They are miniscule in size, but mosquitoes are one of the deadliest insects as their bite can cause infections and lead to many health problems. Now, with the onset of monsoons there is an increase in the number of mosquitoes and hence an outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases like like malaria, zika, chikungunya and dengue. Here are some natural and Ayurvedic ways to protect yourself from these deadly insects and keeping your homes and surroundings mosquito-free, as suggested by ayurveda expert Dr Mitali Madhusmita, head doctor at The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Tattva Panchakarma.
• Garbage and stagnation of water must not be allowed near your home and surrounding areas as these are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
• Tulsi (holy basil) juice has strong larvicidal properties, and hence sprinkling concentrated tulsi juice in stagnant water bodies and other areas where mosquitoes can breed is very effective.
* Growing plants like tulsi, lavender, lemongrass, marigold and mint is helpful as they act as natural and effective mosquito repellents.
* Neem leaves are also an effective mosquito repellent and hence it is advisable to plant neem trees in the surroundings. Also, fumigating turmeric roots together with neem leaves is very effective in getting rid of mosquitoes. Adding guggulu (Commiphora wightii) to this will further enhance its effects.
* Burning pepper sticks keeps mosquitoes away when outdoors.
* Fumigating sambrani (benzoin resin) repels mosquitoes while its fragrance creates a soothing atmosphere.
* Using any one of the following — camphor, neem oil, eucalyptus oil, lemongrass oil, tea tree oil or lavender oil — in an aroma lamp is useful.
* Using mosquito nets while sleeping is a must in areas having severe outbreak of any mosquito borne diseases.
Applying any one of the following on the skin effectively prevents mosquito bites:
— Neem oil and coconut oil mixed in equal quantities
— Sandalwood oil
— Small quantity of turmeric paste
— Neem leaves paste
— Tulsi leaves paste
— Neem oil and tea tree oil mixed in equal quantities
In order to minimise the impact of mosquito bites and get relief from swelling, redness, itching and skin inflammation, any one of the following can be applied on the affected area:
— A paste of neem leaves leaves mixed with honey. Neem is a very good antidote.
— Tulsi is helpful in treating any kind of parasitic infections. Applying its paste is helpful.
— Sandalwood and turmeric in equal quantities mixed with water has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.
— Pure cow ghee is an excellent source of antihistamines and hence effective in eliminating the impact of any insect bite.
— Apamarga (chaff-flower) leaves can be combined with jaggery or black pepper and applied on mosquito bites.
— Aloe vera pulp is a natural antiseptic and has soothing effects.
— Dashanga lepa is an effective traditional ayurvedic formulation which can be applied to the skin. It is also available in tablet form and can be taken orally in order to minimise the effects of any insect bites.
* Epsom salt bath (3 tsp of epsom salt added to 1 bucket of warm water) is very effective in reducing inflammation caused by any insect bite, including mosquitoes.
* Coconut water is a good source of antihistamines and natural steroids. Half a cup of coconut water along with 1 tablet of Kamadudha rasa (a traditional ayurvedic formulation) twice a day will have a great impact on the body, and will minimise the effects of mosquito bites on the skin.
• Consumption of giloy (a useful herb) is helpful in minimising the effects of mosquito borne diseases.
In addition to taking these measures, it is important to understand that the effects of an insect bite on a body depends upon the immune system and the rasadhatu (watery fluids of the body such as mucous, saliva etc). “The effect is minimal if the person has healthy skin and strong immunity. Healthy, lustrous skin having slightly oily nature indicates a good immune system and regular oil massages as per ayurveda help in attaining this,” adds Dr Madhusmita.