List of Essential Oils for Insect Repellent

List of Essential Oils for Insect Repellent
Anyone who is sick of smelling sickly from chemical insect repellents can try a number of essential oils to repel bugs. These natural oils can be found at drug stores, body shops and health food outlets and make for a great alternative to harsh chemical mixtures.

Castor Oil

Castor oil has a bad reputation as a bad tasting medicine, but it can also be used as a topical solution. It's been used in soaps, medicines and as a natural laxative. Dry skin, thinning hair, bruises and wrinkles have also benefited from this nearly odorless oil. Avoid Castor oil if pregnant.

Cedar Oil

This very potent oil dates back to Biblical times, and has traditionally been used in incense and perfumes. In addition to repelling bugs, cedar oil can be used to treat dry skin and hair, fungal infections, arthritis and even cancer. This pungent oil has several warnings: Cedar oil should only be of the "cedrus" variety, be highly diluted and not used during pregnancy.

Clove Oil

Derived from the buds of the clove plant, clove oil is highly effective against mosquitoes. While it is used in toothpastes, soaps and toiletries, also be aware it is often a component of varnish and glue. The oil is useful in treating acne, bruises and burns, the common cold and general exhaustion. One caveat is that clove oil is very harsh and may cause skin irritation.

Citronella Oil

Another highly effective mosquito repellent, citronella oil has also been used to repel moths, fleas and ants. Citronella candles, soaps, perfumes and detergents have long been on the market. Citronella is also used to treat migraines and other headaches, colds and excessive perspiration.

Eucalyptus Oil

In addition to an insect repellent, this fragrant oil has been used as an inhalant and a component of cough syrups and toothpaste. While it is not recommended during pregnancy, eucalyptus is not known to cause any skin irritations. It has also been used to treat poor circulation, skin infections, insect bites and chickenpox.

Lavender Oil

Widely used in soap and perfumes, sweet-smelling lavender oil can be used as a mild bug repellent. Other uses include treatment of lice, nervous tension, hysteria, hiccups and bad breath. Because of its mild nature, it is not known to irritate skin.

Lemongrass Oil

Also very aromatic, lemongrass is not as mild as lavender and should be diluted before use. This popular oil is also used for fevers, excessive sweat, open sores and infectious disease.

Peppermint Oil

This tasty oil can be found in many medicines, especially those used to treat colds, coughs and digestive ailments. Peppermint is also added to a host of food items, chewing gum, drinks and tobacco. In addition to repelling insects, peppermint oils is known to help diarrhea, shock, vertigo, and disorders involving the nervous, respiratory and digestive systems.

Tree Tea Oil

Spicy and highly aromatic, tree tea oil can be found in soaps, disinfectants, deodorants and colognes. Cold sores, dandruff, skin rashes and strep throat are some of the ailments tree tea oil has been used to treat.

Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski

Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.

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