Monday, August 20, 2012

Mommy Monday: Herbal Bug Spray 2 Ways

Making herbal bug sprays can be so easy and a great way to use leftover herbs from the garden, mixing and varying the recipe to whatever is on hand.

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Storebought bug sprays are full of harmful chemicals like DEET. Pediatricians recommend avoid using bug sprays that contain DEET as it can cause skin rashes, mucous membrane irritation, hives, dizziness and muscle spasms in very rare cases. There has been some research as to whether or not DEET causes behavioral problems in children. I always recommend researching everything yourself. Be wary of what you put on your body and your children's. And that's why I make my own herbal bug spray.

Sometimes I forgo the witch hazel and work with just a herbal infusion, empowered with a couple Essential Oils plus a tablespoon of white vinegar (which can be kind of stinky at the beginning so I don't always use it), a combination of the two recipes below. Otherwise I try to use witch hazel (see below for brand recommendation).

Another great reason to make this? The witch hazel combined with herbal power can really help relieve bug bite symptoms. Just spritz right on the bug bite if you do get bit!

Herbs are very effective when it comes to deterring bugs. Try these out for safe, kid-friendly bug sprays.

Spritz generously before going outside!

Herbal Bug Spray with Whole Herbs (fresh or dried)
1 cup Boiling water
1/2 c packed fresh herbs, I suggest lavender, rosemary, clove and sage plus you can add thyme, basil, mint
1 cup witch hazel
3 T vegetable glycerin (optional but helps prevent dry skin)
1 T white vinegar (optional but very powerful albeit stinky)

1. Steep herbs with boiling water and cover for 20 minutes.
2. Strain and add witch hazel, vegetable glycerin and white vinegar (if using).
3. Decanter in spray bottle. This makes just over 2 cups.

Herbal Bug Spray with Essential Oils
1/2 cup scant witch hazel
1/2 c scant purified water
30 drops lavender EO
30 drops Eucalyptus EO (or citronella also works)
30 drops RosemaryEO
10 drops Tea Tree EO
10 drops Clove EO
10 drops Mint EO
2 T vegetable glycerin

Combine all ingredients in 8 oz spray bottle. (Divide recipe in half for 4 oz bottle).

Other great essential oils to add or substitute are Cedar, Citronella, and Thyme.

I bought the Homesteand Company brand of witch hazel from VitaCost (here's a $10 coupon for your first purchase). It's also available on amazon .You can buy essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.

If you prefer to buy a bug spray, I recommend the Quantum Buzz Away. I've never been bit while using this and even felt safe using it while I was pregnant.

This all being said.... And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! Will be getting stuff to make this.... For myself too cuz it seems I'm the one lately with all the bug bites :)


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