Tea Tree Oil is always a good first choice since it offers antiseptic properties, reduces inflammation and promotes skin healing.
Lavender applied undiluted to a mosquito bites can also be soothing, antiseptic and anti-bacterial. Lavender Oil itself is so versatile, offering not only calming and relaxing emotional benefits from the fragrance, but it is also a fine mosquito repellent. Mix 30 drops into 2 tablespoons of one of the carrier oils listed above, and apply on exposed areas before going outside.
Natural alternatives offer no harsh chemicals, no nasty smells of repellents, and a much better option than using those awful sprays and creams which are on the market.