January

LEMON MYRTLE INSECT REPELLENT

The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT

There’s not many spots in this rather large country of ours that you can escape the menace of mosquitos. And this time of year is particularly rife with them. Before you reach for the commercial insect repellent though, consider a natural option. One that skips harmful ingredients – in particular DEET.

DEET is a common ingredient in conventional insect repellents designed to repel mosquitoes. However it’s cons outweigh the pros, with DEET responsible for being an eye and skin irritant, causing neurological problems, brain cell death and a negative impact on water sources and wildlife. Instead, look to the many ┬áplants that do a great job of being nature’s repellents.

One plant native to Australia that mozzies turn their nose up at is lemon myrtle. Other plant sources that will see mosquitoes and other insects turning away include any of the mint family, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cloves, cedar and catnip. The below recipe we’re making with some locally foraged lemon myrtle, but you can use the same recipe for any of the above herbs – they work well with a variety mixed together too.

2-3 cups of lemon myrtle leaves (fresh or dried)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup witch hazel, rubbing alcohol or vodka

Crush the lemon myrtle leaves a little in your hands or a mortar and pestle. Pour the boiling water over the top of the leaves in the mortar and pestle or a bowl, and grind them a little more to help release the oils.

Cover with a plate or lid – important to stop the oils evaporating – and leave until cooled. Remove the leaves and mix the water with the witch hazel or alcohol.

Pour into a spray bottle and store somewhere cool, or in the fridge. To use, spray on your skin or clothing.

The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT The Slowpoke: INSECT REPELLENT

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