Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Natural Insect Repellents

There have been numerous studies that the DEET in insect repellents can be absorbed through the skin and can cause neurological damage.  It can result to seizures and death, and can be especially harmful to children. I stopped buying insect repellents with DEET when I became a mom.  That was six years ago.   From Off Lotion I shifted to this product called 'Quit Bugging Me' by Jason (available at Healthy Options).  Then two years ago I shifted to the locally made natural insect repellents, which were just as effective.  Lately I've been making my own. 

Homemade insect repellents are very easy to make.  I promised some friends I'll share some recipes, so here goes:
  • Recipe 1:  Combine 15 drops each of lemongrass oil, citronella oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus essential oils with 150ml of distilled water.    
  • Recipe 2:  Mix 90ml of distilled water with 12 drops of citronella, 10 drops each of lavender and eucalyptus, and 8 drops of lemongrass essential oils.   
  • Recipe 3:  Combine 20 drops each of peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass and citronella essential oils with 80ml of distilled water  
Easy, right?  Use a clean spray bottle with a fine mist setting.  Please do not use bottles that previously contained products with chemicals such as cleaning agents or hair sprays.  Shake well before using.  This will have a shelf life of about two months. 

You can go natural all the way and use witch hazel or tea tree oil on your insect bites to minimize swelling and infection.  One drop on the affected area will do.  If you want to make your home mosquito-free, here are ways to do it naturally:
  • Add 6-8 drops of citronella oil diluted in water into an oil burner to repel mosquitoes. 
  • Add 10 drops of citronella oil and 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar to a bucket of water.  Use this to mop your floors and clean your bathroom tiles and walls.  I use this in our garage and in our garden walls as well.
Please exercise caution when using essential oils if you are pregnant, or if you have a medical condition.

Remember the tea tree oil I bought from Giga in Robinson's Galleria?  It's pure, and P100  for a 15ml bottle is very reasonable.  So I went to Giga Megamall this afternoon and bought some citronella and vanilla essential oils.  I also got an electric oil burner which I'm using right now, as I write.  It's another great purchase, but I'll tell you about that next time.      

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