View Full Version : Flavorings, Nutrition, and Insect Repellent? - a look into Essential Oils on trail

01-25-2019, 14:53
Everything that I am taking with me, has a distinct job this season. The best pieces of gear have multiple tasks or obs that they can accomplish. As a long time essential oil fan, I knew that many oils had repelling properties. I started off by doing research, and seeing that the major oils against ticks would be Catnip, Rose Geranium, and Neem oils. Do not worry. I am not placing my health just with oils. I am also going to treat all of my gear with permethrin. It was too bad that I didn't have either of those three oils, but I do have a bunch of oils that I can use for food flavoring. I was surprised with what happened next.

I continued my research by focusing on the oils that I had. The cheapest gear is something that you don't need to purchase. One by one, I would check each oil that I owned. Every single one of them had insect repelling properties. In addition, each one of these oils is graded for internal use ... so, I can use them to flavor my food also.

The plan is to make several different blends of these oils. I'll likely keep the mints together, and then the tree and patchouli oils together. The hope would be to keep the really offensive flavors out of the main blend, so that I can use the main blend more often without hurting food flavor. If the oils don't mesh with the food, then I can simply ingest the oil by itself.

List of edible repelling oils that I own:

Patchouli - insect repellant, inflammation, cracked or chapped skin, athlete's foot, dandruff

White fir - insect repellent, joints, muscles, soreness, mobility, clear breathing, energizes the body,

Cardamom - insect repellent, Indigestion, Clear Breathing, Upset Stomach, Frustration or Anger, Gain a Clear Perspective, Take responsibility for self,

Cedarwood - insect repellent (ticks), Clear respiratory, clear skin, confidence and connection with others,

Geranium - Calming, Healthy Skin, helps regain trust in the world and others, manage overwhelming emotions

Black Pepper - insect repellent Circulation, Antioxidants, Digestion, Calming, Clarity, Honesty,

Wintergreen - insect repellent, joints, muscles, respiratory, trust in the process of life, release pain or old habits

Cypress - insect repellent (effective as deet), respiratory, muscles, circulation, oily skin, emotional cleansing, helps release emotions, how to let go and go with the flow, trust the process of life,

Cassia - insect repellent, immune system, digestion, inner strength, courage, confidence

Fennel - insect repellent, Digestion, lymphatic system, skin irritation, self esteem, motivation, stubbornness, courage

Coriander (cilantro) - insect repellent, digestion, hormones, insulin, joints and muscles, honor one's own needs, find yourself

Vetiver - insect repellent, circulation, grounding, Immune system, feeling restless, relaxation, sleep, apathy, disconnection,

Cumin - insect repellent, oral health, digestion, muscles and joints, immune system, emotional and physical pain or trauma, find inner strength

Ginger - insect repellent (inhibit mosquitos 3:35 at 50% concentration), Digestion, Nervous system, empowering, strength, courage, scarcity, balance

Dill - insect repellent (1.5 hours), Digestion, antioxidant, calming, self confidence

Juniper - insect repellent (ticks), Kidney and Urinary, Digestive, tension and stress, emotional support, navigate fears and resistance, overcome nightmares, scared of the dark

Spearmint - insect repellent, Digestion, respiratory, self doubt, mental exhaustion, sharpness of mind

Peppermint - insect repellent, digestion, respiratory, nervous system, joints and muscles, uplifting, hopelessness, pessimism,

Some additional information (emotional effects) is pulled from http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com

Oils against ticks: Rose Geranium, Garlic, Catnip, Neem, Wild Tomato, Thyme, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Lavendar, Lemongrass, Palmarosa, Pennroyal, Cedarwood, Rosewood, Grapefruit, Juniper

Other Repelling Oils

Clary Sage
Immortelle (Helichrysum aka Roth)
Lemon Eucalyptus - CDC approved (95% protection 3 hours)
Garlic - ticks
Neem - around 3 hours
Soy (organic soy oil)
Tea Tree
wild tomato (lycopersicon hirsutum)

List of protection period of different oils versus deet
S. No Name of Compound Protection Period (hours)
1 Litsea 2
2 Geranium 1.5
3 Rosewood 1.5
4 Lemon grass 1.5
5 Lemon scented 1.5
6 Dill 1.5
7 Cinnamon 1
8 Galbanum 1
9 Citronella 1
10 Camphor 0.5
11 Catnip 0.5
12 Thyme 0.5
13 Rosemary 0.5
14 Jasmine 0.5
15 Basil 0.5
16 Frankincense 0.5
17 Lavender 0.5
18 Amyris 0.5
19 Peppermint 0.5
20 Tagetes 0.5
21 Chamomile 0.5
22 Black pepper 0
23 Juniper 0
24 DEPA 5.5
25 DEET 6

Gambit McCrae
01-25-2019, 15:57
Mrs Gambit is real big into the oils. If they made them in something other than heavy glass bottles I would be more apt to carrysome on the trail. To take 1 of all of them would be heavy, with little sustainable supply of any one variety.

