We have been researching natural bug repellents. We want to formulate a natural bug repellent that is truly safe for all ages...including babies. We had a recipe from our old Bugs B Gone Cream, but it got lost. This is what happens when you move.
Many companies out there are using a combination of herbs and essential oils. While herbs and essential oils can be used for natural bug repellent, some should not be used. Many are unsafe for use by children and babies. Some they are using should not be used at all.
As a clinical herbalist and aromatherapist, it is frustrating when we find a site with a product that is "safe for kids", when it is using a toxic essential oil, or essential oils that should not be used on children. Some essential oils should never be used on kids or adults. These companies should know this. Obviously, they don't.
Here is one company's claim:
"It is GREAT for your skin!! Our formula uses essential oils of lavender, catnip, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, lemongrass, cedar wood, and a little patchouli.
Keeps the biting bugs at bay!!
SAFE FOR KIDS!"
Mind you, this is not the only company out there doing this. It looks like they are just copying the recipes and not doing the research on the essential ois going into it.
Here is what you should know:
■Pennyroyal oil should not be used in aromatherapy and even in small doses produces acute liver and lung damage. If you are smathering it on to keep the bugs away, you are applying it to your bodies largest organ, your skin.
■Citronella is another essential oil that is most likely to be found in natural bug repellents. This does work well, but is not intended for children under 3.
■Peppermint is another ingredient found in natural bug dope. Peppermint should not be used, (or ingested) by children under 5.
■It is advised that Eucalyptus esssential oil not be used by young children, so why would it be included in an all natural bug repellent that is "safe for kids".