It’s summer, and time for camping, bonfires and other fun outdoor activities, and with it the bugs that come with it. While we always try to promote being in harmony with the nature around us, which includes the bugs as they are a natural food source for birds and other animals, we also want to make sure we have an enjoyable time outside, free of concern for our health.
While there are many commercially available chemically based options to keep these bugs at bay, they aren’t always the best for our and others health around us. Thankfully there are very potent natural options available that also are great for your overall health! Some even have clinical studies to show that they are more effective than the chemical-based options, like DEET.
Below find options for natural bug repellents that we offer here in our clinic. A tip: pour some of the Neem oil (about a cup) into a dish or a bowl and add a few drops (2 to 5) of an essential oil (like the Bugs BeGone), mix then spread it on your skin.
Neem oil in clinical studies has been shown to be highly effective against mosquitoes and other bugs (1), though it’s bug repellent qualities only last for about 3 to 4 hours vs DEET which is 8 hours. Additionally, Neem is fantastic for the skin, as well as cooling, it purifies the blood and is detoxifying according to Ayurveda. It is an insecticide that is safe to apply onto plants (we’ve personally used it for a soft scale issue for one of our office plants). Neem is also great for the hair, and is even said to help reverse or slow graying hair.
This special blend includes Eucalyptus, Citriodora (aka Lemon Eucalyptus), Citronella, Lavadin, Peppermint, Rosemary and Catnip. Catnip in studies has been shown it to be 10 times more effective than DEET to repel mosquitoes from an area (2), though not as effective when applied to the skin according to other sources. The synthetic version of Citriodora was recently just mentioned in an article from the CDC, but couldn’t recommend the “pure” version as it wasn’t aware of its safety or efficacy. (3) Peppermint in another study was also stated as one of the most effective oils they had tested within that study. (4)
Basically, all of the synergistic blend in the Bugs BeGone formula utilizes very effective bug deterring essential oils that have been used over time, and some with clinical studies to backup the traditional, empirical, information. One of the things we personally really like about this specific formulation is it’s pretty balancing for most people; while the eucalyptuses are technically heating, the lavadin is balancing for all, peppermint is very cooling, and rosemary is only heating when used in large quantities. Then, when you combine this with the Neem oil, overall it should be a slightly to moderately cooling formulation, and really good in the Pitta season (summer).
The smoke of sage, specifically white sage, is also another traditional bug repellent, and has the added benefit of helping to clear out the negativity around a space. Don’t like the potency of white sage smoke? There are also essential oils, as well as Sacred White Sage candles by Coventry Creations.
One of the dominate oils used in this Van Van candle is Citronella, which is very well known to keep mosquitoes at bay. This all purpose candle, beyond keeping those pesky blood suckers away, also helps bring positive change in your luck, clears away evil, opens your path to new opportunities, protects from negative magic, reverses the effects of Mercury retrograde and brings out the truth of the situation.
*** Reminder *** All of these items are available at our office
(1) “Field studies on the mosquito repellent action of neem oil.”, Mar 1995 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8525409
(2) “Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET”, Aug 28 2001 – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm
(3) “Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods”, July 2015 – http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods
(4) “Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing”, Mar 2011 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059459/