Friday, May 29, 2015

Some Natural Bug Repellents & Yes They Do Work

Summer time means being outdoors.  Personally, I look forward to this outdoor, warm weather season all year long.  Sometimes being outside in nature means being with insects.  Insects make the outdoors a little less pleasant because they tend to bite us and carry disease or cause infections or itchy skin.

Many of these insect problems can pose a potential health hazard, so people like to use an insect repellent on their skin to keep away the insects.  Traditionally, people use harmful insect repellent sprays with DEET. They are effective, but they can cause many harmful side effects themselves like damaging brain and neurological function.  This especially true for children who are smaller and more sensitive to the chemicals.  It is a dilemma because insect bites are dangerous too.

Consumer Reports has recently tested the commercial chemical repellents with DEET and they have tested the more natural remedies.  Interestingly, some of the more natural remedies have been found very effective.  Further, Consumer Reports advocates using the more natural alternatives because of the risks from DEET.  Formulas containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus worked  well, so look for repellents containing these ingredients.  The best ones listed by Consumers Reports were Sawyer Fisherman's Formula and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, which worked for 8 hours.

While the picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are not actual repellents, they work by masking the environmental signs that insects are attracted to.  Additionally, they do have the side effects of potential eye or skin irritation, but these are considerably safer than DEET.

According to Ayurveda the skin is a reflection of what is going on inside the body.  Therefore, the appearance of the skin signals whether a body is balanced or showing signs of strain.  Further, the skin is an organ that can be used to nourish our bodies.  This is why the ayurvedic self massage of abyhanga is recommended daily to stimulate the skin and feed it with pure oils.  Using DEET is feeding your skin and the body with a toxic chemical.  Therefore, from an Ayurvedic standpoint, the natural skin repellents are the way to go to keep you safe from insects.

Stay healthy & well,

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