With all this great summer heat unfortunately comes insects. The problem today is that most insect repellants all contain so many harsh chemicals (i.e. DEET) and often make you feel kinda gross while out in the heat.
Below are a list of some natural alternative insect repellents, some may even surprise you:
Basil – Commonly known for its use as a “spice” in North America, but elsewhere it is used extensively in medicine, particularly in India. Indeed, Indians rub the leaves on their skin as an insect repellent, and Africans do the same.
Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemuum muticum) and Pennyroyal – Both of these herbs contain “pulegone”, a powerful insect repellent. Pennyroyal is the more popular of the two, and it has a long and honorable history. In fact, pennyroal goes back to the first century A.D. when people discovered that it was effective against fleas. However, based on personal experience, I would say “mountain mint” works better than penyroyal.
How to apply: Just pick some leaves and rub them on your skin and clothing. Note: don’t use either of these if you are pregnant, as these herbs have been known to increase the risk of miscarriage).
Citrus essential oils: Something about citrus, and plants with citrus-like aromatic qualities, repels insects. The info-graphic below will help you understand how powerful citrus essential oils can be when used as a natural insect repellent.