If the fear of being bit by mosquitoes has made you rely heavily on chemical-based mosquito sprays and coils, it’s better you switch over to natural alternatives. With the rising number of dengue cases in the city, people have become dependent on poisonous insect repellents, causing experts to worry. “Exposure to poisonous repellents can trigger asthmatic attack in patients, breathlessness, joint pain, headaches and respiratory diseases,” says Dr Satish Kaul, internal medicine expert, Columbia Asia hospital.
Prolonged exposure to chemical mosquito sprays can stall memory development in kids, Kaul adds. Even the coils we use to keep bugs away can be more dangerous than passive smoking. “The fumes can damage the respiratory tract,” says Kaul. To avoid such hazardous chemicals, doctors advise using natural alternatives. Puneet Nanda, former design head of fashion brand Satya Paul, who is now associated with Isha Yoga Center, says the best way to mosquito proof yourself is to go for natural fixes. “Plant extracts have no side effects, are very effective and pocket-friendly too,” says Nanda. The center has come up with a natural mosquito repellent called Nomos that’s available at www.vedicbiosource.com. Another natural option is a mix of crushed parsley and apple cider vinegar that you can rub on your skin. Or, mix oils such as castor oil, cedar oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, peppermint and rosemary oil, and apply on skin, say experts.
Aromatherapy to ward off bugs
Aromatherapy is a better alternative to mosquito repellent creams. Plants like lemongrass, basil, tulsi or rosemary have scents that repel mosquitoes. So, cut a stalk of lemongrass, peel the leaves and rub the pulp over your skin to safeguard yourself from mosquito bites. This also works as a natural scent too.
Planting marigold, lemongrass and rosemary in your garden will help keep mosquitoes at bay. You can also use tea tree oil or mix it with a cream or gel and then apply to the skin. These natural remedies are any day better than chemical repellent creams as they do not have side effects.
Inputs by Dr Naresh Arora, aromatherapist, Aroma Skin Care