Tuesday Tip: Natural Mosquito Repellents

Ohhhhh the JOYS of the Minnesota State Bird – the lovely and talented Mosquito!While this is a very fascinating creator, sometimes I would prefer not to be bothered by these things that obviously think that I’m their new best friend (I do like my alone time at times)….

While often, many people swear by DEET… some research has been showing that it might be more beneficial just to let those other friends drain you dry. Personally, I would rather choose a few natural options, like:

  1. Catnip
    Research by the Iowa State University, the essential oil is 10 times more effective than DEET. This plant grows very well in MN, so plant some around the house or yard… and maybe also make some new feline friends who often will protect your house against mice and other vermin.
  2. Citronella
    Not as effective as catnip, though easy to find in almost all stores. This can cause breathing issues with some people, and low quality (which is the stuff readily available), should not be put on the skin.
  3. Garlic
    While yes, ingesting garlic while help your sweat stink to high heaven to mosquitoes and humans alike, it’s not the best choice during the summer as it increases Pitta (Fire), and will make you feel hotter.
  4. Lavender
    A very nice smelling essential oil that not only keeps mosquitoes at bay… though is really good for our emotional well being. It is great for stress, anger, depression, hypertension, mood swings, insomnia, headaches, hyperactivity, issues during PMS… and lowers Pitta (excess heat – so great during those hot summer months) as well as Kapha (mass/mucus) and remains neutral for Vata (Air & Ether). These also can commonly be found in incense sticks (we have some very nice ones for sale in the office). Lavender you want to mix with a carrier oil, like Organic Soy Oil, which also helps keep mosquitoes away.
  5. Neem Oil (Nimba)
    According to a few studies, Neem oil is more effective than DEET at repelling not just mosquitoes, but most pests and is traditionally used as a natural insecticide on plants in India. Additionally, Neem is fantastic for the skin as well as the blood. This oil, while decreasing heat very well, can make people feel or act like “air heads” as it does increase Vata… so if you are a person with nerve issues or anxiety (or other Vata tendencies), use this oil in strict moderation, or combine it with some other balancing oils, like that of Black Pepper and Lavender.
  6. Black Pepper
    Recent studies are showing that black pepper also repels these blood loving creators. Additionally, Black Pepper often helps to bring herbs (and oils) deeper into the system and making them more effective, for example, adding a little bit of black pepper to turmeric in food makes the benefits of turmeric (like for inflammation) 2,000 times more effective!

You can get most of these essential oils via our Online Dispensary. Through the end of June, we are doing 10% off everything in the online store!

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