Tag Archive | natural

8 Natural Mosquito Repellents

by Michelle Schoffro Cook

 

Before you grab that DEET-based mosquito repellent, consider using a natural option instead. DEET, also known as diethyl-meta-toluamide, by any other name still stinks. And research proves that the main ingredient in commercial mosquito repellents leaves more than a bad odor.  According to a Duke University study, it damages brain cells, can cause behavioural changes, and can have harmful interactions with some medications.  The scientists also observed that it caused brain cell death in animals frequently exposed to or after prolonged use of DEET.

Additional research found that up to 15 percent of DEET is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.  According to safety data sheets on diethyl-meta-toluaminde, the toxic effects of this chemical include: reproductive disturbances, genetic material mutations, and central nervous system disorders.

There’s no need to suffer long-term and serious health consequences to ward off pesky mosquitoes.  Choose a natural alternative that’s proven to work as effectively as DEET or in some case, MORE effectively than DEET.

Here are some natural options:

1. Catnip—You can drive cats wild and make mosquitoes run in terror, according to research at Iowa State University which found that the essential oil found in the herb catnip is about 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes.

2. Citronella—the old standby. Use only pure essential oil of citronella—not fragrance oil.  Oils purchased in bulk for burning are not adequate for applying topically to your skin.  For your skin it is best to get a high quality citronella essential oil from a natural food store.  While it’s not as effective as catnip, it’s still a good option.

3. Garlic—eat lots of fresh garlic—mosquitoes can’t stand the stuff.

4. Lavender essential oil smells great and is a commonly used and effective mosquito repellent.  It’s best diluted in a carrier oil like apricot kernel, sweet almond, or coconut oil.  If you can find organic soy oil, it is also a good option since it also keeps mosquitoes at bay.

5. Neem oil or neem seed oil:  According to a study by the US National Research Council neem oil is more effective than DEET.  The results were confirmed by scientists at the Malaria Institute in India and in research cited in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Neem is a plant that grows in India.

6. Organic soy oil—Research cited in The New England Journal of Medicine found that repellents made of soybean oil are just as effective as DEET-containing repellents. Soy oil is inexpensive and easy to find, making it an excellent choice. Plus, it is an excellent body moisturizer. As an aside, research shows that an ingredient in soy can slow the growth of body hair when applied topically.  Choose organic soy oil if possible since many soy crops are now genetically-modified.

7. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)—New research published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine shows that lotus is an effective mosquito repellent and also helps kill mosquito larvae.  Since lotus grows in water it is a good option as a natural repellent in backyard ponds and water features rather than something that is applied topically.

8. Black pepper (Piper nigrum)—New research from the same study shows that an extract (the study used an alcohol extract but black pepper essential oil would probably work too) of black pepper is effective in repelling mosquitoes.

I mix about 30 drops of the essential oils of catnip, citronella, lavender, neem, and black pepper (total, so about 6 drops of each essential oil) into about 30 mL of an unscented and natural oil or moisturizer, which I keep handy in a jar. I rub a bit onto my skin prior to heading outdoors. You can also mix 30 drops of these essential oils into organic soy oil for extra protection. Always do a 24-hour skin test to be sure you don’t have sensitivities to any of the oils.

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Natural Remedies for Receding Gums

Receding gums is often one of the first signs that warn you of gum disease. When gums start receding, they create a space between your teeth and the gums and this will cause bacteria to enter the gums and start damaging the tissues.

Many reasons like poor dental hygiene,periodontal disease, heredity, hormone imbalances and aggressive brushing of the teeth are some reasons associated with this condition. Receding gums need not always be treated in a dentist’s office. There are some natural remedies that can be used at home in order to control the deterioration of the gums and teeth.

Natural Remedies For Receding Gums

Green Tea

Rich in antioxidants, green tea is known as the elixir of health and can be used for treating and preventing the onset of a number of diseases. Taking green tea will help in reducing the damage caused to the teeth as a result of receding gums. Green tea reduces inflammation of the gums and also helps in destroying the bacteria in the mouth that can cause periodontal problems. Take a cup of green tea in the morning to keep your gums and teeth strong.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil can be used in the same manner as a mouthwash for removing toxic substances and plaque buildup in the gums, which too can cause the gums to recede.

Take a quarter cup of sesame oil and swish your mouth thoroughly with this. Warming the oil slightly can help as it can help in better absorption and removal of toxins and plaque. The oil will also give a protective coating to your gums and teeth and prevent recession of gums and dental decay.

Aloe Vera

Aloe is an anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial agent. Take the fresh gel from the aloe plant and use this for brushing your teeth. You can also use aloe gel as a mouthwash every day morning and after meals to protect your teeth and gums from decay and prevent receding of gums. Aloe also helps in healing of damaged gums and infections.

