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Repelling the bugs with essential oils

I am convinced that my house is built on an ant hill. As much as I like Ant man, or Adam Ant having the little bugs everywhere is annoying. Ants dislike the aroma of Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) or (Cedrus atlantica), Citronella (Cymbopogon winteranus), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Peppermint (Mentha x peperita).

Use essential oils to repel ants,

ticks and other bugs.

Image by Sandeep Handa from Pixabay

In a 2023 study, although this study focused on blue oils, peppermint was used on fire ant mounds, which resulted in them leaving the area.

“Shah FM, Guddeti DK, Paudel P, Chen J, Li X-C, Khan IA, Ali A. Matricaria chamomilla Essential Oils: Repellency and Toxicity against Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecules. 2023; 28(14):5584.”

I have multiple recipes that are said to repel ants, bugs and rodents. Some repel them, some kill them…some seem overcomplicated-such as the one using herbs. To me using spearmint, catnip, lavender buds and citronella leaves to infuse is much more complicated than using essential oils in this case. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and Peppermint (Mentha x peperita) are natural insecticides.

Ant repellent
4 oz. bottle
1 Tbsp. alcohol (70% is ok).
1/2 tsp. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
1/2 tsp. Peppermint (Mentha x peperita)
water to fill bottle

This recipe kills ants on contact.

*I use expired oils to clean and in recipes such as these.

Check for Ticks

Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

It has been reported that ticks are going to be bad this year. I don’t know if this is worse than last year or not. I do know that almost every time I come in from the garden, my clothes get changed and I jump in the shower. Several people in the family have had ticks on them, just from being outside in the yard or around town.

In addition to checking for ticks…lol, it is a thing, spraying the bottom of your pants and your body with a repellent can’t hurt. The ant repellent recipe above would work.

A list that I have for bugs have the following repellents for ticks: catnip, cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, tea tree and thyme.
Let’s look at a few essential oils that can be used interchangeably for other insects.

Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) or Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) both are in the sesqueterpine chemical family. The botanical families of the two cedarwoods are different with the Cedarwood in the Cuppressaceae family and the Atlas cedarwood in the Pinacea family. For our purposes as an insect repellent, the oils can be used interchangeably.

Although peppermint repels 9 different types of insects, it does not repel ticks. Citronella repels 8 different types of insects according to one chart that I use, including ticks. It also repels mosquitos, fleas, ants, bees. gnats and spiders.

Add these essential oils to your sprays, salves or lotions for a bug free summer.

Happy blending.


God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Tim 1:7
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Essential oils for fall allergies.

There are many causes of fall allergies.

Ragweed, mold and dust mites top the list.

Ragweed (Ambrosia L.) commonly confused with Goldenrod (Solidago L.). The plant has green to pale yellow flowers on branched stems. Ragweed pollen can be carried by the wind for miles. Many people have ragweed allergies.

Mold and mildew also cause problems in the Fall. For an in depth look at mold, check out It grossed me out, so if you want to learn more, go there. All I can say is clean it.
Dust mites is another sort of thing that grosses me out, I change my sheets regularly and spray with a lavender linen spray. Ew. Bugs. Again, people are allergic.

What is an allergy?

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose, which is what we are trying to help ease with essential oils. While allergies cannot be cured, medication can alleviate symptoms. If you would like to modulate those symptoms with essential oils, read on.

Do a Google search and see how many people have rhinitis, the answer could be 39 million, or 50 million, whatever the number, that is a lot of people. Hay fever has been around since the mid-1500’s, mostly attributed erroneously to roses.

Symptoms and research of rhinitis

The symptoms of rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal obstruction can be a nuisance at best. A study in 2015 used sandalwood, geranium and Ravensara for allergy relief. The study found that usage of the essential oils helped with symptoms.

Would these work? Let’s look at the data sheets and see…

Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oil contains over 30% citronellol and 15 % geraniol. It is interesting to note that those therapeutic components have been stated to kill dust mites.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) contains santalols which have analgesic properties.

So, I would personally say that neither of these oils would be my first choice in a home remedy to modulate the symptoms of rhinitis.

What other essential oils would help?

Anti-histaminic components of oils are those oils that help to relieve those runny nose and nasal symptoms. A few oils on that list are sweet marjoram, tea tree, german chamomile, lavender, and helichrysum.

Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) contains over 30% terpinene-4-ol and smells better than most tea tree oils which also contains terpinene-4-ol.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutitia) has been cited in studies having antiallergic and bronchoconstriction relief, as it contains a-farnesene and b-farnesene.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has many properties, cited by Kim and Cho 1999, and Tisserand, Young 2014 reference. The allergy modulation here is not rhinitis, but skin related.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is another oil cited for anti-histaminic properties, again, for skin, not nose.

Inhaler blends

I have 2 inhaler blends that I use for allergies.

The first one is:
7 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
3 drops Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
3 drops Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool)
2 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives)

So, Why did I use these oils?

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has anti-inflammatory properties, used to decongest. Not to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) bornyl acetate and camphene chemical components make this oil good for allergies and sinus infections.

Thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) Linalool has been found to reduce inflammation in the sinuses. There are times when lavender is not a wanted aroma.

Eucalyptus (dives) not globulus (Eucalyptus dives) I opt for less 1,8-cineole due to asthmatics in the family. Feel free to use other eucalyptus chemotypes here.

The second one I use for over 10-year-olds:
2 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2 drops Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
1 drop Pine-scotch (Pinus sylvestris)
1 drop Black spruce (Picea mariana)
2 drops Pinion Pine (Pinus edulis)

Orange (Citrus sinensis) d-limonene is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. I use orange here for that purpose and to tie all the oils together.

Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) used for respiratory issues, instead of eucalyptus.

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), Black spruce (Picea mariana), and Pinion pine (Pinus ponderosa) are all added for the anti-inflammatory effects and all symptoms sinus.

Enjoy the upcoming fall weather with a little help from your essential oils.

Happy blending,

So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6
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Cool things that aren’t lavender

There are people that I have run across with talking about essential oils that do not like lavender. Let’s face it, lavender essential oil is everywhere and in everything. Today, I ‘d like to make some cool things without lavender. Inhalers, rollerballs, and diffusers are easy when using essential oils. Let’s make a set of inhalers to use every day.
You can buy inhalers on Amazon. I use the larger wick for adults, the smaller for kids.

The first blend is lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  All in the Rutaceae family, these monoterpenes contain the chemical compound d-limonene.  They are all wonderful as mood enhancers.  What a cheerful way to wake up!

wake me up blend
9 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
6 drops lemon (Citrus limon)

The second blend is for that head that needs attention. Spike lavender is a monoterpenol, like lavender, in the Lamiaceae family, but with camphor and 1,8-cineole components. These two components are used to modulate headache symptoms. One note, be careful with asthmatics and 1,8-cineole. Always test to see if they are triggered by these oils. Ravintsara is a monoterpene in the Lauraceae family with 1,8-cineole is good for this blend. Frankincense is a monoterpene in the Burseraceae family. This resin has anti-inflammatory and analgesic therapeutic properties. It is grounding and smells wonderful.

my head hurts blend

8 drops spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia)

5 drops ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphor ct. 1,8-cineole)

6 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

When you need to focus on your work and need a boost, the following oils will get you there.

We talked about frankincense and lemon; this blend also has cardamom.  Cardamom is a member of the Zingiberaceae family with mostly esters and oxides.  The 1,8-cineole content is around 30%.  Even though cardamom is thought of for digestion it is great for this focus blend because it has a calming and sedative quality.

focus on my work blend
10 drops frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
5 drops cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
4 drops lemon (Citrus limon)

Image by K Wol from Pixabay

The last blend is to help fall asleep without the aid of lavender.
Cedarwood is a member of the Cupressaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. This oil has sedative and stress relieving properties. Sandalwood is also calming and sedative, a member of the Santalaceae family and is a sesquiterpenol. Patchouli, a member of the lamiaceae family is an anti-depressant. Another sesquiterpene, vetiver is a member of the poaceae family. It has CNS sedative properties.

let me fall asleep blend

6 drops cedarwood (Cedrus virginiana)

5 drops patchouli (Pogostremom cablin)

4 drops vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

3 drops sandalwood (Santalum album)

Check out my latest project…a new 21-page pdf just in time for summer! See my products page.

Just Essentials Today

Enjoy the blends and inhalers-until next time.
Happy blending,

“you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

Mt 8:26