It’s experiment time!
We recently ran out of my favorite herbal bug repellent, but the gardens are in bloom and I figured it would be fun to mess around and make my own.
What could go wrong, right!? Strike that- feels like tempting fate
Note that this is a bit of a “franken” recipe put together from lots of research, what I have available in my garden, my own herbal knowledge, and three really wonderful recipes/mixes that are also worth checking out:
Here we go~!
I gathered fresh herbs:
- Citronella - a variety of geranium- you’ll find it as “the mosquito plant” in a lot of garden stores as it is known for its mosquito repellent qualities. It tends to sell out fast in the summer months
- Lemon Balm - beautiful melissa, the plant of happiness! Not only is this one anti-depressive and helps to cheer you up, the lemony smell is a known bug-repeller.
- Mint - Spicy and fresh, mint is another bug repellent.
Lavender - for me, lavender is here more for its smell than for any anti-bug qualities. I often use the bug spray in the evenings, and this makes it so nice and soothing!
→ Magickal and Medicinal Properties of Lavender
I also used a bit of dried material:
Cinnamon - Two reasons for cinnamon: one, magickalyl it works as a speed agent, making things works quickly. Two, I love the smell!
→ Magickal and Medicinal Properties of Cinnamon
Garden Magick Tip - Most of the plants listed above are naturally bug repellent, but each plant repels certain types of bugs- there’s no one plant (that I know of, at least!) that is universal in repelling all insects.
So when gathering leaves for a bug-repellent spray, avoid taking any leaves that have insects or signs of insects on them. No nibbled, bit, or buggy leaves allowed in this spray! You want the leaves that are purely bug-free
Gently but firmly shake your gathered plants to remove any dirt, dead material, or other leaves. I would avoid washing them- too much water in an infusion can lead to bad results (and sometimes rot).
Take just the leaves and buds (lavender).
You can give them a good crunch and grind with your mortar and pestle- it’s not necessary, but it helps to release more of the oils (and what witch doesn’t enjoy using their mortar and pestle? )
Place all of your ground materials into a jar. This batch is experimental, so I’m using a small jar just in case!
Pour witch hazel over your materials to cover them. It should just about reach the top of your storage vessel.
Seal it up, give a good shake, and place it out of the sunlight.
I’m gonna let this brew for a week or two, giving it a shake here and there, before unbottling it.
Then I’ll strain out the used materials and store the herbal infused witch hazel for use.
To make a spray, I’ll pour the infused mixture into a spray bottle (potentially diluting it with a bit of water depending on how strong it turns out) and adjust the scent from there with essential oils.
Again, this is an experiment- just documenting what I did in case it works and/or to make it easy to tweak things later!
Additionally, I would love to hear if anyone has any tips, pointers, or experiences in making all-natural bug repellent sprays of their own. What ingredients did you use? What seemed to work best for you?
Thanks so much!