For the past few days, I’ve been hearing alarming news on the radio about the Zika virus spreading into the United States.
The virus is spread by mosquitoes, like West Nile and malaria. From what is known so far, the virus does not spread from person to person like a cold, but by a mosquito biting an infected person and then on to another person who contracts the virus.
I hate putting chemicals on my skin, so I use an essential oil spray that has proven to be very effective. In the past couple years in the garden, none of us have been bitten even though my neighbor has a large pool of standing water. Even at a riverside campground in Louisiana, there were no mosquito bites.
Herbal Mosquito Repellent Spray
• 14 ounces Witch Hazel
• 10 ml (2 tsp) Citronella Essential Oil
• 10 ml (2 tsp) Eucalyptus Essential Oil
• 10 ml (2 tsp) Lemongrass Essential Oil
Mix ingredients together, shake well and pour into spray bottles(s). To store more than a month or two, it is best to keep the spray in a glass bottle or you can halve the recipe.
You’ll give the bottle a shake each time you spray. If it’s hot and you’re perspiring, re-apply every couple of hours.
Where to Find Ingredients and Equipment
The essential oils can be found in most health food stores, usually in the 10-ml bottles. (Even Amazon has these oils; just make sure you buy pure, undiluted oils.) If you want to find the oils in larger quantity, there are sources online at New Directions Aromatics, Rainbow Meadow, Bulk Apothecary, and many others.
Never buy essential oils from a pyramid marketing company or from a catalog that lists all the oils at the same price.
Witch hazel can be found in most any drug store, usually in the first aid section, next to the peroxide.
Plastic spray bottles can be found in the personal care section, often near the travel size containers. Pretty glass bottles like ours are available in several catalogs, such as Pinetree Seeds and even on Amazon.
Zika Virus Update
Wanting to learn more about Zika, I Googled and found this quite scary information:
The Zika virus is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas, the World Health Organization has warned. The infection, which causes symptoms including mild fever, conjunctivitis and headache, has already been found in 21 countries in the Caribbean, North and South America. It has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains and some countries have advised women not to get pregnant. No treatment or vaccine is available. New cases of the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects, have been confirmed in the UK.
Wendy Akin is a happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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