Get down and dirty in the garden
Summer is dwindling but you still have time to fit in a couple more barbeques this season. If your nose is tired of the intense, pervasive scent of citronella tiki torches, AmazonLights products offer a change of pace with the same bug-free results.
I recently discovered this natural bug repellent brand on a visit to my sister in Minnesota. The long, green tube labeled “garden incense sticks” lying on her table intrigued me and I was compelled to see if its ingredients were as green as the color of its odd-shaped package. Also, anything that could keep mosquitoes away in the damp Minnesota summer was a worth a try.
Sure enough, AmazonLights products are made from a combination of essential oils; Brazilian andiroba, rosemary, thyme and, of course, citronella. I was impressed not only by the high concentration of essential oils but also by the company’s sustainability practices. The incense sticks are made from bamboo and their use of andiroba oil promotes sustainable rainforest products for commercial use. They also follow Fair Trade and Community Trade practices by working with indigenous communities in the Amazon Coop.
Photo by jonrawlinson/Courtesy Flickr
In case like me, you haven’t heard of andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis), it’s extracted from the chestnut-like fruit of the Brazilian andiroba tree and is used as an anti-inflammatory, as well as a repellant. A Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Analysis study from December 2008 proved what South Americans already knew—these effective compounds in andiroba oil, along with it's essential fatty acids, make it a valuable source for commercial products.
Rosemary and thyme are also well-known for their bug repellant skills. Together with citronella and andiroba, these ingredients make a powerful, herbal combination. Plus andiroba is odor-free and, with the sweet smells of rosemary and thyme, these repellants don’t have the overpowering scent of a traditional citronella candle.
These products are sold at select lawn and gardening stores nationwide and you can use the store indicator on their website to find the nearest retailer, or just shop online. They offer candles, incense cones and incense sticks, all with a different time range.
Photo by zizzybaloobah/Courtesy Flickr
Have you tried AmazonLights before? What natural insect repellents work best for you? Leave a comment and let me know.