Commercial bug repellants contain chemicals that may irritate skin and worse, the toxic residues can wind up in the liver and bloodstream after being absorbed through the capillaries below the skin. There are many natural bug repellents but the combination of scents confuses the insects so they do not reliably repel them. Some, like citronella, commonly found in mosquito repelling candles, have a scent acceptable for a backyard’s open space but not acceptable to be worn on the skin, close to olfactory nerves. A pleasant alternative is the essential oil of pennyroyal, in the mint family. Included in the medicinal repertoire of a variety of cultures for thousands of years, it has a refreshingly minty aroma and, most importantly, contains naturally occurring chemicals loathed by mosquitoes.
Many of my clients send their children to summer camp with this Pennyroyal Mosquito Oil and as a result, other campers and counselors happily benefit as well. It has even been successfully used in the densely mosquito-infested Everglades.
It is hard to find, but if you can find oil of pennyroyal in the local health food store, it can be made by mixing 1 part oil of pennyroyal with 5 parts almond oil. If not, contact me to purchase the preparation in a roll-on dispenser. The oil is dabbed on wrists, ankles, knees, neck, and even in the hair. Any exposed site is fair game for mosquitoes. The oil should be reapplied every couple of hours.
While oil of pennyroyal will deter mosquitoes, it will not repel ticks. I have found oil of eucalyptus to be an effective deterrent to ticks which can carry Lyme Disease. The formula for using it on people and pets can be found in articles on Lyme Disease at my website.
Do share these important findings with everyone you know. It’s a blessing to be able to help one another.
Until next time…stay healthy, think peace, be love and see love in everyone!
About Andrea Candee, MH, MSC
Andrea Candee is a master herbalist for over 25 years with a consultation practice in South Salem, NY. She lectures throughout the country and at corporate wellness centers about taking charge of your health naturally. Media expert and author, her award-winning book, Gentle Healing for Baby and Child (Simon & Schuster), received The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Andrea is noted nationally for her unique and successful approach to Lyme Disease and works with clients and their pets anywhere in the country.
This Simon & Schuster publication offers parents a guide to child-friendly herbs and other natural remedies for common ailments and injuries. Awarded The Seal of Approval by The National Parenting Center. All remedies may be used by adults as well! For more information, click here.
All publications can be ordered via email. Booklets are also available in PDF format.
A Parent's Guide (Simon & Schuster) Awarded The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval...266 pages
Herbs, Recipes and Guidance for Winter Wellness...28 page booklet
Options for protection in an unseen world...45 page booklet
46 page booklet