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West Nile Virus is spread by Mosquitos, Can essential oils help?

by Penny Keay

This disease has been in the news once again. Actually this is the time of the year it is most prevalent.

During the months August through September extra precautions should be taken to prevent being bitten by those pesky mosquitos especially if you live in an area when West Nile Virus has been confirmed.

West Nile Virus (WNV) according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is spread from the mosquito that has bitten an infected bird. That mosquito in turn will then bite an animal or person.

It cannot be spread from human to human. Please visit their site for details on the mode of transmission and symptoms of the infection.

The CDC reports that 1 in 150 people bitten with an infected mosquito will get seriously sick. Of the 150 infected about 80% will not even know they have been infected as they will show no symptoms. About 20% will become moderately ill.

For these folks that are moderately ill you can use essential oils to help you feel more comfortable by relieving some of your symptoms.


Their biggest recommendation to not contract WNV is the prevention of being bitten by mosquitos. In other words use insect repellent and other measures to prevent from being bitten.

Here in Minnesota when Al and I go camping we certainly donít want to be bothered by mosquitos or black flies or any kind of bug.

We were taught that you should wear light clothing (light in color and also light in weight) to keep bare skin exposure to a minimum.

We spray ourselves (and clothing) with our Bug Off Spray several times during our camping or hiking trips. Remember essential oils will help to repel bugs but unless you spray directly on the insect it wonít kill them.

Because essential oils evaporate or diffuse into the air quite rapidly you may need to reapply every 2-3 hours. If you are hot and perspiring you may need to apply more frequently than those in a cooler environment.

There are several essential oils that will repel mosquitos and one in particular is mentioned by the CDC and other agencies and that is Eucalyptus lemon. It has been proven to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Catnip is another essential oil that is a great replacement for DEET.

Although it is not as pleasant to smell as Eucalyptus lemon. it can be blended with other essential oils that are known to repel insects to make a more pleasant repelling spray.

In our Bug Off Spray, we use a combination of 4 essential oils known to repel Cajeput, Lemon, Geranium & Cedarwood. We have used this particular blend since 1995.

Back then we were still very involved with our Boy Scout Troop and it worked great back then, I guess that is why we still are using it to this day.

This blend has traveled to foreign countries and continents such as Costa Rica and Africa. Because these areas have problems with mosquitoes and biting flies that carry many more diseases our customers needed to find something natural to use that didnít have so many restrictions while traveling (2 oz bottle size).

The Bug Off Spray was very effective and prevented our customers that had visited those infested areas from being bitten.

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Here is a list of the most common essential oils used to repel:

Cajeput, Catnip, Cedarwood, Cinnamon leaf, Citronella, Clove bud, Coriander, Eucalyptus lemon (Eucalyptus citriodora), Fennel, Geranium, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Thyme.

There may be others that will work with any number of insect species, but these listed are the more commonly used as they are generally more acceptable to the human nose!

You can make a blend of essential oils and mix it with our Body sprayBase at 3-5% dilution be sure to use an Emulsifier so the essential oils will stay in solution, shake well before each use.

What else can you do? Well reduce the mosquito population in your own backyard.

Keep grass mowed short, donít allow any standing water (breeding areas for mosquitoes);

use your common sense Ė when the mosquitos are around Ė you should go inside.

Keep the screens on your windows and doors in good repair. If you have to be outside use a repellent.


Now what to do if you think you have been stricken? First confirm with your medical practitioner, and then with their knowledge let them know you want to use essential oils while you recuperate.

For West Nile Virus and any other viral infection your number one defense is to diffuse any of the anti-viral essential oils.

Here is a list of essential oils that are the most common ones used against viral infections:

Ravintsara, Eucalyptus oils Ė just about all of them with the following being the most effective. Eucalyptus globulus, E. Polybractea and E. Radiata, Oregano, Thyme (c.t. linalool, c.t. borneol and others), Cinnamon leaf, Bay laurel, Clove bud, Niaouli, Melissa, Ravensara, Rosemary and Sage.

Others to lesser degrees include:

not in any specific order Ė Cajeput, Cypress, Lemon, Lime, Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Patchouli, Rose, Rosewood, Tarragon, Myrrh, Coriander, Geranium Black Pepper, Basil and Hyssop.

To help lessen the severity of any viral or bacterial infection you need to have a strong immune system. Diffusing essential oils year round will help your body have its defenses ready in case you or a family member is infected by a virus or bacteria.

The first groups of essential oils are believed to increase the activity in different parts of your immune system.

Included in this group:

Bay laurel, Cinnamon leaf, Eucalyptus globulus, Frankincense, Oregano and Sage.

This group of oil for the most part is fairly strong and suggested to be used when you have been exposed to viruses or other disease producing organisms.

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The next groups are actually the oils that may help your body build up your immune system. They keep your white blood cells in production according to Kathi Kevilles' book Aromatherapy for Dummies.

Included are: Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Pine needle, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme - linalool and Vetiver.

Kathi states that these essential oils work with the body to fight infection and to help it heal itself.

When dealing with a lot of stress the top immune stimulating essential oils according to Valerie Ann Worwood are: Geranium, Rosemary, Lavender and Tea Tree.

To begin help boosting the immune system begin by diffusing any of the above mentioned essential oils on a daily basis.

If you prefer there are several synergy blends that are better suited to both build your immune system and to help you fight an active infection.

Helpful blends include Four Robbers blend, Pure Cleansing blend, Easy Breathe Blend, Respiratory Blend, Protect Me! Blend. AND just about any combination of essential oils listed above.

What about ingesting essential oils for use with viral infections? As you know it is not a safe practice to ingest essential oils. In fact your body cannot really use essential oils when ingested. They are aromatics and are meant to be inhaled Ė smelled!

The fastest mode of essential oils to work for your body is by inhalation.

So putting a drop or two on a tissue or in an inhaler is the easiest safest and most direct method of using a higher than normal concentration of essential oils for personal use.

Diffusing in a large room can be done safely using a Fan style diffuser or a tart and oil warmer. Both of these methods provide you with low to high essential oil molecule activity for your home or business.

We do hope that you can avoid being infected by West Nile Virus or any other virus. Keep this page handy in case you or someone close to you is infected.

One thing I hope you noticed as you read this article is that the very same essential oils that help to repel mosquitos also help if you are infected and to build your immune system.

Essential oils are natures little workhorses and are some of the most enjoyable ways to stay healthy and fit when used daily.

All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.

CLICK HERE to Order supplies

© 2012, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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