Mosquitoes are not allowed

Mosquito

Mosquito 521. (Photo credit: Courtesy)

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Dear Natalie: It's at that time of year again where I feel mosquitoes are on a mission to devour me! I am afraid to sit in the garden with the family and I have no choice but to foam on the high-performance mosquito repellent, otherwise I really suffer the consequences. Are there effective natural alternatives that you can use as a mosquito repellent? Sincerely, Bat Sheva, Modiin.

Dear Bat Sheva, I can really sympathize and make sure that I know very well from my own personal experience how you feel. Before discovering a natural solution for mosquito repellent, I would also eat mosquitoes alive. Once I read somewhere: "If you think you're too small to make a difference … try sharing a bed with a mosquito!" Oh, very true!
As you have a garden, you would start by creating an environment that is known to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. The best herbs to plant are: citronella (lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon grass), geranium, eucalyptus, mint and lavender. In addition to adding visual beauty to your garden, these herbs can also be used in teas, for cooking and to create your own repellent when outdoors.
To make your own natural "portable" mosquito repellent, boil 1 cup of water and add 3 tablespoons of the herbs you chose. I like to use a spoonful of citronella, lavender and mint. Drain the water in a separate bowl and add 1 cup of witch hazel. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use as needed. I keep a bottle with me when I go out and another one in the refrigerator of the house, which also makes it an excellent cooling spray that also smells very good!
Another effective way to protect yourself and perhaps one of the easiest ones, especially for those who do not have an herb garden, is to use essential oils. A simple way is to mix 20 drops of citronella oil in 30 ml. of coconut oil and spread on the exposed areas of your skin. The citronella oil is extracted from the leaves of the lemon grass plant. It contains many compounds such as citronellal, citronellol, geraniol, citral and limonene, all of which have mosquito repelling properties. It is almost as effective as DEET (a mosquito repellent based on commonly used chemicals).
I like to mix it with a base oil such as coconut oil, since it contains unsaturated fatty acids and emulsifiers that slow the evaporation of the repellent molecules of essential oils.
If you want to do a two in one, I mean both a repellent and a "post-bite painkiller", you can use tea tree oil or peppermint oil. In addition to its strong aromas that keep mosquitoes away, they have powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent and quickly heal mosquito bites.
If using oil seems too dirty for you, then use an oil-free base such as apple cider vinegar. Not only is it a "clutter-free" alternative, it is also an effective base due to its slightly acid pH in the skin, and also helps to repel mosquitoes.
Start by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water (50 ml of each). Add 20 drops of any of the essential oils mentioned above. Lavender oil is one of my favorites because the smell is so divine. Lavender oil contains compounds that are known to naturally repel mosquitoes and insects. Mix the essential oil with your solution of water and apple cider vinegar, pour it into a spray bottle and use as needed.
If you feel lazy, you can try a wonderful gel-based repellent made by Moraz medicinal herbs. They grow all their products in the Galilee region using traditional and organic methods. "Toosh" contains eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, tea tree and lemongrass. http://www.moraz.co.il
Dear Natalie, we always spent the summer with my husband's family in Lake Kineret and spent most of our time biting fiercely over the innumerable mosquito bites. It seriously affects our summer, and last year we had no choice but to take antihistamines. I really want to avoid taking this since I also have a newborn baby. Can you suggest some alternative natural remedy for biting mosquito bites?
Thank you. Ayelet, tel.
Hello Ayelet, you may be the 100th person to write me asking for advice on what to do with these fearsome mosquito bites. In addition to prevention (see my answer to the previous question about the natural mosquito repellent), there are some natural home remedies that, of course, can also be used safely if you need to use them with your newborn.
The best thing about these remedies is that you almost certainly have at least one of them at home in your kitchen cupboard! One of the most popular and economical home remedies that I always recommend for mosquito bites is baking soda. Its alkaline properties help restore the pH level in the skin and reduce swelling and itching quickly. Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Soak a piece of cloth / cotton and leave it on the sting for about ten minutes.
Aloe vera is another of my favorite remedies to treat itching, swelling and even pain related to mosquito bites. Known by many as a natural antiseptic agent, simply peel off a branch of your aloe vera plant and place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to cool it. Then remove the skin from the plant and apply the gel on the affected area.
Since each of us is affected by mosquito bites in different ways, I find it more effective to use homeopathic remedies to really prescribe the right remedy for that person according to their symptoms. When there is enough swelling, I prescribe the homeopathic remedy Apis Mellifica. In general, people who suffer from these types of bites will feel that they are burning, hot to the touch and will feel relieved by ice or a cold application.
Another good homeopathic remedy is Urtica Urens. This remedy will be administered when the bite appears as reddish spots that burn and itch intensely. If the area looks like urticaria due to so many bites, this is your remedy! Hypericum can be taken homeopathically for stings that are found around the nervous areas of the body, such as the fingers or toes. Use it for stings that cause sharp and / or throbbing pain accompanied by numbness and tingling.
For most acute symptoms, such as mosquito bites, try taking the homeopathic remedy at a strength of 30c: one tablet under your tongue every hour until you feel an improvement.
For a more precise prescription and to buy your remedy, you can contact the Homeopathic Pharmacy (Hagalil) at 80 Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv. There is always a homeopath working on the site who can help you find the right remedy. Homgalil: 03-522-3358.
Meanwhile … do your best not to scratch yourself! When mosquitoes bite, they release histamine, and this is what causes itching. The more you scratch, the more histamine is released and more itchy … so for now try to contain yourself and choose your natural remedy!
Ask Natalie: If you have a health question and want an alternative answer, send an email to Natalie with her question to: [email protected] In addition to working as a nurse, Natalie runs a clinic in Moshav Yanuv that offers a wide range of natural treatments. Healing is achieved using homeopathy, reflexology, massage, flower remedies and nutritional wisdom. To make an appointment please send an email.

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