Bugs Be Gone!!! Create Your Own Natural Repellant
This is the one of the best seasons to enjoy the great outdoors. With school out, it’s a great time to take the kids hiking, biking, camping, swimming and canoeing. A walk in the woods is good for our soul. Let’s not let the pesky insects get in the way. Here are the top 11 essential oils I use to protect me and my family against the stinging and biting buggers so we can continue to benefit from being outside. Thank you Marty Harger for adding to my list of favourites!
1. Arborvitae (pictured right) – an oil distilled from the wood chips of the Western Red Cedar right here in Canada. The tree has been used by the indigenous people to create totem poles, baskets, and rope. The oil can also be used as a wood polish and is good for skin blemishes.
2. Basil – this leafy herb can be used in cooking as it adds a nice flavor. Can diffuse it or mix with other oils to create a spray to help keep the bugs at bay.
3. Cedarwood – known as a powerful moth repellant. People used to make chests made of cedarwood to store clothing in. Put a few drops on a cotton ball and place in your closet or drawers. This oil is also good for skin care.
4. Citronella (pictured left) – most people have heard of this one, and many have used a synthetic version of it. Part of the grass family, this is the only essential oil bug repellant recognized internationally. It is high in antioxidants and adds shine to the hair when added to shampoo.
5. Eucalyptus – a great freshener of the environment. Also opens up the respiratory system, and purifies the skin and hair. Has astringent properties so it makes a great toner for the skin. Leaves come from Australia and are the only diet of the Koala bear.
6. Lavender – one of the most highly used insect repellants around the world. The plant is easy to grow and the essential oil is one of the most commonly available. Can also be applied topically after bites and after being exposed to too much sun to help soothe the skin.
7. Lemon Eucalyptus – a leafy plant with a cheerful aroma, this is not part of the citrus family. Bees and butterflies adore the nectar of these flowers. Other pests that bite, not so much!
8. Lemongrass – Effective insect repellant. Makes a good natural deodorant and is a great oil for the nervous system. Helps joints, ligaments and tendons. Also good for the digestive system.
9. Patchouli – a member of the mint family, this oil helps keep the mind clear and the memory strong. Cleansing for the skin and body and used as a natural deodorant. Beneficial for digestive support and good for the feet.
10. Peppermint – a cooling, invigorating oil that also relieves head tension and helps relieve digestive upset. Keeps the breath fresh too.
11. Terra Shield – this is blend of essential oils created by doTERRA. Specifically formulated to be applied directly onto the skin. Also comes in a spray form diluted in fractionated coconut oil. Can be used safely by everyone in the family.
Use these oils individually or mix them together to make a spray that is safe for every member of your family, old and young. Dilute even further if using on babies.
I like to add equal parts of all the oils in a spray bottle, top it off with spring water and bring it with me to apply generously throughout the day. Remember to shake well before using. For a more moisturizing option, add to fractionated coconut oil and rub directly into skin or make a salve.