If you live in the Northeast or Midwest United States, you may be acutely aware of the dangers of ticks. According to The New York Times, ticks can not only cause the infamous Lyme disease, but may also transfer such deadly pathogens as Powassan, a neurological disease that kills 10 percent of its victims. While there are a number of antibiotics and other treatments for tick bites, we're sure you'd like to stop the bites before they happen.
In this article, we explain what cedar oil is and explain why it's the best natural tick repellent ever.
What is cedar oil?
Cedar oil is the essential oil produced from Atlas cedarwood. This species of evergreen is found in the Atlas Mountains of northern Africa and is related to the Biblical Lebanon cedar, explains Young Living Blog. Cedar oil was used by the Egyptians to embalm the dead and the Romans used the word "cedar" to mean "immortality." Today, Livestrong recommends cedar oil to release tension and cool nerves, treat acne, prevent dandruff, and heal congestion.
How does cedar oil work?
Wondercide explains cedar oil unleashes 6 different attack systems against ticks and other insects. First, cedar oil sucks moisture out of the bodies of insects. This dries the bugs out and causes them to die of dehydration. Cedar oil also throws off the pH level of a tick. When this happens, the tick's body systems can no longer function properly. It further works to break down the fats in the tick's body and to irritate the bug's respiratory system. The scent of cedar oil blocks scent receptors, which ticks rely upon to maintain everything from breathing to movement. Lastly, cedar oil causes ticks in their early life stages of egg, larvae, and pupae to disintegrate.
How do I use cedar oil as a natural tick repellent?
This recipe from Wellness Mama can be made and poured into small spray bottles. Keep them in your car and handbag so you are always prepared. First, fill an 8 ounce bottle half-full with distilled or boiled water. Fill the other half with witch hazel. Add 30- 50 drops of essential oil. You can mix cedar oil with rosemary, clove, lavender, cinnamon, or eucalyptus until you find your desired scent.
Bright Hub recommends a blend of essential oils, including cedar oil, to keep you safe. Add 3 ounces distilled water, 3 ounces witch hazel, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to a 4 ounce spray bottle. Next, add approximately 10 drops rose geranium oil, 10 drops citronella oil and 5 drops cedar oil. You can also use lemongrass or eucalyptus. Shake the bottle before using and spray on your clothes and skin, repeating every 20- 30 minutes while outdoors for best protection.
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