Bugs certainly are annoying, but they can also make you sick.
Mosquitoes and ticks in particular can spread a variety of diseases like Lyme disease or West Nile Virus. So the standard defense against getting bit is with chemical repellents like DEET or picaridin. Unfortunately they have been associated with a range of side effects from eye irritation to neurological damage, especially with high concentrations. If you’re looking for a natural approach that is safe and effective let’s have a look at essential oils.
Essential Oils for Bugs
What oils are effective? The Environmental Working Group recommends the essential oil of lemon eucalyptus as a way to keep bugs away. Researchers believe the oil acts by masking the environmental cues that mosquitoes use to locate their next victim. It works so well that an Australian study found that this oil was at least 95% effective against mosquitoes for three hours!
Catnip won’t only make you loved by feline’s everywhere, but a research study by the USDA Agriculture Research Service found that topical catnip oil was even more effective at inhibiting mosquito attraction than DEET.
Other herbal essential oils have also been used for protection including citronella, lavender, vanilla, and thyme, but clinical studies haven’t proven their effectiveness. Of course this doesn’t mean they don’t work because many factors go into making your repellent, from concentration of oil to application and even differences in individual body chemistry. If you are using an undiluted essential oil, be sure to mix with a carrier oil like almond oil or a vegetable oil before use because pure oils can irritate skin.
Also, some people prefer internal remedies that are believed to change your “taste” to these common pests. Some favorites include garlic (cloves or pills), apple cider vinegar, or lots of B vitamins, particularly thiamin. Scientific studies have not yet verified the effectiveness, but worth a try as there are not any known side effects of these methods for natural repellent.
Whether you choose an internal, external or perhaps a combination of the two just be aware that there are other safe and affordable ways to keep the pests away as you enjoy the outdoors this summer season.
Remember this article is for information only. Do not make any changes in your diet or lifestyle without first consulting with your preventive health care provider. We always pray for your prosperity and health, 3 John 2, Blessings, Donna.
This article is inspired from the latest issue of Good Health Lifestyles magazine’s article BUG OFF! Natural alternative for what’s bugging you.