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Fearing the adverse side effects of synthetic tick repellents, more people are turning to organic repellents derived from plants. The Australian lemon-scented gum tree provides such a highly effective natural repellent. There are two variants that are made from the leaves of the tree with varied chemical compositions.
One is pure Lemon eucalyptus essential oil and the other is a refined version of it known as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE). OLE is used widely as a potent repellent against many bugs, insects, and mosquitoes.
What is Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil?
Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is obtained from the leaves of the lemon-scented gum tree (Corymbia citriodora), formerly Eucalyptus citriodora) a large evergreen tree native to north-eastern Australia.
To extract the essential oil from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree, a gentle steam distillation method is used. The oil that is extracted from the plant parts in this first step is Lemon eucalyptus essential oil, which mainly consists of citronellal (about 80%) and other organic terpenoids.
What are the uses of Lemon eucalyptus essential oil?
Lemon eucalyptus oil is used in many ways. It is used in aromatherapy for relaxation to reduce stress and to harmonize body and soul. In naturopathy, it is described as having anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and anti-allergic effects. At home, it is used in fragrance lamps to refresh the air in the room, but also to drive away insects.
The chemicals in the oil repel mosquitoes and bugs. The first and foremost use of the essential oil is similar to that of OLE as a bug repellent, but it’s not nearly as effective.
What is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus OLE?
The oil, which is extracted from the leaves of the gum tree by steam distillation in the first step, is in the further production processes refined to Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
The refining process increases the content of the actual active substance “p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD)”, which is an effective repellent against biting insects and ticks.
What is OLE used for?
OLE is used in quite a number of areas in naturopathy. Since it is powerful in concentrated form, it must not be used pure, but only diluted. We are not interested in curative applications here, we are interested in the effectiveness against ticks and biting insects.
The oil contains around 1-2 percent p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). PMD repels insects and arachnids, including ticks, and protects between 6-8 hours against insect bites and up to 4 hours against tick bites.
The exact mode of action and how the OLE acts on parasites is not yet exactly known. It can be assumed that it disturbs the parasites’ organs of perception and that they, therefore, cannot recognize their potential victim as such – they can not smell you!
Studies suggest that OLE is very effective in its repellent effect and quite comparable to DEET’s effectiveness in terms of duration. So it can be a good substitute to repel biting parasites if you want to do without synthetic products.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus Spray
The oil is contained in several organic tick repellents, one of the most popular and well-known is Repel Lemon Eucalyptus.
The small spray bottle is practical and can be stowed in any bag, ideal to always have with you.
What are the benefits of OLE?
- Effective against mosquitoes and ticks
- A natural organic product
- Biodegradable and harmless to most living beings
- Generally well tolerated
- Neutral on surfaces
Risks associated with using OLE
Certain combinations of products are not favorable to every type of skin. So, it is always better to practice caution and stay safe. When applying the product for the first time, test it on a small patch of skin. Just put a drop on your fingertip and rub it on the inside and your forearm then wait a couple of hours. Look out for symptoms such as itching, swelling, rashes, or similar. If anything happens then of course you don’t use it.
As with all products or substances, allergic reactions can occur in rare cases. If you are known to have allergies, then you should be cautious.
Whether OLE is safe for pregnant women, specifically for the unborn, you should check with your doctor before use.
When used for small children, use products recommended for children. They are dosed correspondingly lower.
Be careful when using it on your face. So that it doesn’t get into your eyes, don’t spray directly into your face, but onto your hands and then rub on.
Always read the Directions For Use and use only as recommended.
Does OLE repel ticks on dogs and cats?
There are also special products for pets containing lemon eucalyptus extract to protect dogs and cats from parasites and annoying insects.
Products specially made for dogs and cats are tailored to the animals and are non-toxic and harmless when used as recommended. Even for puppies, there is natural organic tick and flea repellent.
When buying, make sure that the product is recommended for dogs or cats, if the wrong or overdosed can be used the consequences can be dire, damaging the airways, causing seizures, and more.
Ask the vet for a recommended natural parasite control program
What is the commercial name of OLE?
The registered trade name of Eucalyptus citriodora oil is Citriodiol.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, OLE is obtained by refining Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil which is distilled in a previous step from the leaves of the lemon gum tree.
Upon refining, much of the citronellal content in lemon eucalyptus oil is converted into PMD, the main active ingredient in OLE.
Citriodiol has cleared various rigorous tests and has obtained registrations from some of the world’s leading regulations. Citriodiol has proved to be as effective as synthetic repellents and even better than the natural alternatives. It consists of about 71% of PMD, and the remaining is naturally occurring plant oil constituents.
Learn more about OLE from the manufacturer: https://www.citrefine.com/