If you are looking for mosquito bite protection, lemon eucalyptus oil may be a good bet. Selected from leaves of Australia-born trees (Eucalyptus citriodora), Lemon oil contains a compound called para-menthan-3,8-diol (PMD).
Like most insect repellents, PMD in lemon juice, eucalyptus makes it harder for mosquitoes to pick up your skin smell, making you less vulnerable to hungry bugs. Keeping mosquitoes far increases your defenses against diseases such as Wiccans, dengue and chikungunya, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In most commercially available repellents for insects, lemon oil of eucalyptus is processed to amplify its concentration of PMD and, in turn, increase its strength and duration as a rejection. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies synthetic PMD as “biochemical pesticide”, a kind of naturally occurring substance that controls pests by non-toxic mechanisms.
Why is eucalyptus lemon oil used as a repellent?
Eucalyptus lemon oil is sometimes used as an alternative to DEET, which is an active ingredient in many popular insect protection methods. While DEET is very effective when it comes to rejecting insects that transmit disease, some individuals are worried about possible side effects, such as eye and skin irritation.
According to the CDC, EPA-registered products made from synthesized lemon eucalyptus oil provide reasonably long-lasting repressive activity.
CDC includes EPA-registered products containing synthesized lemon oil of eucalyptus and PMD on their replicates list that can help reduce binge urinary bladder. Products containing DEET, pikaridine and IR3535 are also included in the CDC list.
Need to use lemon eucalyptus in the form of essential oil?
It is important to note the difference between the lemon eucalyptus essential oil and lemon eucalyptus oil found in many commercially available mosquito repellents. The class of oils used in aromatherapy, essential oils offers a wide range of health benefits (such as reduced stress and anxiety, sleep improvement and pain relief) when used appropriately.
Unlike the specially formulated and PMD-rich lemon eucalyptus oil found in many insect protection, this essential oil quickly evaporates from your skin. In fact, this essential oil only provides bug bite protection about an hour, according to a report published in the Malaysian magazine in 2011.
CDC does not recommend “pure” essential lemon eucalyptus oil due to lack of tests for safety and efficacy.
Possible side effects and safety issues
Because of the lack of studies that test the effects of eucalyptus oil on children, the CDC warns that oil can not be used for people under the age of three. Pregnant women or breastfeeding women and children should consult their physician before using essential lemon oil.
Lemon clean eucalyptus oil should not be applied directly to the skin or used in larger quantities than recommended (oils absorbed through the skin and used too much can be poisonous).
Moreover, certain ingredients in lemon juice products can cause allergic reactions. For this reason, it is crucial to carry out a patch test before using any type of eucalyptus oil product. Lemon eucalyptus oil must never be drunk.
Although lemon eucalyptus oil is most often used as a mosquito repellent, it is also said to reject Lyme’s disease by preventing tick bites. In addition, this oil is used for a long time to relieve muscle cramps and relieve pain in osteoarthritis. However, there is currently no scientific support for any of these types of lemon eucalyptus use.
Numerous other plant-based products – including geranium and citron oil – promise to be a natural mosquito repellant. However, since it is not known that none of these drugs provide long-lasting and effective protection, humans in areas of high risk for mosquito-borne diseases should opt for repellents recommended by the CDC.
Using lemon oil of eucalyptus
To be sure, consult your doctor about the most appropriate use and apply it whenever you are out in areas with known mosquito populations (especially between dusk and dawn). Carefully follow the instructions on the product label and make sure to reapply your lemon eucalyptus product according to instructions if you start bumping.