MY PLACE SMELLS LIKE A LEMON-DROP

Actually, all I did to get rid of the ants (last post) was wipe down the window sill they came in from, and the air-conditioner cord they walked down on with white vinegar. I mean, I have the white vinegar in my cleaning bucket, and I figured I would see how minimalist I could go and still get away with it. It worked for a month or so… that post was in May.
Nevertheless, about 3 days ago, the ants were back. I threw vinegar on them. I wiped down with vinegar again, but I guess they thought it was salad dressing or something.
So, today, I went out to the hardware store and bought a plastic spray container (too bad that store chain doesn’t have an affiliate program, because I am very impressed with this bottle… The beauty of this baby is that it has measurement markings on the side so I don’t have to get out measuring cups and all that. Plus,the sprayer thing even fits on my favorite water brand’s bottle. Am I going to see if they sell the sprayer separately? You bet!)

So, anyway, the  ants were back, so this called for more muscle.  I looked in my essential oil box and my hand fell first on the lemon oil. Especially good since that is the EO I have the most of.

I made my spray of:
1/2 C water
1/2 C white vinegar
40 drops lemon EO

I shook the bottle, and advanced on the ants’ marching line. Yes, they do go marching one by one. Until they die.

Right now, I am feeling very medieval. I am leaving the bodies of the dead lying around, so that the invaders can see how I deal with intruders and marauders. (Okay, I’ll vacuum later)

Meanwhile, my place smells like a lemon-drop.

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ADIOS ANTS! DIY Ant Spray

There they were: a small army of ants, marching across my window sill from the window to the wall.  (This is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with ants!  I guess I’ve been lucky before, considering all the places I’ve lived).  

So, I started thinking about a way to make them not be there that did not involve a shoe or a store-bought spray.  Today, I live ant-free.

DIY ANT SPRAY
Kills and repels ants on all types of surfaces, leaves little residue.

2 C white (distilled) vinegar
2 C water
3 T Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (or any dish detergent that suits your fancy)
3 T table salt

Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a spray bottle.

Shake before each use.
Thoroughly spray the entire area where ants are, as well as their trail. The ants will die.
Once the ants are dead, use a paper towel to wipe off the sprayed area to remove any residue (and deceased ants). The detergent and vinegar smell will repel ants from the sprayed area.

It is said that the soap makes the spray stick to the ants, thereby increasing the effectiveness of this spray.

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Oh, I just can’t stop with one remedy! Here are some others.

VINEGAR AND WATER DIY ANT SPRAY
1 C white (distilled) vinegar
1 C water

Combine water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray on ants anywhere. Use a paper towel to wipe away residue (and deceased ants).

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ESSENTIAL OIL AND VINEGAR DIY ANT SPRAY
Essential oils that will kill ants on contact include clove, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree.
40 drops, clove, lemon, peppermint, or tea tree EO
1/2 C distilled white vinegar
1/2 C water

Mix in a spray bottle.
To use, shake the bottled mixture, then spray on the ants (they will die). Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.

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ALL ESSENTIAL OIL DIY ANT SPRAY
1/2 cup of water
15 drops lemon EO
30 drops peppermint EO
30 drops tea tree oil EO*

Combine in a spray bottle.
To use, shake the bottled mixture, then spray on the ants (they will die). Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.
*NOTE: Do not use tea tree oil on surfaces used for food preparation. Instead, use:
30 drops peppermint EO
15 drops lemon EO
1/2 C water

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CASTILE SOAP SPRAY:
1/4 C liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)*
20 drops of peppermint oil
1 qt water

Mix in a spray bottle. Shake bottle and spray liquid on the ants to kill them. Also spray in places where ants can enter, to repel them.
*NOTE: you can also grate 1/4 cup-worth of a bar of castile soap, and mix it in thoroughly with the liquids, until it dissolves.

WARTS: FOUR THIEVES TO THE RESCUE

I’ve had this recurring wart on my finger for years. It comes; I go to the dermatologist; he freezes it off; I am wart free for a while; and, then, in the twinkling of an eye, it’s back right where it was before.

This time, I have done some research on natural wart removal methods. So many ideas have been listed on the Internet.

In addition to the duct tape, garlic, banana peel, and apple cider vinegar methods I found, hypnotherapy  was mentioned as a potentially successful method (How come I didn’t know that?)