Now on my last 2 week trip I did carry hemp oil(non CBD non THC) and it really helped calm me down. I used it twice a day for about 3 months and now I do not regularly take it anymore, but it helped me learn how to better control my anxiety and stress.

Time Zone
01-25-2019, 16:34
In many parts of bear country, one is supposed to put all smellables in a bear-resistant container. It's a good thing they don't make bigger Bear Vaults, or you'd have to watch your 6. ;)

01-25-2019, 17:19
When they discuss smellables, they are talking about food smells. Now, does that include herb oils and such?? Who knows? I'll be using an OP sack for my food, and my oils will be with it. Gambit, I don't use the glass bottles that the oils came in, but little sampler bottles for the oils. I think they are like 5 mL or so. Then, I'll have a few larger bottles in my bounce box to fill up my little ones during resupply.

I found the little vials that I use. They are 1.5 milliliters, and they're quite light. I'm only planning on carrying a couple, as I've already made my mixes. One of the main mixes is all of the tick repelling oils. This one won't be used for food as much as the others. I have made three mixes that are food centric. The first is a spicy mixture based in cinnamon, cassia, ginger and a few others. The second is a mint blend, and the third is a general cooking blend.

As for hemp oil, I am a fan of CBD oils. I always suggest that people get the stuff that is full spectrum, as that's where the health benefits come from (in my lay opinion). While I don't purchase the oil by itself, I do purchase it in the form of vape juice. I'm a supporter of the Koi brand, and I like their gold version which is unflavored. This bottle has 1000 mg in it, but costs about a hundred dollars (ridiculous in my opinion). The benefit is that it can be used as a tincture also. I hadn't considered taking any of this product, but I could really gain some health benefits through adding it to my food.

I'm having a bit of trouble with my gram accurate scale, because the batteries all corroded in it. When I fix it, I will be able to look at the weight of those tiny vials. My other scale only does ounces, and isn't even that accurate. As for the size of the small vials, they have always been large enough for me. They're small enough that they fit easily into a pocket, and just enough liquid to last a long time.

Time Zone
01-25-2019, 17:51
When they discuss smellables, they are talking about food smells. Now, does that include herb oils and such?? Who knows?
Toothpaste, sunscreen, Chap Stick, and other smellables are also often listed as well.

01-25-2019, 19:03
Previous Thread on WhiteBlaze (Essential Oils???) (https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-120194.html) The biggest discussion in that thread is about peppermint, but I haven't seen reports of bears going after mint oils. It seems to be anecdotal evidence that bears enjoy the mint plant. Do we have reports of people being mauled because of mint flavored bubble gum? I know that's a bit of a stretch (because oils are stronger), but I am still curious for the basis of these suggestions.

01-25-2019, 20:46
Previous Thread on WhiteBlaze (Essential Oils???) (https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-120194.html) The biggest discussion in that thread is about peppermint, but I haven't seen reports of bears going after mint oils. It seems to be anecdotal evidence that bears enjoy the mint plant. Do we have reports of people being mauled because of mint flavored bubble gum? I know that's a bit of a stretch (because oils are stronger), but I am still curious for the basis of these suggestions.

The big cats love mint oils as in "catnip" :cool: Big cats have mauled a few folks :eek:

01-25-2019, 22:05
Is there a prevalence of big cats on the AT? Is it something to be worried about, or just understand that the danger exists? Even though I'm not using catnip, i do have quite a bit of mint.

01-26-2019, 13:02
Is there a prevalence of big cats on the AT? Is it something to be worried about, or just understand that the danger exists? Even though I'm not using catnip, i do have quite a bit of mint.

On the AT they have been seen:



01-26-2019, 13:31
"Repellents with DEET as active ingredient had a prominent repellency effect over longer times and on both species. Repellents containing p-menthane-3,8-diol produced comparable results but for shorter time periods. Some of the DEET-free products containing citronella or geraniol did not have any significant repellency effect."

