We are getting into those buggy nights, what are you going to put on? Hopefully not those sprays that have DEET in them. They are full of such harsh chemicals that are so bad for your body. So here is a recipe for a bug repellent spray and an herbal moisturizing bug repellent bar from http://wellnessmama.com/5170/bug-off-lotion-bars/
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 part)
- 1/2 cup beeswax + 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup fresh or dried rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons dried or fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 cup dried catnip leaf
- 1 (or more) tablespoons of mint leaf (optional but adds great scent)
- optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oilto preserve.
- Essential Oils (optional but good): Bug off blend (contains all of the above), lavender and lemon (10+ drops of each)
All ingredients available at Mountain Rose Herbs.
What To Do:
This version has an extra step that the original Lotion Bars didn’t have. To save money on essential oils, we actually infuse the herbs into the coconut oil.
Using a double boiler or glass bowl on top of a small saucepan, heat about 1 inch of water (in bottom pan) until starting to boil. Place the dried rosemary, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, catnip and mint in the top part of the double boiler and add the coconut oil (can also use almond, olive or other oil but you will need to add more beeswax later on to get the bars to firm.
Cover the bowl or top part of the double boiler and keep the water at medium/high temperature for at least 30 minutes or until oil has adopted a darker color and smells strongly of rosemary. Alternately, you can fill a crock pot about half full with water, put the coconut oil and herbs in a glass mason jar with a tight lid, cover and keep on lowest setting for several days to make an even stronger infused oil.
Then, strain the dried herbs out of the oil using a small mesh strainer or cheesecloth and pour the oil back into the double boiler. The oil will probably be reduced by almost half and you should have about 1/2 cup of the infused oil. If you have more, save it for next time!
Add the butter(s) and beeswax to the double boiler and stir until all have melted. Remove from heat, add the Vitamin E oil and any other essential oils and pour into molds.
Leave in the molds until completely set (overnight is best) or you can speed up the process by placing in the fridge.
To use: Rub the bars on exposed areas of DRY skin to protect against mosquitos. If you are pregnant, check to make sure any herbs you use are safe for pregnancy and omit the ones that aren’t.