Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bzzzz!


One thing my family loves to do in the summer is go camping.  I love camping!  I hate bug bites!!  So as part of the pre-trip ritual, I am preparing bug repelling sprays and itch relieving balms.
Tea tree oil is a well known bug repeller.  By simply adding several drops to 1 cup of water, you can pour this mixture into a spray bottle, mix well and spray on skin and even your hair.  Very inexpensive and very effective.  But NEVER apply tea tree oil directly onto skin!  (That goes for just about any essential oil~  these are highly concentrated oils that can burn your skin.)
 
Another great bug spritz recipe I found from Aura Cacia, that's a little more spendy but really great, goes a little something like this:
12 drops Citronella Essential Oil
12 drops Geranium Essential Oil
12 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
12 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil
4oz water
Pour into a mister, shake well and apply!

Now, anyone who camps or gardens knows, there is always that one bug that finds that one place you didn't spray.  Go figure!  For that I usually make a really simple balm with plantain.  That's right, that yucky weed is good for something! 

Begin by infusing 1/2 cup of dried plantain into an oil like grapeseed oil.  You do this by placing both ingredients into an oven safe bowl.  Coat all of the plantain thoroughly with the oil and place in a 200 degree oven that has been turned off.  Leave in oven for about 3 hours.  Once the infusion is complete, strain the herbs with cheesecloth and allow the oil to collect back into the bowl.  Squeeze the cheesecloth so you can get those final and potent drops out of the herbs. After that, add about 2-3 Tablespoons of beeswax and allow to melt.  (The more beeswax you use, the firmer your balm... Likewise, if you use less you will have a creamer salve.)  While it is still in liquid form, pour into a tin or other container and allow to cool and harden.  Make sure you label before storing in your first aid kit.
This balm is great not only for bug bites but also bee stings!

Happy Summer!

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