Bloodsuckers

  I decided this morning  ( now yesterday )I needed to get out and get some space for me. I needed a spiritual tune up…badly. As the realities of the past few weeks and the near future sink in I feel like I am being drawn into the abyss.

 
I checked out a little park yesterday near the Condo. I have walked by it before but never stopped.  I was not up to making the track over to the big park and joining the Tai Chi group, I have been around people for weeks on end and needed a My Space time.
 
I was up fairly early and headed to the park before it got hot. There was a nice breeze, the park was quiet. I loved the rock formation and the energy of the place. There was some shade trees and even though exposed to the surrounding apts I did not really care who watched from a distance. 
 
I chose a flat rock on which to sit and started my Chan Ding/Zazen…
 
 
It lasted about 5 min or less before I was snapped back to reality by the numerous mini bites of mosquitoes. Japanese mosquitoes are smaller and look a bit different from western mosquitoes. As Mexican flies look different from flies in the US. Still a rose by any other name…or more like dung by any other name still stinks. Bloodsuckers are bloodsuckers. I left the park to them.
With some research I found this:
 

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.

(See: 12 Surprising Uses for Garlic)

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.

Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on my site HealthySurvivalist.com, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

 
 
 
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