Hello There My Fellow Health-Minded Readers! Summer's in full swing, and what comes with it? The hoards of hungry, winged, biting insects - of course . . . namely mosquitoes, midges, gnats, and no-see-ums. Today, in Part 3 of my "DIY Herbal Mosquito & Tick Repellents" series, I'm going to share a pleasantly-fragrant recipe that's specifically formulated to be safe for children one year of age and older, and can also be used by those of you who have extremely sensitive skin. It appears on page 76 of my latest book, "Naturally Bug-Free: 75 Nontoxic Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas, Ants, Moths & Other Pesky Insects. If you're looking for DEET-free, mosquito and tick repellent recipes for yourself; recipes for flea and tick repellent powders, shampoos, and herbal bedding sachets for your dogs and cats; and easy-to-make (and effective) insecticide recipes for your home, then this is the book for you. Folks, it's only $10.95! Not much moola for a boat-load of useful, safe, natural information! Available in bookstores nationwide and, of course, online - just about anywhere books are sold.
Child's Play Spray
Young children are not little adults - they cannot tolerate the standard concentration of essential oils in strong formulations of homemade insect repellents. This spray is designed for children one year of age and older. It has a pleasing aroma that's wonderfully effective at keeping mildly to moderately hungry biting bugs at bay. When bugs are voracious, clothe children appropriately and inoculate their clothes with a few spritzes. Never "drown" their bare skin in bug spray, even an all-natural one, in an attempt to keep bugs away. Use common sense, please.
Cautions: To ensure gentleness and safety, you MUST use one of the two species of eucalyptus essential oils specified as well as the "linalool" chemotype of thyme. Thymus vulgaris thymol or a non-chemotype specific thyme essential oil - is WAY TOO HOT to use on a young child.
Ingredients: (Photos of the plants from which the essential oils are harvested are shown below.)
- 3 drops EACH of the following essential oils: eucalyptus (species radiata or smithii), cedarwood, rosemary, lemongrass, thyme (chemotype linalool)
- 1/2 teaspoon neem base oil
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid castile soap, peppermint or eucalyptus scented (Dr. Bronner's is fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
- 1/2 cup unflavored vodka (use 80-proof and an inexpensive brand)
- 1/2 cup purified water
- 8-ounce spritzer bottle (PET plastic or dark glass)
1. Add the eucalyptus, cedarwood, rosemary, lemongrass, and thyme essential oils directly to the storage bottle, then add the neem oil, liquid soap, glycerin, vodka, and water. Screw the top on the bottle and shake vigorously to blend. Allow the spray to synergize, or rest, for 1 hour prior to use.
2. Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.
Application: Shake well immediately before use. Spray lightly onto skin as needed - you may need to reapply it every 20 to 30 minutes. May be sprayed on clothing but might stain light-colored fabrics.
Yield: Approximately 1 cup or 8 ounces
Note: Portions of this blog were excerpted from, "Naturally Bug-Free", by Stephanie Tourles (c2016), with permission of Storey Publishing. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational use only.
Eucalyptus (species radiata or smithii)
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris chemotype linalool) It's the plant in the middle.