Executive summary: DEET works best for protection against potentially deadly mosquito bites.

01-26-2019, 20:39
Minced garlic in a very low heat simmered in olive oil for a length of time?? Let cool over night.

I had a very large pile of grass clipping way off about 350' from my house. Mosquitos were thriving around the pile that was generating heat. I put on my bee veil, walked out there to the pile with one arm treated and the other not. No skeeters landed on the treated arm, the other was quckly swarmed upon and I had to vacate at once. My friend made the concoction, I forgot the recipe :(

01-26-2019, 22:47
"Repellents with DEET as active ingredient had a prominent repellency effect over longer times and on both species. Repellents containing p-menthane-3,8-diol produced comparable results but for shorter time periods. Some of the DEET-free products containing citronella or geraniol did not have any significant repellency effect."

Executive summary: DEET works best for protection against potentially deadly mosquito bites.

Not sure DEET is best, another relative new product for the US call Picaridin is as effective without some of the negative side affects.


Five Tango
01-26-2019, 23:13
For those of you who don't know,I eat my insect repellent daily in the form of a B complex vitamin,apple cider vinegar capsule,and an odorless garlic pearl.Mosquitoes either do not pick up my scent or I might smell repulsive to them but it works for me.Before I started this regimen they would swarm me when I got up in the night.There are other health benefits to the mentioned supplements other than insect repulsion too.

01-27-2019, 01:51
You can't show evidence from one study, and make the Jump that DEET is better. That's a bit far fetched, considering there are substances shown to be many times more effective than DEET. Let's be realistic here, because it's way too easy to come in and be negative about an idea. You need to have a higher standard, if you're going to be pessimistic. Now, let me tell you why your opinion is so incorrect. First off, your study is talking about commercially available repellents versus deet: "eight commercially available products, two fragrances, and a vitamin B patch." Hmm, nothing about oils listed there, and I don't know any of the top 8 commercial repellents that are comprised solely with essential oils.

Obviously, it's your opinion that Deet is better. Why do I propose this? If someone had simply done a google search of "essential oil more effective than deet" (https://www.google.com/search?q=essential+oil+more+effective+than+deet), then you would see the preponderance of evidence against your opinion. You must compare the oils that we are discussing versus deet, not some unnamed commercial brand.

Executive summary: Some people think that DEET is the best product available, and refuse to even look at research that shows otherwise.

"In the past few years, a plant derived repellent, PMD has been proven to be suitably efficacious and safe to compete with DEET in the field of disease prevention, and repellents have been recognised by WHO as a useful disease prevention tool to complement insecticide-based means of vector control. The field of plant-based repellent evaluation and development had become far more rigorous in recent years and developments in methods of dispensing plant-based volatiles means that extension in the duration of repellency and consequent efficacy of plant-based repellents will be possible in future." - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059459/

"To our knowledge, this is also the first report showing that the longevity and effectiveness of these natural repellent compounds better than the gold standard repellent, DEET against those blood-sucking insects." - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6145915/ "While comparing the longevity of repellent efficiency between DEET and the coconut fatty acids, a significant stronger repellency was found from the coconut fatty acids even on the 7th day after application, with over 80% repellency remaining (Fig. 3B; P < 0.05). In contrast, the repellency of 10% DEET started to decrease on the third day after application. A second lab bioassay was designed to test bed bug choice between paired tents (harborages) treated with the coconut fatty acids, DEET and or a control showed an increase choice of DEET after 3 days, while the coconut fatty acids treated tents held strong repellency for up to 2 weeks" "For lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, laboratory bioassays showed no significant differences in repellency between the coconut fatty acids and DEET when each was tested at concentration of 0.05 mg/cm2". "An equal repellency between the coconut fatty acids and DEET was found against yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, when each was tested at concentration of >0.4 mg/cm2".

August 28, 2001
American Chemical Society
Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010828075659.htm

I mean, those are just the first couple results of google. They actually show good information, where as the study that you claim shows DEET better than all other gives no such information. I'm sorry, but to me the science is clear. DEET is what people use to think was the best choice. I didn't even discuss Picaridin in detail, or cite any studies about that. It too is rated much better than DEET.

I have heard that B complex helps, but I have not used acv caps, nor odorless garlic. The garlic caps I used were very odorous, and I stopped using them. I'm looking into oils for the space savings. Where a capsule is large and heavy, I wouldn't need but a drop or two of liquid. Maybe I should look into filling my own caps. Do you think ACV would deactivate any of the essential oils? It would be simple to put those two things together.

