Nothing ruins the outdoors during the summer with family and friends like a little mosquito bite on your neck. Suddenly, a beautiful sunset turns into a buffet dinner for the mosquitoes. But spraying chemicals on your skin to keep pests away may not feel like a good option either. Not to worry: Mosquitoes aren’t a new phenomenon and Ayurveda has been repelling them for over 5,000 years with great success. With the help of some amazing essential oils you can enjoy these fleeting summer moments without biting insects, while enjoying some additional benefits for your skin.
Neem is an incredible plant that has seemingly been given to us simply to make life on Earth a bit more pleasant. Every part of the neem tree has a medicinal use – it’s leaves, bark, roots, seeds, fruit and fragrant flowers. Neem not only keeps pesky mosquitos away, but it also helps repel ticks, fleas and ants. Neem can also help treat fungal infections that may cause dandruff. It can be used for many skin disorders and has been found to help treatment of scabies. Neem oil can relieve dry skin and soothe itchy, irritated skin that often accompanies bug bites. Neem may also help fight bacteria involved in causing certain types of pimples and acne. Because it fights infection in a variety of ways, neem is less likely to cause bacterial resistance over time. It can also be used as a natural pesticide in your vegetable garden.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
This beautiful tree has a vast array of healing capabilities. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have both recognized the medicinal importance of the lemon eucalyptus tree for thousands of years. The aromatic leaf oils of this tree are used in steam inhalation and may help with nasal congestion, asthma, sore throat and easing cold and flu symptoms in some cases. Lemon eucalyptus contains a high amount of citronella. Many of you may remember from the smell of citronella candles in the summertime that help create a bug-free perimeter around you and your family.
Making Your Own Ayurvedic Bug Repellent
There is a very simple recipe for making your own natural bug repellent. You will only need the following four ingredients:
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic soybean oil
- Neem oil
- Lemon eucalyptus oil
For the base of the bug repellent, you can use a blend of 50% coconut oil and 50% soybean oil, which both have specific benefits for the skin in general. If you want to avoid soy or coconut, then choose any oil that you like. The soybean oil has been shown to boost the effectiveness of the essential oils in repelling outdoor pests, while nourishing your skin and keeping it hydrated. Coconut oil increases the effectiveness of the essential oils in keeping mosquitoes, gnats and ticks away, and additionally helps to reduce some of the complications from excess sun exposure. Coconut oil is routinely used in Ayurveda to reduce heat and inflammation in the skin, which becomes a bigger concern during the summer. In addition to coconut and soybean oil, you will need pure neem and eucalyptus oil.
Use 100ml of the soybean and coconut oil mixture. Add 2ml of both the neem and lemon eucalyptus oil. You can blend the entire mixture together by warming it on low heat to allow all the oils to blend. Then store the mixture in your cupboard. The coconut oil may turn the mixture into a semisolid as it cools. As with any new skin regimen, I always recommend that you first use it on a small patch on your skin to make sure you don’t have allergies to any of the ingredients before applying it to larger areas.
Using this recipe, you can improve your skin while protecting yourself from biting insects that interrupt your summer fun. You’ll never need to go back to commercial bug sprays ever again.