Bug repellent that is safe for you and your kids

Being lovers of the outdoors, we have always had to apply some sort of bug repellent spray or rub to avoid being chowed by mosquitoes or bothered by flies. We always reached for the chemical option since we knew no better. But when our daughter was a baby that came to an end. We decided that if it was not safe to spray the stuff on your children then it was probably not ideal for us to use it on ourselves either.

DEET in commercial bug repellents

Recently, with the onset of summer, a number of people started asking us if we could make a natural mozzi spray. Doing some research I found that all the popular insect repellents that are available in our shops contain a variety of harmful chemicals including DEET. This pesticide was originally used by the American army during jungle war-fare and was later introduced in products for civilian use.

DEET is noted to be a very effective insect repellent. The higher the concentration of DEET in a product, the longer-lasting are its repellent effects. One of our local brands boasts effectiveness for up to 8 hours after application.

What worries me is that products containing this ingredient should not be used on infants under the age of 2 months and should be kept out of the reach of children because it is toxic if ingested. In fact, you should ensure that you do not apply it to an area where the skin is broken and avoid getting any of it in your eyes or mouth. It is even recommended that you wash it off when you are no longer outdoors. Here is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) fact sheet which describes precautions when using products containing DEET. That doesn’t sound like a substance I would want on my skin!

Repelling bugs naturallyBug Spray

We set about testing different recipes and combining various essential oils that are noted for their bug repelling properties. The result is a spray which repels everything from mosquitoes and flies to ticks. We have had lots of positive feedback from happy clients that were mozzi-free on their camping trips over the December holidays.

So what’s in it?

We use Vodka as our basic ingredient in the Mein Herr Bug Spray. Vodka is, in itself, an excellent bug repellent. It is also a natural preservative which means that the product has a longer shelf-life.

Since Vodka could be irritating to more sensitive skin we have now also developed a Bug Spray: Sensitive which has witch hazel as its base.

The essential oils that we have chosen are Ti-Tree, Lavender and Rose Geranium. Not only do these oils protect you from pests in the household and out in the bush, they also sooth the skin in the case of an insect bite. We particularly selected essential oils that are not stimulating so that you can apply the bug spray at bedtime and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

As with all our products, the Mein Herr Bug Spray is made from natural ingredients with no artificial fragrance or preservatives. Its effectiveness is not as long-lasting as the chemically-based alternative, so you may need to reapply more frequently. But the health of your skin and body make it worth while in the long run.

 

Mein Herr Natural Products

Nourishing Bath Salts

Nourishing Bath Salts

Mein Herr Bath Salts are not merely a means of spoiling yourself by making your bath time luxurious. The ingredients used are carefully combined to form a product that will nourish your skin and sooth both body and mind.

Some benefits of using bath salts

The water from the taps in our houses is recycled many times. It has to be cleaned with chemicals that make the water harsh. Adding salt to your bath softens the water. Our bath salts also contain oils which give them a moisturising effect.

Harvesting salt: Machine vs Hand

Mechanical methods of harvesting salt were originally developed to produce mass quantities of salt for the chemical industry. Machine-harvested salt contains many contaminants due to the harvesting method involving dirty machinery. As a result this salt has to be refined and washed. But this also strips the salt of the rich minerals and micronutrients that make salt an important part of our diet. The product is a salt containing only the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) which is ideal for the chemical industry, but not for human consumption. Fluoride and iodine are added along with anti-caking agents, and this salt is then packaged and sold as “table salt”.

Hand harvested salt, on the other hand, is not refined in any way and thus contains all its beneficial minerals, notably Calcium, Magnesium and Iron. Not only does this make it much healthier for consumption, but it also means that your body benefits when soaking in a bath enriched with hand-harvested salt crystals.

Bath Salts

Mein Herr Bath Salts

The sea salt crystals used in our bath salt range are hand harvested from the West Coast of South Africa. We have also added our beloved Jojoba oil for its moisturising effect, along with various essential oils chosen for their particular properties.

Mein Herr Bath Salts are available from our shop in two fragrances: Relaxing Tranquil and Healing Pocket-Full.

Update

After doing further research we have decided to add another vital ingredient to our nourishing bath salts: Epsom Salt.

Benefits of an Epsom Salt soak

Epsom salt, a crystalized form of Magnesium Sulphate, is known to be an excellent Magnesium supplement. Interestingly it has been found that Magnesium is more easily absorbed through the skin than through the gut. This means that your body can more readily access the necessary levels of Magnesium when you soak in a bath enriched with Epsom salt than when you take it orally.

Here are just a few of the health benefits derived from an Epsom salt soak:

  • It softens your skin.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory which soothes sore muscles and other aches and pains.
  • It relaxes the nervous system and relieves stress by replenishing depleted Magnesium levels.
  • It helps to induce sleep.

The Mein Herr Bath Salts are now made from a combination of Epsom salt and hand-harvested sea salt along with moisturising Jojoba oil and our special blend of essential oils.

Mein Herr Natural Products