01-27-2019, 08:20
And then there are more recent studies saying things like this:

(https://academic.oup.com/jinsectscience/article/15/1/140/2583458) Oxford Academic Journal of Insect Science - 2015.

"Reducing the number of host-vector interactions is an effective way to reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases. Repellents are widely used to protect humans from a variety of protozoans, viruses, and nematodes. DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), a safe and effective repellent, was developed during World War II. Fear of possible side effects of DEET has created a large market for “natural” DEET-free repellents with a variety of active ingredients. We present a comparative study on the efficacy of eight commercially available products, two fragrances, and a vitamin B patch. The products were tested using a human hand as attractant in a Y-tube olfactometer setup with Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes albopictus(Skuse), both major human disease vectors. We found that Ae. albopictuswere generally less attracted to the test subject’s hand compared with Ae, aegypti . Repellents with DEET as active ingredient had a prominent repellency effect over longer times and on both species. Repellents containing p-menthane-3,8-diol produced comparable results but for shorter time periods. Some of the DEET-free products containing citronella or geraniol did not have any significant repellency effect. Interestingly, the perfume we tested had a modest repellency effect early after application, and the vitamin B patch had no effect on either species. This study shows that the different active ingredients in commercially available mosquito repellent products are not equivalent in terms of duration and strength of repellency. Our results suggest that products containing DEET or p-menthane-3,8-diol have long-lasting repellent effects and therefore provide good protection from mosquito-borne diseases."

Probably all boils down to repellants that work for some people may not work for others.

01-27-2019, 09:05
DEET, picardin, or oil of eucalyptus have about the same ability to repel mosquitoes


Nothing else can match these, so using price is probably the best approach.

Five Tango
01-27-2019, 10:02
Deet can destroy your gear.In deep summer here in the South I will carry either picardin or Repel Lemon Eucalyptus for "just in case".If I use it,it will be sprayed on the hat or bandanna etc.Permethrin treated clothes will kill the ticks that try to get on you but you need to know how to use it and be careful not to let children or pets in the vicinity when the clothes are wet and in the bucket.(you can use a spray bottle to apply the solution and use much less material).

01-27-2019, 11:49
For me, I plan to douse the majority of my gear in Permethrin. Then, I'm going to supplement my food with essential oils for flavor. This should help with some of my scent. I've also looked into the few products suggested earlier in the thread. The B complex is pretty expensive, so I'll likely leave that out. The ACV capsules and odorless garlic are on my list to purchase. I then have my repelling oils that I am going to apply as needed. As a backup to the backup, I found Off Deep Woods wipes at the dollar tree. I'll carry one wipe, just in case.

Goldenbear, I appreciate your attempt to reframe this discussion. You must understand that how you provided "proof" for deet did nothing to help your credibility. I mean, the study had no information attached to it, just opinion. Now, bringing up cost is an interesting viewpoint. Did you miss the part where these oils are already owned by me? These are at zero cost.

Also, did you miss the part where I describe the other benefits of these oils? Many of them help with sore joints and muscles. Many more help with circulation and clear breathing. Shouldn't you figure in ancillary benefits when considering the products? Deet has only a single use, and it's dangerous at that (chemically and to gear).

Does Deet provide antioxidants, tame an upset stomach, is an anti-fungal against athlete's foot, or improve digestion? I don't think so.

Since you enjoy linking studies, I thought that I'd provide you with a very revealing study about DEET. from http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/deet-ext.html
"Deet is absorbed promptly from the skin and distributed to all organs including the brain and the fetus. The compound is excreted in the milk but primarily in the urine (1, 15, 16).
Using radioautography following intravenous injection of 14C-Deet, high tissue levels were found at first in the liver, kidney, lacrimal gland, and nasal mucosa. Very soon, concentrations higher than that in the blood were found in the thyroid and brown fat. Concentrations were highest and most persistent in the lacrimal gland. Concentrations in the fetus remained lower than those in the mother."...."After 14C-carboxylabeled Deet was applied to the skin of guinea pigs at rates of 1.08 to 1.10 mg/cm2 (rates similar to those used for human skin under practical conditions), over 98% of the total dose was recovered in different experiments. Within 6 hours, 0.149 to 0.152 mg/cm2 was lost by measured evaporation, and this amounted to 13.8 to 13.9% of the applied dose. At the end of this 6hour period, it was possible to recover a further 38.4 to 67.3% of the applied dose by washing the skin with ethanol until no further radioactivity could be removed. Similar proportions of nonradioactive Deet were measured chemically after evaporation and washing. Calculated by difference, the remainder, which had already been absorbed or was still in the skin presumably available for absorption, amounted to 18.9 to 47.8% of the applied dose. In spite of the washing, considerable radioactivity was detected in the skin by an instrument held 2.54 cm above the surface. Activity measured in the same way was 50% after 72 hours and 10% after 216 hours, counting the reading just after washing as 100%. This indicated considerable retention in the skin. When urine was sampled frequently, the highest concentration of radioactivity was found 6.5 hours after application, and considerable radioactivity was still present in 24 hours. Excretion then decreased rapidly but was still detectable 216 hours after application. Of the remainder mentioned above, >93% was measured in the urine, 0.75% was measured in the feces, and activity measured in skin and hair brought the proportion of the remainder actually measured to >94.90% of that determined by difference (1, 19).

