Summer is here and so are the stinging and biting insects. I love the outdoors, especially taking walks by the lake with my two dogs, but wearing shorts or capris in the heat can be a nuisance when the bugs begin to bite.
Up to this point, mosquitoes have been very light this year in Middle Tennessee, some speculate due to the thirteen year cicada brood that just finished its cycle here. However, they are now out in full force, and I was caught outside without applying my handy Skeeter Beater in advance, and got several bites on my legs and knees.
Just a few weeks ago, I prepared an anti-sting/itch blend to keep in the refrigerator for summer use, after researching some of the best essential oil choices for this purpose mainly focusing on antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory oils. The blend I came up with is 1 oz total in St. John’s Wort infused oil for the carrier oil, a 10% dilution, using 60 total drops of these essential oils: Cajeput, Blue Cypress, Lavandin Grosso, and Lemongrass. I used the St. John’s Wort because it is a good pain reliever, but if you prefer, aloe vera gel would also be a good choice since it is so cooling in the summer heat. I evenly distributed the 60 drops at 15 apiece for each essential oil to make the blend which I keep in a cobalt pet plastic 1 oz bottle with disc lid.
It came in handy last night because one of the bites was the itching and burning kind, right on my kneecap. Ouch! I applied the blend and felt relief within about 10 minutes. It is still a bit red this morning but no more itch or sting!
You can also use this blend on wasp or what we in the South call “sweat bee” stings. Cajeput is known for being one of the best essential oils to help with fire ant bites. Both Blue Cypress and Cajeput can also be of assistance if you experience an allergic or histamine reaction to a bite or sting. The Lavandin and Lemongrass are effective pain killers and anti-inflammatories, as well. Definitely easy to blend and great to have nearby when summer pests attack!To read more about these and other essential oils visit www.naturesgift.com.