Recipe: insect repellent

I will publish recipes occasionally; either of my own making, or ones I’ve found elsewhere, usually Pinterest.

I made this one for my diffuser bracelet:

10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

10 drops Lime Essential Oil

7 drops Citronella Essential Oil

7 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

3 drops Tea Tree Oil Essential Oil

1 drop each Lavender and camphor

I was able to make 3 bracelets and a necklace and still had some left over, but the oils did not touch my skin.

You can buy diffuser jewelry from Amazon, some Essential Oil stores, online and brick, or you can make your own.

For a 5 mL rollerball or a small spray bottle:

5 drops Peppermint

5 drops Cintronella

3 drops Lemongrass

1 drop each Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender and Lime.

You drop each oil into the rollerball and fill it with a carrier oil like Coconut or Jojoba.

Only the Peppermint and Citronella are truly required in either recipe: the carrier oil is required for the rollerball and spray bottle. Most insects despise Peppermint and will go the other way when they smell it: including mosquitoes, flies, and chiggers. Citronella masks the scents which the bugs, mosquitoes especially, are attracted to.

For the parents out there here’s a special tip: lice hate Tea Tree Oil! You can put a drop in your child’s shampoo, and your own, (making super sure none gets in their eyes) to help control the pests. You can also buy Tea Tree Oil shampoo at the pharmacy or the pharmacy section of the larger grocery stores.

Below is a chart of what oils you can use to help control others bugs and pests, just look up how to do it 🙂 was. If you click the chart, it will take you to the site where I got it from.

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional or aroma therapist. I am simply a beginner in the essential oil journey. Anything said within this blog is simply my opinion from my own research.

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Essentials

There are some things you simply cannot do without when using Essential Oils.

Things like funnels and measuring cups and spoons, glass jars with tight fitting lids, some place out of the sun to store your oils, and, of course, the oils themselves.

You don’t need every oil on the market, truly. You can make some remarkable things with just the basic starter kit you can get, some baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil and five minutes of time to actually put the recipe together plus time to let it set/cool off.

There are things you don’t HAVE to have, but are certainly awesome to have, like roller ball dispensers and empty lipstick tubes, and beeswax or soya flakes.

You can make the basic lip balm/chapstick recipe without the beeswax, but it won’t harden, it will still be liquid.

You can make an awesome anti-itch blend, but without something to keep it in, you can’t take it with you and it won’t last nearly as long since it will be constantly exposed to air and sunlight, both of which speed up the degradation process.

Funnels and measuring cups/spoons are fairly self explanatory: you need something to measure your ingredients with and some way to get the final product into its storage container. If you have a measuring cup with a pour spout the funnel isn’t totally necessary, but it does still make the job much easier. (Some folks recommend a food grade scale to weigh the ingredients, I don’t have that so I have to convert.)

Glass jars and bottles are necessary, especially if what you made stays in its oily/liquid form since the essential oils are highly concentrated and break down plastic, thus contaminating your product. They are fairly cheap to buy; I recently bought some at the dollar store for about $4 for a set of 12 half pint (16 tablespoons, 0.95 cups, or 236 mL) jars, or, you can just save your old jam jars and wash and sterilize them. Once you have them, you can continue to reuse them, just wash and sterilize between uses. (Really, they should be amber, or some other coloured glass container so sunlight won’t degrade the oils, but the clear glass is good for things like bath salts.)

Some place out of the light, and excessive heat, is mandatory since sunlight breaks down the oils faster than being kept in a light tight box (or old lunch bag in my case), or in the fridge. The cold of the fridge shouldn’t hurt your oils (but they will take space from your food stuffs), but storing them are room temperature, 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit is preferable since you won’t be able to keep that roller ball of headache remedy in the fridge when you’re at your daughter’s soccer game and need it. You should let the oil come up to room temperature first before using it though.

The basic oils: you can make some really awesome things (and repel bugs/mosquitoes) with oils like Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus or E. radiata). (Tea Tree is often referred to as Melaleuca in the oils lists, so if you can’t find it under the T’s, look under the M’s). I will explain the Latin names and the reason for them in another post.

Another essential is carrier oils. These are the oils which make the essential oils safe to touch with your bare skin. I generally use coconut oil since it is so readily available, and we have a HUGE jar of it, but you can also use olive oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, grape seed, avocado, sweet almond and rosehip oils. Essentially, they water down the essential oil enough to render it safe to touch as long as you follow the golden rule of using only as much as the recipe calls for. This will explain it much better than I can.

Rollerballs are an awesome thing, but not necessary! They enable you to take that anti-itch blend with you and not have it leaking all over your purse or in your pocket! You just roll it where you are having the problem and be done. You can find them in bulk on Amazon or singles at your local health store (I bought one for $1.49. Needless to say bulk is cheaper in the long run).

