Lavender oils have long been known for their soothing benefits. They’ve even made their way into baby lotions due their calming effects. However, I thought it would be good to share a bit of its history and why it’s one of the best essential oils to have on hand.Continue reading
How to Easily Stop Mosquitoes Driving You Insane
I want a natural solution to stop mosquitoes from mauling my family
Mosquito season is still rampant here and my poor husband and kids are constantly battling the biting irritant. Especially when one finds its way into your bedroom and goes on a feeding frenzy while you sleep. That’s a nightmare when you wake up! We’ll continue to need protection all the way through November and sometimes beyond so the family will need to have a ready supply of repellent to ward off this tiny menace.
Why don’t I get bitten?
Before we get into solutions, have you ever wondered why some people seemed to get bitten more than others? I can sit outside and not even get touched and my family ends up with 20-30 bites. There is research that indicates blood type does play a role. Apparently type O is also universal for Open season lunch for mosquitoes. I have seen comments from people who are Type O and don’t get bitten. As with most things, it may be a combination of things. Body temperature and CO2 may play a role. Other people have found if the body is in balance with vitamin B1 and C, they are less likely to be bitten so boosting your B1 and C intake may be a good preventive measure.
Why do your bites swell up and mine don’t?
Of course the other aggravation is the variance in how people are effected by the bite itself. Some people swell much more the others. Those with sensitive skin seemed to be at a higher risk. One preventive measure to minimize the impact of the bite is to use a natural antihistamine to boost the system in preparation of the buggy season. Similar to taking bee pollen or local seasonal honey to ward off allergy attacks. However, how do you know when you have the right balance? Histamine creation also links back to gut flora. Balanced gut health could improve our body’s ability to maintain homeostasis even in the middle of getting mauled by mosquitoes. So what’s a body to do?
All indicators point to eating a balanced diet of whole foods and looking after your gut. Coincidence? I think not. There is a protocol that has proven helpful when dealing with allergic reactions called the “water protocol”. When your bug bite swells it’s a result of an allergic reaction, increased inflammation. According to the protocol, if you place some Himalayan salt on the tip of your tongue for a few minutes and then rinse off, it should help to bring the body in balance. It’s also said to work with sinus congestion and watery eyes and skin irritation from other seasonal allergies.
What about commercial repellents?
DEET has undergone a lot of scrutiny around the adverse effects of this chemical in commercial bug repellents along with other toxic chemicals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has gone on record advising, when used properly, the effects of DEET can be minimized and outweigh the potential of disease causing bites. Sorry, I don’t buy it. The “precautions” include: not spraying too close; use a minimal amount; make sure you bathe when you get home so it does remain on your skin too long; spray in an open area to avoid inhaling the contents. Seems to me anything which is suggesting limiting the amount of contact, should just be avoided. Especially when healthier nontoxic alternatives available.
How to protect your family?
For my family’s protection, I’ve done some research and discovered a combination that works. You can use any combination of essential oils with either an oil or water based blend. Experiment until you find one that works for you. Every body chemistry is different and people have their own fragrance preference. While lemon options do deter insects they may also invite a few bees so I tend to stay away from it in our repellent. Lemon does work great, along with peppermint to help the itch if you do happen to get bitten. A great tip if you’re out and have forgotten the spray and the little villains are on the attack, grab the lemon wedge in your water and rub it on your bites. It’ll provide quick relief.
What is my favorite blend?
I like the oil blend as I like the way it feels on the skin. If you’d like to opt for water based, swap out the 2 tablespoons of oil for witch hazel, rubbing alcohol or a blend of both in an 8 ounce container. Since water and oil do not mix, the witch hazel or alcohol will help as a binder. Alcohol is also a natural preservative. Add enough water to bring the mixture to 8 ounces.
My easy formula:
- 30 drops of basil oil
- 40 drops of lavender oil
- 30 drops of peppermint oil
- 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil ( can also use coconut, olive, almond, jojoba or a combination of oils)
Mix together and store in a dark , preferably glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark place. You can either use a spray nozzle or simple rub into your skin like a lotion.
Other essential oils that work well to stop mosquitoes:
- tea tree
- rose geranium
Precautions for pregnant or nursing women and children under 2 years of age.
- If you are pregnant or nursing, as with any essential oil, you should consult your healthy care provider before using them.
- When using essential or any type of lotion on children, extreme caustion should be exercised. Especially for those under the age of 2. Always consult your health care professional.
- It is recommended to always perform a patch test to check for an allergic reaction before using an essential oil for the first time.
- Be sure to label homemade products with the ingredients and include the “creation” date.