Bug Be Gone Salve
As I mentioned yesterday, my kids have spent a good part of their summer camping and meandering across the country. They’ve zig-zagged across the top of the United States, spent some time in California, and are now exploring throughout the southwest, as they make their way back home. (A special “Thank You!” to my sister for taking them on such a grand adventure!)
In anticipation of the inevitable boo-boo’s, bumps, and bug problems they would surely encounter, I put together a set of salves and balms to carry along in their bags. The collection includes:
- Boo Boo Balm (yesterday’s post)
- Bug-Be-Gone Salve (today’s post)
- Bumps & Bruises Balm (tomorrow’s post)
Notes: I tend to be very conservative when it comes to the use of essential oils. If you’d like this salve to be stronger, you can add more, with care. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or on medication, you should do further research on each type of essential oil or ask your health care provider to see if it’s okay for you to use. Per current aromatherapy guidelines: due to the inclusion of peppermint essential oil, this is not intended for use by small children under age 6. I buy my essential oils HERE through Mountain Rose Herbs, but your local health store should carry some as well.
Bug Be Gone Salve
- 3 ounces olive or sunflower oil (optional: infused with mint or lemon balm)
- .5 ounce castor oil
- .5 ounce beeswax pastilles
- 30 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops basil essential oil
- 5 drops citronella essential oil
- optional: If you’re worried about the salve melting from the heat of travel, you can add 1/2 teaspoon candelilla wax to the recipe. You can buy candelilla wax from BrambleBerry.com. You also might want to add a pinch of extra beeswax to make a firmer texture.
Step 1: Place the olive or sunflower oil, castor oil, and beeswax into a heat proof container. You can use a mason jar or for easy cleanup, a recycled tin can.
Step 2: Set the container with the oil and beeswax down into a saucepan that contains a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler. Set the pan over a medium-low burner until the beeswax has melted.
Step 3: Remove from heat and stir in the essential oils. Remember, you can add more, if you want a stronger poduct. I keep mine light since my kids don’t want to smell like a citronella candle. Carefully, pour the hot mixture into tins. This recipe fills three of the 2 ounce tins shown. You can buy those from Amazon.com or Mountain Rose Herbs.
Step 4: Print out the sheet of Bug Be Gone labels HERE or the combination sheet of Bug Be Gone, Boo Boo Balm and Bumps & Bruises HERE. I like to use sticker paper (like this kind.) If you don’t have sticker paper handy, you can print on regular copy paper and affix with a thin layer of glue. It won’t be as durable as sticker paper, but will work!
Rub on your skin, as needed, to help repel some of the pesky bugs of summer. Avoid rubbing in your eyes or around your nose and mouth. The salve is for external use only.
What works best for us is to use the salve around ankles and other areas where ticks, chiggers, and other creepy crawlies might try to hide. We simultaneously use Lemon Balm Bug Spray (Recipe HERE) to help with flying pests like gnats and mosquitoes. This combination is the most effective that we’ve tried so far – and we’ve tried a lot of different things!
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