Lipstick/chapstick empty tubes: you can make your own lip balm to keep with you wherever you go.

Deodorant tubes, much cleaner than the goopy b-o juice which you put on with your fingers! Let me hear it folks, ewwwwwww!

Beeswax (locally sourced hopefully) or soya flakes will harden up that deodorant or lip balm so they stay in their tubes instead of running all over the place, leaving a mess behind for you to clean up. You can still make and use them without, it will just be much harder to take them with you. (I bought mine at my beeswax local Bulk Barn.) You can also use it to make a citronella candle to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

There are also knick knacks and doodads which are nice to have but are totally unnecessary, like the pipettes. I’m not that patient, I don’t want to spend an extra five minutes putting the anti-itch blend in the rollerball with a pipette! I would rather use a funnel or spouted measuring cup and be done much quicker. Or the gadget they have to help take the roller balls off the glass jars they are in, and put them back on again afterward.

Labels: the fancy ones you have to pay for are totally unnecessary. You can make your own or find some free downloads and print them out yourself. Labelling your product is necessary though, at least as long as you want to know what’s in the bottle (since I’m sure you’ll have several on the go at some point, and if they’re all the same colour glass you won’t know what’s what without the labels). I bought some file folder labels from the dollar store for about $1.50. I was able to use two to put what it was and the recipe on my bath salts so I’ll know what it is, and the recipe, the next time I want to make some more. I put a couple pieces of scotch tape (or you can use packing tape) over the labels so any oil which should leak, or oily fingers, won’t render the printing illegible.

Other things which are nice, but not totally necessary: dedicated bowls, cups and spoons to help prevent cross contamination. I have these (except for the measuring cups and spoons), since I use the bowl to not only mix bath salts in, but I use it as the top part of a double boiler to make my lip balm with, silicon moulds for soaps and bath bombs and shower fizzies. You can probably find the silicon moulds at your local GoodWill type stores, I just haven’t had the money or inclination to go yet.

None of the links I used above are affiliated, so click to your heart’s content, I won’t make a dime off it.

Disclaimer: anything written herein is just my opinion. I am not a health care professional, aroma therapist or other such awesome being. Anything I write is meant to guide you on your way to gaining your own knowledge so you can make your own informed choices.

To Begin

This will be an ongoing series of articles as I do my own research, so I will be adding more Health and Safety concerns and dos and don’ts as time goes on.

Here’s some basic first aid do’s and don’ts for working with/using Essential Oils.

First and foremost, make informed decisions on which EOs to use on yourself and anyone else you may be making them for according to any medical conditions you/they may have, including allergies to the plant/nut the oil is made from, and any medications, supplements and vitamins you/they may be using.

Educate yourself. Really. Knowledge is power, and knowing what an Essential Oil or blend of oils can do to you, both good and bad, should be the first step in using Essential Oils or anything else. Do your research.

For example: Bergamot, Angelica, Rue and Citrus based oils can cause photosensitivity. What should you do to avoid such a reaction if you find you need to use one of these oils if avoiding the use of the oil is not an option? What is photosensitivity? How severe can the reaction be?

Do these oils have a shelf life? How should they be stored? How do you know if they’ve gone bad?

How do I treat myself or someone else if there is a reaction or I stupidly (or accidentally) got the oil in my eyes, or some undiluted oil landed on my arm, or I swallowed some?

These are all things you need to know about each oil you intend to use, even if it’s for something as simple as chapped lips or itchy feet, before you even open a bottle.

Here is an excellent article on Essential Oil Safety. Be warned: There are some horror stories used as examples of what can happen when one does not follow the safety procedures when using Essential Oils. They are not graphic, nor are there pictures, but please be warned.

Hello and Welcome

Hello, and welcome to my journey with essential oils.

I’m new to the world of Essential Oils, and I would love for you to join me.

I’m a 50 something year old woman who has travelled a long and hard road to reach where I am now, but wouldn’t change a thing since I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t traveled that road in the first place.

I’m Mom to twin 20 something young men, whom I love and are off living their own lives now, but still take the time to call me once in a while just to say ‘Hi’.

I’ll share what I’m learning, links to where I learned it, recipes for diffusers (although I don’t use one), inhalers, roller balls, lip balms, salt scrubs, bath bombs, and a lot more.

I’ll also share where I am in the journey of learning even more about myself and how I am managing to balance my life with work and health and the world we live in.

Again, welcome to my journey of self discovery. I’d love to hear from you and where you are in your own journey of self discovery.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the health field, nor am I an aromatherapist or any other such thing. I am simply a beginner who wishes to learn more, and share what I am learning with the rest of you.