Thursday, May 30, 2013

Herbal Bug Repellent

I made a bug repellent.  Honestly, I'm on the fence about it.  It's an oil, which is not most people's preferred choice of skin additive during the summer.  However, I think it will work GREAT!  And, the oils used would be very good and promote healthy skin.  I think that if it is used very lightly and gently rubbed in, that it would work really well!  And not be TOO terrible of an oily feeling.  I'm considering trying to do a tincture with the catnip as well, but I'm on the fence about that one too.  Seems that it might sting the skin, especially if you are slightly sunburned or it may not be as nourishing for the skin as the oil would be.  But, it's a thought of a possibility at the moment.  :)

There was a study done that shows that Catnip is more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitos away.  For link to more info about that, you can click here.  While effective, it is not as long lasting and will need reapplied more often than conventional bug sprays.

Anyway, here's the info on the bug repellent.

First, I infused equal parts extra virgin organic coconut oil with safflower oil (total 1 cup) to dried catnip (1/2 cup).  Coconut oil has a million and 1 uses and is very very very good for the skin.  It is especially wonderful on sunburns.  Which I have a bit of at the moment from spending every moment possible out weeding the herb garden yesterday.  :)  After a long day in the sun, slathering on some coconut oil can actually heal your skin and prevent blistering and peeling (This has worked for me!  Even from a LOT of too much sun.).  So, that's a bonus of this bug repellent.  :)  IF you were to use it during the day, coconut oil can also work as an effective sunblock to prevent sunburns.  I'm not sure of the SPF value of coconut oil, nor am I sure how long would be safe to be in the sun.  This would differ to where you live.  For instance, my sun here in Wisconsin, is not going to be as strong as Florida, or Texas.  Ya know?  So I can't say.  Use common sense and wear protective clothing rather than relying on just coconut oil if you'll be out for a long time or are in strong sun/UV area.

I used Safflower Oil because it's lighter than Olive oil and is less fragrant.  Plus, it's high in Vitamin E, which is also great for the skin.  But mostly because Coconut Oil alone tends to have this habit of solidifying under 76 degrees.  Which, it often gets in the evenings.  So by mixing the two oils, it gives it a more liquid presence.

I did the ol' herbs in a jar trick and just put the oils and catnip in a Mason jar and sat it on the back of my stove, then shook it up several times a day for 2 weeks.  You can infuse for longer, but I really wanted to get this bug repellent finished.  We've had a lot of rain and the hubby and kids plan to go on a survival expedition this weekend.  I thought this would come in very handy.

Once the oil had a chance to infuse, I then drained it in a mesh strainer over a bowl with an old cut out piece of t shirt.  Be sure to wrap up the herbs in the cloth and wring it out really well!  That's the most concentrated oils!

I picked up the little 2 oz spray bottles at *gasp* Walmart for $.97 each in the trial products section.  If I were to use them often, then I would order from From Nature With Love.  They offer free shipping with any order of $75 or more and I've used them for many of my container orders for supplies.  The free shipping makes them very competitive on prices.

I then poured the catnip infused oil into the little spray bottles until it was ALMOST filled, but not completely.  Then I used 10 drops each of the following essential oils (I prefer Mountain Rose Herbs).


Put the cap on and shake it up.  Done.

My kids were so enthralled.  "Mom!  It smells like REAL bug repellent!"  :)  If you get a chance to try this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for checking it out!

Sorry for the crappy phone picture.  


  1. I tried this out for the first time tonight. I sprayed a bit into the palms of my hands, then rubbed it on my legs and arms. I sat outside at dusk for about 30 minutes while my hubby ate his dinner beside me. He was not wearing Amanda's repellent. I had no mosquito bites or troubles at all. My poor husband was chewed on by MANY. His dinner ended in a rush because the man getting bit all over. :( BUT, I was grateful for the spray that I had and look forward to using it again. I got it JUST in time to take on vacation! Thank you, Amanda!

  2. 3 Researches SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally get rid of fat by consuming Coconut Fats (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from large medical magazines are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!