Summer is great, just not the mosquitos that come with it. And if you have limited movement and dexterity, swatting these annoying blood suckers away can be a long lasting pain…or itch.
Mosquitoes find their warm blooded victims by smell. Their sensory organs lead them to chemicals such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid that we exhale. While the most popular and effective bug repellant is DEET (which masks the chemical signals that mosquitos use to find their food sources), it is toxic to fish and birds, and can cause skin irritation in humans. In Canada, where I live and mosquitos roam large in the summer, our government recommends limiting DEET concentrations to no more than 30%. So if you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly and safer way to protect yourself from mosquitoes - eat garlic – and lots of it! This herb contains powerful compounds, such as allicin that is released in our breath and sulfur that is emitted through our skin, which together can help repel these irritating flies.
Several days before you take a trip into mosquito-filled territory, start eating one or two cloves of garlic a day. This simple, easy to prepare garlic recipe I’ve included can be used as a chicken marinade or salad and quinoa dressing. Not only will this savoury sauce keep mosquitoes at bay, but you’ll also get the added benefits garlics potent medicinal properties, such as supporting cardiovascular and immune function, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and enhancing liver detoxification.
If you are not a fan of the taste of garlic, but still looking for a healthier option to DEET try making your own repellant spray. Yes, you may end up smelling like a pizza parlour, but better than being a buffet for mosquitoes!
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Pinch sea salt
2- 4 cloves garlic
*Combine everything in blender for 10 seconds.
4-6 cloves garlic
¼ cup cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
2 cups water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1. Coarsely mince cloves of garlic and cover them in bowl with oil. Allow to sit and soak for 24 hours.
2. After they have finished soaking, remove the minced garlic chunks and mix the oil with 2 cups water and fresh lemon juice. Strain everything through a cheesecloth and add to a spray bottle.
3. Spray away!