Fly & Mosquito Repellent:
4 oz. Grapeseed Oil
14 drops Cedarwood
11 drops Lemon
5 drops Geranium
2 drops Citronella
Mix all ingredients together and apply to skin.
Use a spray containing essential oils for ants. Citronella, Peppermint and Lemon actually have the ability to break the invisible ant trail.
by Kathleen Meskil
Bugs suck--especially in the warm summer months. Nothing screws up a great picnic, hike, or roll in the proverbial hay like a bunch of flying, blood-sucking insects. Here are two all-natural essential oil formulas designed to keep the bugs off and away so that you and your dog can play freely.
1/4 oz. Essential Oil of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratis)
1/8 oz. Essential Oil of Lavender (Lavendula officinalis)
1/8 oz. Oil of Neem
1/16 oz. Essential Oil of Peppermint (Mentha piperata)
1/16 oz. Essential Oil of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Combine these oils together in a dark colored 1-ounce bottle, and shake gently. Use the resulting blend in an oil warmer, potpourri simmerer or on incense sticks. You might try placing drops on pieces of ribbon and hanging in open windows and doorways or on the porch., or drop some onto dishes filled with vermiculite, found in the garden section, or even clay kitty litter.
If you are going hiking and want something to use on your body, I suggest a spray. Add approximately 1/8 oz. of the base oil to 8 oz. of an emulsifying agent, such as PEG 10, which can be purchased via mail order sources, or witch hazel, which can be obtained at the pharmacy. Add these to 16 oz. of distilled water. You may wish to make this into a lotion-based product, in which case you might add 1/8 oz. of the mix to 16 oz. of unscented lotion. In addition, you can use oil as your base -- combine 1/8 oz. of blend to 16 oz. of vegetable oil. Try sweet almond, apricot kernel or sunflower oils.
The oil of thyme should be avoided by pregnant women, and by those with high blood pressure. Oil of peppermint should be avoided during the first 4 months of pregnancy. If you are pregnant, or suffer from high blood pressure, please omit these oils from the formula. Oil of peppermint is not compatible with homeopathic treatments, and should be omitted by those undergoing such. This formula should be diluted to half strength for children 6 to 12 years of age, and use by younger children is not encouraged. For young children, we suggest using the methods mentioned previously.
Don't let your dog get you down. Try this all-natural flea repellent.
1/4 oz. Essential Oil of Lavender (Lavendula officinalis)
1/8 oz. Oil of Neem
2 drops Essential Oil of Vetiver (Andropogon muricatus)
Combine these oils in a dark-colored 1 ounce bottle. Mix a scant 1/8 oz. with 8 oz. of PEG 10 emulsifier, or witch hazel, then add to 16 oz. of distilled water. Shake well before using. Spray pet once or twice daily with the resulting mix. Discontinue use if any irritation, sneezing, runny eyes, or any adverse signs appear, as you would with any commercial product. If extreme discomfort occurs, bathe pet with soap and water. This mixture will generally deter fleas, not kill them, so must be re-applied frequently. Personally, I use it about once every 3 days on my own Pet Peeve.
One fact most budding Aromatherapists or hobbyists should keep in mind is that, while most of the oils are safe for many uses, care should be taken. Some oils are phototoxic, and might, if applied to the skin, cause a severe or blotchy sunburn. Some should not be used by pregnant women, young children or those with high blood pressure or epilepsy. Please consult a reference before using the oils for any application. Essential oils, with very few exceptions, should be diluted before using on the skin. I generally use a dilution of no more than 15 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of a "carrier" or diluting agent: vegetable oil, glycerin, unscented soap or lotion, etc
The Safest Ways to Enjoy Essential Oils
If you are worried about irritating your skin, try using your blends in a diffuser. You can find an oil warmer at many large drugstores. Fill the reservoir with water and add a few drops of essential oil or blend and warm with the candle. You can also use an electric potpourri simmerer: fill the mini crockpot with water and 25 drops of an oil or blend. You can even make your own incense! Purchase unscented incense punks from several commercial sources. Simply run a line of your oil or blend down 2 sides of an incense punk, set it aside to dry overnight, and voila, aromatherapy incense sticks.
Don't Peeve Your Pet
Please observe the same precautions for your dog that you would use for yourself and do not use essential oils at all on your cats -- many studies show their systems react unfavorably to essential Oils. Remember that your dog has a much keener sense of smell than you do, and many dogs do not care for the scent of Citronella or Lemongrass. (In fact, some trainers will use these oils in spray form for negative reinforcement in training!) So let's not make our best friend wear something he doesn't care for!