Teaching Tuesdays - Recipes for Relief part 2

Today, as promised, is part two of Relief from the outdoors recipes! First off, is a nice after sun recipe, but remember, PREVENTION is the best medicine, so make sure that you use sun block at all times, and use anti-bug recipes when you are likely to be exposed to insects. There are a few organic recipes on this page too, for those who prefer to not use deet! And of course, if you don't want to bother with making your own, Unique Garden Essences does sell essential oil blends, soaps, and spritzers that utilize known bug repelling EO's.

After Sun Recipe; This is a good body butter for relief after your day in the sun.

You will need;

1/2 cup cocoa butter 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp sweet almond oil or other light oil of choice
10 grams (2 tsp) FO of choice OR up to 5 grams of EO (s) of your choice


Place the first 3 ingredients in a double boiler, over a medium heat until the cocoa butter melts. Continue to heat on low for a total of 15 minutes, then pour into a PET (plastic) cream jar, and allow to cool until it is soft set. Then stir in the essential oil(s) or fragrance oil of your choice, mix well, then allow to cool completely before you cap or use. To use; massage a small amout over your skin after sun exposure or after artificial tanning. This will soothe your sun parched skin, and even prolong the life of your tan. For a real treat, try  melting a couple of teaspoon fulls in your bath. It will change your bath into a  skin softening treatment! 

For protection from mosquitoes, fleas, gnats, flies and other biting insects there are several essential oils, and oil combinations that may do the trick, but I don't have the space to list them all, so I will provide you with a few top ones. For more on pest control and repelling, you can always look forward to my book! Lol yes, a self-serving plug! 

The CDC has now declared that lemon eucalyptus essential oil is as effective as products that utilize DEET, so look on the market shelves for some of the big companies to be offering a more "natural" bug protection with this essential oil!  But, of course, you don't need to wait, you can make your own!  

Of course, if you don't like the scent of lemon eucalyptus, you could also use catnip, which studies at the University of Iowa have found to be 10x more repelling to mosquitoes than DEET. Just a 1% solution of catnip EO will repel mosquitoes as well as a 5 to 25% solution of DEET!  

Or, other studies (sorry, can't find my reference at the moment to say which studies) have found pink grapefruit to also be more effective against mosquitoes than DEET. There are some grapefruits that have their photo-sensitizing property removed, so look for this type or use sun block before you apply the repellent.  

So you have a nice selection of scents that will be effective against those nasty biting mosquitoes. All you need to do is to mix your choice of an effective EO (or a blend of Eo's) with either water, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol,  a carrier oil. You can use a spray bottle to disburse your mixture, making sure to cover all exposed skin before heading outside. While many people prefer to use fractionated coconut oil for this application, I do not. F. coconut oil is most often used as the base for perfume oils because it is readily, absorbed into the skin. While all oils will eventually be absorbed, I prefer to either use water as the base or to use a thicker oil that takes more time to be absorbed. The choice, however is a personal preference. Whatever you use, take 2 oz of your base and add no more than a 5-10% concentration of EO's (total amount). This is 60-120 drops of the essential oil(s). And remember to do a patch test before you use the product!  If you decide to use water, since oil and water do not mix, make sure that you shake your bottle well prior to each use. 

One blend I have see repeatedly over the years is; 
1/2 ounce citronella eo
1/4 ounce lavender eo
1/8 ounce pennyroyal eo
1/8 ounce tea tree eo

You will then add this blend to 16 ounces of the carrier oil of your choice, rubbing alcohol, or water, same as explained above.

One other EO that is effective against flies, gnats, bees and mosquitoes is feverfew. For this one, just cover exposed skin in a double strength (tea) brew and allow it to dry before heading outside.

Of course there is also the straight oils of Neem and Karanja, both of these will offer its user protection from insects. Of course, neem is exceptionally strong and most peole do not care for its pungent scent without a great deal of "covering up"! Karanja is neem's cousin, with its same properties, yet it is a lot more "sniffer friendly"! 

And one more interesting bug repellent recipe I found was one called "Bite Blocker Insect Repellent." The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found this repellent to be as effective as DEET, and it protects for 8 hours, while many Eo based repellents need reapplied every 30-45 minutes. If you are handy with mixing, you may want to try these ingredients and see if you can hit on the right proportions for your own version of Bite Blocker. It has 

a soybean oil base with coconut oil, geranium oil (this is an EO), citric acid, lecithin (you can get this at most places that sell cosmetic oils. It is a fat, either plant or animal based), and soybean oil. Know that geranium oil is also effective against ticks, and soy itself is considered a very effective repellent. So they may have something with this combination! 

Well it seems that I didn't get too far away from the insect repellent recipes today, but I will give you one more recipe before I close. This one is for a "Tiger Balm" type of ointment. It is great for those achy muscles from too much exercising or playing out in the sun! 

Liniment for sore muscles


4 tsp shea butter
3 TBS of any vegetable oil 
2 tbs of jojoba oil
1 cake (1 tbs) camphor gum
15 ml peppermint oil eo
15 ml eucalyptus oil eo 
10ml of lavender oil eo
1 tsp beeswax pellets

Melt the shea butter in 20 second bursts in the microwave, or in a double broiler. When it is liquid, add the vegetable oil you chose and the jojoba oil, then  put on gloves and crumble the camphor gum into the mix. Stir, stir, stir until the gum is melted as well. When it is all liquid remove from the heat and  pour into a 4 oz PET cosmetic jar. Let set for a whil until it cools off some, then add in the essential oils, mix well and leave until completely cooled. This  will be a fairly thin ointment, but your tired, sore muscles will be relieved!

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