Sunday, July 31, 2016

Insect Repellent Treatments

This time of year the mosquitoes and other biting insects drive me crazy.  I am like a magnet for biting things.  So through the years I have developed several concoctions to use on my skin to keep the little pests away.

Here are several you can try at home also:

Herbal Vinegar Spray
You can pour the prepared vinegar into spray bottles for easy application.

2 cups fresh insect-repellent herbs 
East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia and L. x intermedia)
Lemon thyme (Thymus x citriodorus)
Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum albescens)
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

2 cups apple cider vinegar

Place fresh herbs in a glass quart jar and cover with vinegar, bruise the herbs with the handle of a wood or plastic spoon to release the oils in the leaves. Use a plastic lid to seal the jar (vinegar corrodes metal).   Shake every day for 3 to 7 days. Filter vinegar within a week and use within the year.  Fresh herbs are best, but dry will work if you have nothing fresh.

Antiseptic Insect Repellent Skin Oil Recipe
Oregano, thyme and tea tree oils are very strong and pungent oils, so we suggest a skin test first; if it burns when you apply it, dilute it further or don’t use it. 
1/2 cup almond, walnut or grapeseed oil
6 drops oregano, thyme or tea tree oil
4 drops each of up to four insect repellent oils
• Calendula
• Eucalyptus
• Garlic
• Goldenseal
• Lavender
• Lemongrass
• Oregano
• Patchouli
• Rose geranium
• Rosemary
• Tea tree
• Thyme
• Vetiver
• Yarrow

Add oil to a small clean bottle, preferably dark glass. Drop in the essential oils of your choice and shake well. Label and keep in a dark, cool place.

NOTES: No insect repellent is effective against all bugs all of the time. Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate quickly and must be reapplied regularly. If you get mosquito or chigger bites, rub a plantain leaf on them for quick relief.

Plantain is a weed we see everywhere, so you probably have some handy.

Always test for allergic reactions before applying homemade remedies to your entire body. Put a little of the remedy on the inside crease of your elbow, and wait 15 minutes to an hour. If no reddening or blistering occurs, you should be safe to use the remedy.

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