I decided that I would try essential oils. I have read that clove, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lemon grass, oregano, peppermint, tea tree, and thyme essential oils are good for removing warts. I have all of those in my stash. The basic method for essential oils is to choose your combination, mix, put some drops on a cotton ball, tape it onto the wart with a bandaid or duct tape, and wait.

Then, the other day, I remembered that I had a little vial of Four Thieves Oil in my handbag, to use for eczema itching or whatever else comes up.  I was at work and I just took out the bottle, rubbed some on the wart, which was bothering me at the time, and went on about my business. I figured the Four Thieves would at least sedate the wart.  Surprisingly, the next day, the wart was hanging off, partially detached. I pulled it off because it was bothering me. It left a little red hole, but there was no discomfort. That was two days ago. I’m waiting and watching, but, right now, it just looks like a small skin scratch (a whole lot more attractive than a wart). I’m happy.

These are my two recipes for Four Thieves oil:

FOUR THIEVES OIL
1 part eucalyptus
1 part rosemary
1 part cinnamon
1 part clove
1 part lemon
Carrier oil (olive, jojoba, or your choice)
Mix

I put 50 drops of each oil in a 2 oz. bottle and then top it off with jojoba oil (I like jojoba oil because it seems to never go rancid).

An alternative recipe:
200 drops Clove Bud Oil
175 drops Lemon Oil
100 drops Cinnamon Oil
75 drops Eucalyptus Oil
50 drops Rosemary

Mix with jojoba oil.

Although my recipes include jojoba oil, I must confess that, when I make up a vial for carrying around, I just use the essential oil mix straight with no carrier oil. I use Four Thieves a lot, hence it is always in my bag. If you use it without a carrier oil, it might well sting quite a bit, but, in my case, if I’m using it to stop a major discomfort, like what you get with shingles or eczema, I know the sting is going to go away, and, with is going to go that discomfort I was feeling. Your mileage may vary. You can always try the Four Thieves straight,  and then add a carrier if the sting is worse than what you are using Four Thieves to stop.
 

ITCH CITY

Off and on, I’ve been posting about itching,  rather as if it is one of my favorite hobbies.  I am starting to think that it may well be… at least it is my skin’s hobby. In the past 3 months I’ve really being good at itching, and it didn’t seem like I could come up with anything that would calm it. Even my beloved Four Thieves couldn’t touch it.  Nothing the dermatologist could prescribe or do would stop it.  The dermatologist started saying that I had eczema (at least, he was giving me a word, finally, but I was NOT HAPPY.  I don’t want to have eczema. That is not how I see myself).  The diagnosis gave me a point of reference from which to start researching how this got on me and how I could make it go away, or at least manage it.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, I suddenly got the brilliant idea to slather coconut oil all over my skin, where it itched and everywhere else, too. That worked pretty well, and the itching would abate some for a few hours.  I got used to smelling like coconut.  Then, two days ago, for some odd reason, it occurred to me to smear apple cider vinegar all over the itchy areas.  That stung quite a bit, so I figured it was going to work.  I slathered coconut oil over top once the ACV had dried.  After a few minutes of really hoping that the ACV effect was going to calm down, I was good to go (actually, it really wasn’t any worse than putting Four Thieves on a weepy shingles lesion).  The effect (NO ITCH!) lasted for about 12 hours, and then I repeated the ACV/coconut oil application again.  This morning (Day Three), I repeated my ACV/coconut oil protocol, and, yet again, I was mostly comfortable for about 12 hours.

So, since I have something good to report, something you might be able to use at some point, if not today, I’m posting the results of my experimental research on the one subject who lives in my room and sleeps in my bed (me!). The results of my research are not scientific, because I’ve only done it on me, but I can tell you that it worked when I was just about ready to hurt myself just to take my mind off the itch.