Coconut Oil

Being antimicrobial in nature, coconut oil too is a great remedy for treating receding gums and the cause behind it. Take some virgin coconut oil and swish your mouth with it after brushing your teeth.

This will give your teeth the necessary cover for protection against disease causing bacteria and germs and also prevent food particles and germs from sticking between and on the teeth and causing decay. Coconut oil can be used every day as a prevention method for receding gums and also for general oral hygiene.

Lemon Oil

Lemon has mild antiseptic qualities and is also an excellent antibacterial agent. However, direct application of lemon every day is not recommended as it can corrode the enamel.Lemon oil can be acquired or prepared at home by infusing olive oil with lemon for a few weeks.

This oil can be used for swishing your mouth first thing in the morning. Lemon oil helps in killing all the bacteria and prevents gum recession and tooth decay as well. Lemon also stimulates tissue formation and can encourage new tissues to grow in the place of damaged ones.

Eucalyptus

This strong essential oil helps in killing all the germs in the mouth and prevents tooth decay and gum diseases that lead to receding gums. Eucalyptus is also anti inflammatory in nature and helps in reducing swollen gums as well. Take some eucalyptus oil and dilute with water.Massage for a few minutes onto your gums every day and rinse off. This will stimulate new tissue growth and also reduce gum recession and damage due to bacterial action.

Clove

The action of cloves on decayed and damaged tooth and infection has been long praised. Clove oil is known to be a natural antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti fungal agent and helps in stimulating the growth and repair of damaged tissues. Cloves are very powerful as disinfectants and can stop bacterial action with frequent use. Use a clove every day or massage with clove oil for best results.

Myrrh

kind of resin that is obtained from trees, myrrh can be used for stopping the recession of gums and preventing root exposure and damage as well. It is also great for strengthening the gums. Myrrh can be used for rinsing the mouth or as a tooth powder or paste, whichever is convenient for you.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can be diluted and used for swishing the mouth for preventing gum recession and root damage. Remember that the oil is very strong and should not be used without diluting it, lest it should cause burns. Tea tree oil is a powerful anti fungal and microbial agent anddestroys the bacteria and plaque buildup in the teeth and between the gums.

Also Read

Natural Cure For Receding Gums
Home Remedies For Sensitive Teeth

Sumac Tree

Sumac tree is known to have stringent qualities that can come of help for treating of receding gums. It helps in stimulation of the gums and also cleans the teeth, keeping them safe from decay and damage. Take a twig and peel the outer bark. Gently rub the inner partover the surface of the teeth and along the gums.

Yarrow

Wild yarrow too has several antiseptic and astringent qualities. The flower or the leaves of wild yarrow can be used for rubbing over your teeth and preventing gum recession to a great extent.

Sage Leaves

The leaves act as a tonic for the gums and are also an excellent treatment for the mucus membrane. Sage leaves can be directly rubbed on the gums and teeth for protection andtreatment of receding gums. Sage leaves can be used for making a tea as well for preparing a rinse for your gums. Add sage leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes before using it for rinsing.

Rose Vinegar

Rose vinegar helps in strengthening the gums and can be used as a rinse for the mouth. For making rose vinegar, take 3 ounces of rose petals and soak in red wine vinegar solution. Steep for about seven days and strain it. A tablespoon of rose vinegar can be added to one cup of warm water and this can be used as a mouth rinse every day to prevent recession of gums.

7 Ways to Make Your Living Space Smell Nice

Rather than spraying chemical-laden air fresheners, choose one of these seven natural ways to make your living space smell a little nicer.

1. Invest in houseplants. Have your favorite plants and herbs growing in your kitchen, living room and bathroom in small pots. The presence of green plants will help reduce indoor air pollution and keep clean air circulating in your space.

2. Save your citrus fruit skins. Save the peels of oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus- fruits. You can place them in boiling water to have a fresh scent in the kitchen, or run them in your garbage disposal with boiling water. Lastly, put some citrus skins in your vacuum bag the next time you vacuum your carpet.

3. Dilute essential oil with water in a spray bottle. You can spray your furniture and carpet to make the whole room smell a specific scent. To diversify, you can have different scents for different areas of your home. For example: lavender for the living room, sandalwood for your bedroom and peppermint for the bathroom.

4. Place bowls of white vinegar in corners of the room. The vinegar will neutralize and absorb any offending odors.

5. Place fabric softener in your shoes and closet. It will take away any stale clothing smells. For another closet air freshener, place a cedar block at the bottom of your closet. Use sandpaper for a new layer once a year.

6. Light soy candles instead of regular candles. Soy candles are longer-lasting, better for the environment and have a more robust smell. (They are also safer than carcinogen-emitting candles – made from petroleum.)

7. Bake bread or cook your own meals. Few things are as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread or the herbs of a home-cooked dinner.