DIY: Herbal Insect Repellant

I found this article in a Babyfit’s Natural Mother e-newsletter. I haven’t tried it, but it looks pretty easy.

Besides driving your cat crazy, catnip has another more practical (but less entertaining) use. It also drives away the mosquitoes. According to a study at Iowa State University Department of Entomology, an essential oil found in catnip is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than potent chemicals such as DEET. If you grow catnip in your yard, you’ll get moderate protection from the pests, but for greater benefit, you can try making your own skin potion from your fall harvest. Here’s how to make your own herbal insect repellant:

What you’ll need:
2 cups catnip, stemmed
1 cup dried peppermint
1 cup rosemary, cut into 6-inch sprigs
2 cups grape seed oil or almond oil

Place herbs on a cutting board or counter, and lightly crush them with a rolling pin. Place them into a clean glass jar with a screw-on lid. Pour in the oil, seal the jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks. Lightly shake the jar once a day for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate (it will keep for up to 8 months). To use, rub on exposed skin.

Check your local nursery for catnip plants, or simply order seeds online.

Just a Spoonful of Sugar… home remedies


These tips were found in a Woman’s World Magazine, Dec.
22, 2008. I especially like the one to quiet coughs!

*Quiet coughs with chocolate. The main ingredient in chocolate –
theobromine – is more effective at stopping a cough than prescription
medicine. Dark chocolate is especially effective. Dissolve a piece of
Dove dark chocolate or 2 dark Hershey kisses in your mouth and
coughing will stop for up to 4 hours. This is 33% more effective than
cough medicine containing codeine. It works by suppressing the vagus
nerve, which is responsible for causing you to cough. So the next time
you or someone you love gets a persistent cough, offer them a
chocolate bar instead of cough syrup. (consider carrying Dove dark chocolate
squares in my purse all the time, just in case, for medicinal purposes.)

*Cure hiccups with sugar. Next time you can’t get rid of hiccups, put
a teaspoon of white granulated sugar on your tongue and let it
dissolve. “The granules irritate the phrenic nerve, which is
responsible for the hiccupping reflex, and cause the diaphragm to
immediately stop spasming,” says Joe Graeden, M.S.

*Ease a sore throat with pineapple. Instead of reaching for a sore
throat drop, have a piece of FRESH pineapple instead. It’s loaded with
bromelain, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that reduce
pain and swelling. It also has lots of Vitamin C, which speeds
healing. Bromelain is deactivated by heat, so use only fresh
pineapple. Keep nibbling until you feel better.

*Burn yourself in the kitchen or on a hot glue gun? Cover the burn
with honey. Honey is more effective at healing burns than gauzes,
dressings and other treatments doctors use. It has antibiotic
properties that kill germs, and enzymes that help remove dead tissue,
making it easier for healthy tissues to grow. Of course, having an
aloe vera plant close by also works. Just remove a piece and squeeze
the juice on your burn.

Disclaimer: People have tried these and they work. However, as with all
medical advice, consult your doctor and follow his recommendations for
serious illnesses.