Keep bugs at bay: follow these simple measures to repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects – Bodycare – Brief Article
BEFORE YOU VENTURE OUTDOORS, take these three precautions:
1. Use an Herbal Repellent. Certain essential oils make you an unattractive target for insects. Try Bygone Bugz ($4.75 for 2 ounces; 800-865-2566; www.lakon herbals.com), which contains eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and other essential oils. You can also make your own repellent: Mix a solution of 5 percent cedar essential oil (Cedrus libani) and 95 percent almond oil, says John Hauser, N.D., a naturopath in Minneapolis. Apply this mixture to your exposed skin before going out and reapply every four to six hours.
2. Eat Garlic. This herb gives you an odor that insects dislike; consume a very garlicky meal before heading outdoors.
3. Pop a Vitamin Pill. Taking 50 to 300 mg vitamin B complex 30 minutes before going outside will also alter your body odor to ward off bugs, says Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., a clinical nutrition scientist in New York City and author of The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery, 1997). “Everyone’s metabolism is different,” she adds, “so you can’t be sure how long it will stay in the body.”
RELATED ARTICLE: Heal a bug bite.
If a bug got to you when your defenses were down, here’s what to do. To relieve itching and swelling, naturopath John Hauser, N.D., suggests taking the homeopathic remedy Apis mellifica 6C orally. (Follow the directions on the package.) You can also take one dose of Apis prophylactically before heading into an insect-infested area.
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