Tag Archives: Basil

Avoid the Itch With These Scents

Woman scratching her neck

Oh, the itch. That not quite defined feeling, somewhere between pain and annoyance amounting in a torture that we just can’t seem to ignore. And, aaah, the scratch. That exquisite infliction of pain that seems to momentarily quell the itch. But we have been warned against scratching, haven’t we? According to dermatologists, scratching often makes the itch worse, warning that the temporary relief it provides only make the symptoms exacerbate upon return. But what can we do? Well, if the source of our itching is a mosquito, a flea, or tick, well, bring on the bug repellant. Bug repellent is not only a cure for itching, but can also lessen the chances of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses.

But many of these bug repellents are toxic. Do we really want to spray these chemicals on ourselves and our families, and take responsibility for the possible poisoning of the environment and destroying of the ozone layer? Most insect repellents contain DEET, which, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, is a chemical capable of melting plastics or a fishing line and causing impairments such as memory loss, seizures, nausea and vomiting. No something we want to apply liberally. However, the good doctor says,”…it is dangerously wrong…”( to assume)…”that insect repellents with DEET are the only ones that work”, so, take heart, suffering Greenies!

It seems that mosquitoes have a very keen sense of smell ( Do they have noses?) and are very attracted to the carbon dioxide we emit, but, luckily, there are some natural scents which they actually hate. So let’s clue you in.

Citronella Oil: Comes from the lemongrass plant, used in bug sprays and candles, smells lemony/ citrusy.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint: Crush the leaves on your skin or apply peppermint oil to relieve itching, minty scent.

Rosemary and Basil: Place a few sprigs around to keep the pests away or infuse it into a lotion or spray, also can be used as food seasoning!

Eucalyptus: Can be planted in your yard and the oil can be applied to your skin.

Marigold and Lavender: Attractive and useful. Plant them in your garden for a color
explosion and pest free peace of mind.

Garlic: Not just for vampires! Cut the cloves into slivers and scatter them. You can also make a repellent spray, but, be warned, you may repel people humans as well.


Catnip: Sorry, Snowball. Have to borrow some of yours! Sprinkling catnip is a very powerful way of repelling pests.

Another great thing about these natural repellants: you can make your own!

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola (DO), you can make repellent by mixing cinnamon leaf oil, clear vanilla oil mixed with olive oil, or catnip oil and there are tons of other recipes available on social media. Why scratch when you can go match? Keep yourself pest free and applaud yourself for being smart and helping the environment and keeping yourself and your family healthy and comfortable.

Your Windowsill Herb Garden

Fresh herbs are unparalleled in intensity when it comes to adding the perfect flavors to your cooking, and in addition to being delicious, fresh herbs offer health benefits. Not all herbs are suitable for growth indoors, but there are plenty from which you can choose for a windowsill garden. Find out why you should grow a windowsill garden and get some ideas about what herbs to include in one below.

Herb garden

Why Grow a Windowsill Herb Garden?
Herbs are packed with antioxidants and nutrients that your body needs, but, unfortunately, these benefits are significantly lessened if you use store bought herbs or dried herbs. “Half of the nutritional value of plants is lost within thirty minutes of harvesting,” says Brian Hetrich, naturopathic doctor and gardening expert with the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. “When you grow your own herbs you can use what you need at the moment by harvesting small amounts, fresh from the plant,” adds Hetrich.

Herbs for Your Windowsill Garden
There are so many incredible herbs to choose from that it might be a little overwhelming to decide what herbs you are going to grow in your windowsill garden. The following herbs are all well-suited for a windowsill garden:

  • Rosemary – Rosemary is a very aromatic herb that has been the subject of some recent research. Northumbria University in the United Kingdom found that participants performed better at memory-related tasks when the scent of rosemary was being pumped into the room, indicating that this fragrant herb may help to boost your memory. It isn’t just the scent that makes this herb perfect for a windowsill garden, but compounds in rosemary, like carnosic acid, have been shown to fight cancer cells. Try some fresh rosemary on top of a veggie-filled pizza for a great flavor combination.
  • Thyme – Thyme is quite visually appealing for a windowsill garden because it consists of tiny but plentiful flowers, and because this herb does not spread out much when planted, it is easily planted in smaller areas. The compounds found in thyme have long been used to treat respiratory problems and have antiseptic properties. Another reason that thyme is perfect for your windowsill herb garden is that it is a highly versatile herb and can be used in any recipe from soups to salmon to cocktails.
  • Basil – Basil is an incredible herb for a windowsill herb garden because it grows easily and requires little maintenance – just water it every other day. Basil has antioxidant properties and is a natural anti-inflammatory. This herb is also a powerful detoxifier, specifically for your liver, is a good source of fiber and can help promote feelings of calm. For the perfect summer meal, cut some tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil, then top with a light drizzle of olive oil.

A windowsill herb garden not only increases the flavor of your food, but it also provides health benefits for your body. If you need another reason to plant a windowsill herb garden, just looking at and being around greenery and nature can boost your mood and increase focus and productivity. Be sure to water your herbs and locate them near a window that receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day to maximize the health benefits of your windowsill herb garden.