DIY – Bug off! Lavender Rub

This post is not about food but about something I’d like to share.

The heat in Mumbai at the moment is infuriating! It is humid and and when the occasional mosquito makes its way into your baby’s room it turns out to be a night of constant waking up and switching on the light so that you can swat the damn thing! After all, there is only so much you can do to keep those pesky buzzers away. And it isn’t just about the night, one can’t really escape them even at the park in the evenings.

Therefore, in my search for home remedies to ward off the bugs I came upon citronella and lavender. While most bug repellent patches available here are doused in citronella oil, I’ve come to realise that T almost instantly develops a stuffy nose with them. So I bought some dried lavender from my travel to make my very own natural bug repellent oil rub for T.

Lavender is best known to have a calming effect on humans and a repelling effect on bugs! This multipurpose herb can be used to make oils and sprays, teas and sachets to store in your cupboards. One can even make use of them in jellies or desserts if they please.


Here’s what is needed:

  • Approx. 04 oz. Sweet Almond oil, this is the base oil. (I selected sweet almond, since it does not have an inherent smell of its own)
  • Approx. 2 tsp. of dried lavender flowers, cut up
  • A muslin cloth, to drain the oil

Here’s what you will need to do:

  • Heat the sweet almond oil for about a minute. Do not boil
  • Transfer to a wide mouth glass jar/bottle and steep the lavender in it. I’ve used more oil and less flowers since I didnt want the rub to be too strong, especially because I didn’t know how T’s skin would react to it
  • Keep it steeped for a couple of days, heating it at intervals
  • Pour it through a muslin cloth to strain out the flowers
  • Pour out in a bottle and store in a cool dry place
  • Use within two weeks of making


Here’s how you can use it:

  • Test it first: Dab a little on the inside of the elbow and look out for any possible reactions
  • Rub a little oil before play or bed time on the hands and legs

A Lil’ something: Tiny muslin bags of lavender flowers can be soaked in bath water for a gorgeously fragrant and calming bath! Works well for my toddler as well as us :)


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