Bug spray

Why You’re Better With An Essential Oil Bug Spray That Is Healthy And Environmentally Friendly Dr Judith Boice

Summer brings hot and humid days. This is the perfect time for the flowers to bloom and the insects to emerge from their hiding places.

Mosquitoes, stinging ants and ticks lurk in the soft green grass. Their bites can harbor infectious diseases, including West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, and Lyme disease.

Your best bet this summer is the insect repellent spray with essential oils.

N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, more commonly known as DEET, is the current gold standard among insect repellents, and this protection comes at a price.

First tested in the 1980s in the Everglades, researchers found that 25% of people using DEET experienced immediate side effects such as rash and skin irritation, numb or burning lips, headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and sleeplessness.

According to Duke University pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, rats long-term exposed to DEET exhibited diffuse brain death and behavioral changes. Abou-Donia recommends avoiding products containing DEET.

RELATED: What Are Essential Oils? + How they work and which are the best to use

You can learn how to make insect repellant with essential oils.

They are a welcome alternative to commercial insecticides.

In 2005, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has approved lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) essential oil as an insect repellant.

Citrus essential oils – like lemon, orange, and bergamot – are also good insect repellants, but they can cause sun sensitivity or, in the case of bergamot, even skin cancer.

Lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) is an effective and safe alternative to citrus essential oils.

And juniper (Juniperus communis) essential oil is almost as good as DEET at repelling mosquitoes.

The combination of the following essential oils was as effective at five percent concentration as DEET at 20 percent, so it is four times more potent than DEET at repelling mosquitoes:

Holy basil (Oregano sanctum essential oil)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita essential oil)
Eucalyptus (essential oil of Eucalyptus globulus)
Mexican Mint (Plectranthus amboinicus essential oil)

This is exciting news if you want to repel bugs and avoid big brand insect repellents!

Before you go to the store to buy essential oils, you should know how to mix and apply them safely, both for adults and children.

One drop of essential oil is roughly equivalent to 30 cups of tea! Essential oils are so concentrated that they border on a synthetic substance.

A lot of times people think, “Oh, a little is good. Much must be much better! This is not true with essential oils.

RELATED: 20 Best Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffusers That Make Your Home Smell Like Heaven

Here’s an easy-to-follow essential oil bug spray recipe for adults (16+):

30 drops of holy basil essential oil (Origanum sanctum)
30 drops of peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
30 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
30 drops of Mexican mint essential oil (Plectranthus amboinicus)

Use a 4-ounce glass bottle with a sprayer top.

If you use the bug spray quickly, a plastic bottle will also work. Be careful – if essential oils are left in contact with the plastic for an extended period of time, they will eat away at the plastic.

Fill the bottle halfway with water (2 ounces) and half full with heavy-duty alcohol (2 ounces), ideally Everclear or the strongest vodka you can buy.

Add the essential oils and carefully count the drops.

To apply: shake the bottle to mix well and spray with eyes closed. Cover exposed skin and clothing.

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Reapply as needed, every 2 hours. Use a maximum of 5 times per day. Be careful with children and the elderly, as their bodies are more sensitive to essential oils.

Keep in mind that if you are in a swamp, nothing can be effective against mosquitoes! So use common sense.

Use for a maximum of 2 weeks before taking a 2 week break.

You can alternate the above mixture every two weeks with the combination of 60 drops of juniper leaf essential oil (Juniperus communis) and 60 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus citriodora).

Follow the same directions, adding the essential oils to a combination of 2 ounces of water and 2 ounces of high strength alcohol.

Using a homemade insect repellant with essential oils provides very powerful insect repellants that can rival the effectiveness of DEET.

But use them with respect, knowing that “natural” insect repellents can be as toxic as chemicals if misused.

Your essential oil bug spray, when used correctly, can help you and your family enjoy the outdoors, naturally.

RELATED: 4 Calming Essential Oils To Tame Your Anxiety Naturally

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Dr Judith Boice is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, and member of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. Increase your energy without caffeine! Join Dr. Boice for the Free 7 Day Healthy Habits Challenge.

This article originally appeared on drjudithboice.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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