I have been researching natural bug repellents. I want to formulate a natural bug repellent that is truly safe for all ages…including babies. I want to improve on our Bugs B Gone recipe, so that it will be “safe for kids”.
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.
Being a clinical herbalist and an aromatherapist, I find it so frustrating when I 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. If you are going to market a product “safe for kids”, you should not include toxic oils. 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!”
Kids of what age???
Here is what I learned when studying aromatherapy. I have also researched it again:
- 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.
- 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”.
- Citronella can cause dermatitis, and should not be used on children under 3. No one seems to mention an age on their product.
- Peppermint is another ingredient found in natural bug dope. Peppermint should not be used, (or ingested) by children under 5.
- Lavender is safe for children ages 9 months and up. However, it can cause Gynecomastia, a condition where the hormones become imbalanced. In time, this will cause changes in boys and men that will make them grow breasts. When too much lavender is used, it can cause depression.
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 oils going into it.
A product may say it is safe for kids, but is it really?