Essential oils are hydrophobic liquids composed of several substances originating from different parts of plants (roots, seeds, leaves, stem, flowers…). They are usually obtained by the distillation method, although this is far from the only one. After distillation, the plant extract is combined with the oil base. Essential oils perform several functions in the plant, as they have a uniquely intense scent, which is responsible for attracting and repelling insects and birds and protecting the plant.
Essential oils are used today in various fields or in various products: in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, repellents, disinfectants… And of course for aromatherapy, a branch of alternative medicine that refers to the healing effects of essential oils. Aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries and is the subject of several studies today to determine their effects (antibacterial, antimicrobial action, reduce inflammation, insomnia, reduce headaches…)
Oils penetrate into the layers of the epidermis act on them and the tissues beneath them and have positive effects on the skin and hair/fur. At the same time, they also calm and affect the limbic system.
The quality of the essential oil is extremely important and it depends not only on the ingredients contained in it, but also on their concentration, method of extraction and storage.
Because some essential oils have a repellent effect, they can be a good substitute for chemicals against external parasites. The combination of different essential oils usually increases the repellent effect (prolongs action).
Among the most effective plants with repellent action are:
Essential oils are very concentrated, so we need to be careful with their storage. Plastic packaging is not suitable, as it can be dissolved or damaged by them. Dark glass or aluminum packaging is the most suitable, which can easily retain high concentrations of essential oils.
In Slovenia, the level of Lyme disease infection is very high. Ticks are carriers of several very unpleasant diseases such as: babesiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis. Diseases are severe, in some cases more difficult to cure, and the consequences can be permanent. Therefore, preventive protection against ticks and other insects is extremely important. Be especially careful in the coming months, when the day gets longer, it gets warmer and walks in the woods and meadows are very tempting.
With a combination of different essential oils, we can effectively fight both ticks and fleas. The protection may be in the form of sprays, collars or pipettes.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and monitor how long the products work and when we need to refresh them.
However, at a time when ticks are very active (from spring to autumn), special attention is important. Therefore, predilection areas (areas where the skin is thinner – around the ears, on the abdomen, in the groin…) should be examined after a walk.