Essential oils for summer

While I was on my summer break, it occurred to me that many of you might be glad of a more natural insect repellent. Rightly so, since commercial insect repellents often contain DEET which can cause skin rashes and neurological problems.  

You may wonder why some people are plagued by insects in the summer while others are hardly bothered by them at all.  When I was younger and used to get bitten all through the summer, my mother used to say, 'It's those B vitamins you take'. I don't think so if anything they may help prevent insect bites!  Each of us has a unique 'scent' and it just so happens that some people's scent is more attractive to insects than others.  

Insect repellents made from essential oils help mask your natural 'scent' and replace it with one that is not attractive to insects.  You could try the following to enjoy the summer in peace

100ml of distilled water or boiled and cooled water
20 drops lavender
15 drops citronella
Pinch sea salt to help mix the oils with water

Place the water in a spray bottle.  Add the essential oils and salt.  Shake well before use.
If you like to walk in long grass you may also want to add 10 drops geranium essential oil and reduce the lavender to 10 drops.  This will help keep ticks which may cause Lyme disease away.

Other essential oils you may find helpful are peppermint, tea tree, thyme,lemon grass, or peppermint.  You may want to experiment to find what works best for you.  

Please note try a patch of skin 24 hours before use as essential oils may cause skin allergies in some people. Also they are not intended for young children, people who are pregnant or suffering from any health problem. Consult an aromotherapist for advice. Do not use the spray near your eyes.

Other advice to avoid being bitten
Cover your arms and legs when walking in the countryside
Check for ticks after your walk.  
Get immunised if you are visiting tropical countries where mosquito borne diseases prevail. In these countries essential oils on their own are not recommended as an insect repellent, you will need to seek advice from your travel clinic.

Have a happy summer!

Janet x

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