Essential oils take the bite out of summer

The essential oils known to be insect repellants include: basil, lemon eucalyptus, eucalyptus globulus, geranium, true lavender, lemongrass, palmarosa, patchouli and rosemary.

by Carol E. Gutierrez — 

Summer is a season of fun, a time to get outside in the sunshine and enjoy nature. With the summer heat and rains come the influx of insects. Most of us are familiar with the sting of a mosquito interrupting many a summer night.

Essential oils are a great tool for warding off mosquito bites. The essential oils known to be insect repellants include: basil, lemon eucalyptus, eucalyptus globulus, geranium, true lavender, lemongrass, palmarosa, patchouli and rosemary.

Once a mosquito has bitten you, applying essential oils in a carrier oil or aloe vera gel to the affected area can provide immediate relief from the pain and itching. The essential oils listed above also can prevent infection.

In addition, Roman and German chamomile, clary sage and peppermint are useful as anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibacterial essential oils. Sweet marjoram and lemongrass have specific antihistamine action, similar to topical Benadryl.

Before going out: add a total of 10 drops of an essential oil to 4 ounces of distilled water, preferably in a colored glass spray bottle with a spritzer. Shake the bottle well, as essential oils do not mix easily in water. Spray exposed areas. Except for the blue oils, essential oils do not stain clothing. Do not spray near the eyes.

After the bite: blend a total of 3 drops of essential oil in a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil or aloe vera gel. Apply topically several times a day. Discontinue use of oils at any sign of irritation.

Be prepared. Mix your blend before you go out. Do not store the essential oils in a hot car. Be “scentsible” and enjoy.

 

Carol E. Gutierrez holds certifications in holistic nursing, massage therapy, clinical aromatherapy, healing touch and guided imagery. She specializes in reflexology and toe reading and is a certified instructor for the RJ Buckle clinical aromatherapy certifications program. cegrn@yahoo.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 4, August/September 2007.

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