Sunday, December 27, 2009

83. Insect Repellents


WNV And Insect Repellants
From Dr. Gayle Eversole

Regarding the CNN about the CDC official who got West Nile...

"There is no effective treatment for the virus. In more serious cases, the CDC recommends that patients be hospitalized so they can receive supportive care with intravenous fluids.

Researchers are working to develop a vaccine, but Petersen notes that it will be years before it is available to humans.

The best way to stop the spread of West Nile virus is through prevention, he said.

"Wear mosquito repellent, especially around dawn and dusk, which are peak mosquito biting times," Petersen suggests.

He says bug sprays that contain concentrations of the chemical DEET up to 50 percent work the best. Be sure to read the label or check with a doctor regarding the acceptable concentrations for children.

Spraying repellent that contains permethrin on clothing is another option. Experts caution not to put the chemical directly on exposed skin."

I would like to make the following comments -

It is possible for a product called Millenium CF may be effective in helping to defend against this viral disease in addition to supportive care and the need for IV fluids to protect from dehydration secondary to vomiting. I wouldn't encourage getting a vaccine for this or any disease.

Permethrin is made from marigolds but it can be very toxic and has been labelled a carcinogen, especially in the synthetic form.

It is highly toxic to bees and fish.

As far as DEET goes you might want to consider the information in this article I wrote for publication later this week in a print publication that runs my herb column every month.

Bug Me Not With Home Grown Plants
by Gayle Eversole

Natural Notes On Health

Bugs have been in an overabundant supply around these parts in case you haven't noticed.

To keep them from biting you, most mainstream sources provide information suggesting the use of DEET based insect repellants.

This information is spread widely through various media outlets but does not include the dangers of DEET.

DEET is a neurotoxin and is unsafe for children. It may not be safe for adults, pets or the environment. Avoid using repellents containing DEET.
DEET, or diethyl-metatoluamide, can cause an array of health problems ranging from dizziness to death.

After application to the skin DEET is absorbed into the bloodstream, and remains up to several months or more depending on one's ability to detoxify. Side effects may include rashes, skin eruptions, nausea, dermatitis, scarring, muscle cramps, irritability, lethargy, seizures, cerebral swelling, cardio-respiratory arrest, and fatal encephalopathy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics state that DEET is not considered safe for any child under the age of 5.

Poison Control Centers reported more than 6700 reactions to insect repellents in 1995, with 4300 related to children 6 and under.

A 26 year old man died after using DEET twice according to ABC news.

An 8 year old boy suffered seizures after being sprayed twice with DEET. DEET is toxic to children when it is used in the home by others.

Never combine insecticides with each other or use them with other medications. Even so simple a drug as an antihistamine could interact with DEET to cause toxic side effects.

Don't spray your yard for bugs and then take medications.

Until we have more data on potential interactions in humans, safe is better than sorry."

Some things you can do include eliminating standing water, and using select plants, birds, bugs, fish, and amphibians - gifts of nature - that help control mosquitoes and other pests.

Safe Mosquito Repellent

Yarrow tincture - when outdoors spray skin every hour. You can also make a healing ointment with yarrow flower tops and oil or fat. Yarrow oil is antibacterial, relieves pain, and helpful in healing all types of wounds.

A US Army study showed yarrow tincture to be more effective than DEET for repelling ticks, mosquitoes and sand flies.

Peppermint is known to repel ants, mosquitoes, ticks, spiders, mice, et al.

Planting mint near your doorway acts as a repellent. Placing clay pots planted with mint close to your doorways works too.

Eating bananas draws mosquitoes by increasing the amount of carbon dioxide given off when you breathe.

Mosquitoes are attracted by this gas.

To make a safe insect repellent you will need:

Pure Peppermint Essential Oil
Distilled Water or carrier oil of your choice. Avoid selecting oil sold in plastic bottles.

Glass or PET plastic spritzer bottle

To make a 2% solution place 2 ounces of distilled water in the spritzer bottle. Add 25 drops of pure peppermint essential oil to the bottle.

To make a 5% solution, add 50 drops of pure peppermint essential oil to 2 ounces of water.

Shake well and spray into the air, near doors, along the baseboards, or on your skin.

The 2% solution may be used for pets. Spray it on your hand and rub it gently on your pet, or take a piece of cotton fabric and tie it on your pet's collar, then apply the repellent to the cotton.

We also suggest Green Ban herbal powder for people and pets.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, and an Iowa State University research group discovered that catnip also repels cockroaches.

Nepetalactone, catnip's active ingredient, is about 10 times more effective than DEET.

Most commercial insect repellents contain about 5 percent to 25 percent DEET. Presumably, much less catnip oil would be needed in a formulation to have the same level of repellency as a DEET-based repellent.

Using DEET in repellents is extremely troubling.

Catnip is a member of the mint family and can be used in the recipe above. Other pure essential oils that are helpful in repelling insects are Neem, Basil, Lemon Grass, Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus (high in the same compounds as citronella) and Palmarosa.

And at Chreating Health Institute we offer exceptionally pure therapeutic grade essential oils for making repellents and other uses.

Gayle Eversole, DHom, PhD, MH, NP, ND

Founder and Director, Creating Health Institute and The Oake Centre for natural health education

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.