Meanwhile, interestingly, three days ago, one of my cousins posted her soap find for anti-aging annd rejuvenation on Facebook. (If you have eczema, I’m told, you have to be careful what soap you use).  I thought it sounded   like a good soap, and then I read the comments from her friends. One guy said that he had used the Black African Soap for his eczema…. lo, and behold! I used to use Black African Soap (another brand), and I never had eczema then! I friended the guy, in case he might say other things about life with eczema, and I turned around and ordered both the soap my cousin had mentioned and the Black African Soap this guy recommended: So, today, I received Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap with Frankincense and Myrrh as well as Shea Moisture African Black Soap. I am eagerly waiting to try them.  (I haven’t opened the packages but they both smell really nice (I think this brand of African Black Soap smells nicer than the one I used to use)

BUT WAIT! THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!!  I’ve had this thing on my skin since forever (have asked the dermatologist about it many times), and then it changed color and started to be extremely uncomfortable/uber-itchy , to the point where I had to give up certain underpinnings to avoid further irritation.  The dermatologist has agreed to remove it in two weeks, but…. how to live that long?  Today, I decided to do something drastic… I doused it in undiluted oil of oregano, and then bit a towel for about 2 minutes, until the burning sensation wore off — MIRACLE!!!! I haven’t even noticed that place all day!!!!!!

THE SECRET LIFE OF MOSQUITOES: their favorite colors, and more

Who knew that mosquitoes have favorite colors?

Dark colors, like black, blue, and red, are most attractive to mosquitoes. This is because mosquitoes notice these colors more easily than they do light colors.

Even though it is estimated that 20% of all people are highly attractive to mosquitoes genetically, the mosquitoes’ final choices as to who to bite depends on who they notice first. Once a mosquito has seen people, it makes its choices based on smell. Carbon dioxide is particularly attractive to these bloodsuckers. Mosquitoes usually zero in on people who exhale more carbon dioxide, such as larger folks, or pregnant women. Not on these lists? You are still not out of the woods: mosquitoes appear to find the smell of beer very attractive.

On the topic of mosquitoes, I had a very interesting experience about 14 years ago, when I was living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, possibly, according to me, the mosquito capital of the world (they have all sorts of mosquitoes there – big ones, small ones, in between ones, and more, and they all seem to like people like me) So, anyway, one evening, when I was busy swatting away stealth attack mosquitoes, I had a brainstorm. I had been reading Machaelle Small Wright’s MAP and Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered, and I got it into my head that I could contact the “diva” of mosquitoes. So, I centered myself, and went looking, or, rather, I put out a call, and waited. You are free to believe this or not. I  know it is way woo-woo, but this is the way it happened. Shortly, I felt a presence and knew I was in contact with a “head mosquito”, if you will. I explained patiently that I did not want to hurt any mosquitoes, but that the mosquitoes were hurting me. I offered a deal to not kill any mosquitoes, so long as no mosquitoes bit me. I did add in the caveat that I am somewhat mosquito-ist, in that I cannot distinguish one kind of mosquito from another, and, so, if she wished to accept my offer and play ball with me, she would have to contact any other mosquito divas and let them know the terms, and I also made it clear that if any mosquito, of any size or type ever bit me again, I would wage an unholy war on all mosquitoes I ever came across.  I know, I know – it sounds like I was hallucinating or something, but I did live out the rest of my year in Virginia Beach unbitten. As a matter of fact, I never saw another mosquito that year, and, until yesterday, I had not seen another one since.

Unfortunately, yesterday morning, I saw a nice big mosquito in my shower, just as I was going to get in. I learned that Scrubbing Bubbles will nicely fell a marauding mosquito.

DETOX BATH – lower stress hormones, balance pH levels, draw out toxins

DETOX BATH
(to lower stress hormones, balance pH levels, and draw out toxins)
based on recipe from Raw for Beauty

Handful of Epsom salt or sea salt
1/2 C baking soda
10 drops lavender essential oil

Thoroughly mix all ingredients
Draw a warm bath.
Add bath ingredients and swish around to mix thoroughly in the bath.
Get in the bath, sit, and relax for 20 minutes.

Relax in this bath once a week.

MORE ON ITCH-BE-GONE: Yes, it’s shingles!

I finally realized that this was episode #20 of shingles.   Got past all that “head talk”, based on previous doctors’ poo-pooing. There comes a point when you just look at it, and you know.

The Itch-Be-Gone did marvels keeping me comfortable while I was ignoring the reality (it’s all over my right side, and couldn’t be anything else). When I ran out of the oils to make the remedy, I broke down and went to the pharmacy to see if I still had a refill on file. Yea! I got the doctor medicine and it worked, which confirms my diagnosis.

This is good to know, because, the next time, I won’t have to go to the doctor. I’ll just use Itch-Be-Gone until it gives up the ghost.

The news for you, my readers, is that, even if you have the most hellish itch, this stuff works really really well.   And, if you do happen to have shingles, but don’t have insurance, there is very nice help (and it smells good, too.)