Excretion of 14C reached a high level 5 hours after application and remained high until 21 hours after application in a volunteer who had received a single application of a 25% solution of 14CDeet in absolute alcohol on two occasions. The treated skin was washed 8 hours after application, and 8 and 15% of the applied dose were recovered in the two experiments. Smaller total amounts (5.5 and 3.8%) were recovered in the urine (18)."

Goldenbear, do you understand what a credible scientific study looks like? I posted several in my last reply that absolutely prove oils to work as good or better than DEET. Then, you post a consumerreports that claims only oil of lemon eucalyptus works. There's a major problem here...... these studies don't test very many essential oils at all. This consumer report test even concludes that picardin and oil of lemon eucalyptus works well. They're also calling it a fail if the tester gets a single bite in two back to back sessions. I'm sorry, but a scientific study looks at the percentage of mosquitos repelled over a period of time. It's not a blank pass or fail issue. These are absolutely unscientific studies shown..... and how can you prove it? Their "data" is behind a member wall. https://www.consumerreports.org/products/insect-repellent/ratings-overview/ Yep, you can't even look at the data of their "study" without providing them with more viewer data... that's pretty skeezy.

Just read that earlier quoted report on tracking Deet through the body. It needs to be washed off the skin. Are hikers really doing much washing? Does that sound safe in the long run?

"Based on a total of 4996 mosquitoes collected on negative control persons, the overall five hour protection rate was 97.4% [95%CI: 97.1–97.8%], not decreasing over time. Picaridin 20% performed equally well as DEET 20% and better than picaridin 10%." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270489/

I appreciate you linking that Consumer Reports study. This shows that you feel that it provides value. Since that is the case, you should listen to the director of Food Safety from Consumer Reports. "Consumer Reports’ tests have found that some insect repellents, especially those with the chemical DEET, can help keep bugs away. But its safety experts say that the products may also pose risks. “We think that DEET and other chemical-based repellents should be used only if other, safer methods don’t work for you,” says Urvashi Rangan, director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center." from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/chemical-based-insect-repellents-work-but-you-may-want-to-try-safer-alternatives/2014/06/23/e676875c-d789-11e3-95d3-3bcd77cd4e11_story.html?utm_term=.1adb42c96441

To me, that single quote is checkmate against the people who say that DEET prevails over everything. Yes, I've used Deet in the past. Yes it works. No, this should not be your first alternative and the primary repellent that you use. It's also worth noting that the oils that I am using are at full strength, while the commercially available ones just have the oils in it at a lower percentage. There's a big difference between the two, because everyone knows that you need 20 percent or more Deet to really work well. The same is to be said for oils. Also, not every oil is produced the same. Some are higher quality and retain more repelling chemicals due to a better distillation process. If the oil is made with heat, then many more beneficial chemicals can be lost. I'm using cold distilled, oils graded for internal use. That's another sales point in my opinion. I can literally drink my oils. Drinking Deet would be inviting Death to dinner.

Five Tango
01-27-2019, 21:33
Trambo,if you look on Amazon for Kirkland B complex plus electrolytes you can get 500 for a little less than
4 cents each,that's a buck twenty per month.

01-27-2019, 22:52
Trambo, welcome to WB.

Mahalo for providing the links and perspectives. It took more than some snippets of random info to arrive at your conclusions.

For insect repellency it's assumed you're diluting the essential oils in a base. What are you using? I mostly use almond oil as the carrier.

As you I approach repellency using a multi faceted approach.

01-28-2019, 00:00
I'm a bit of an outlier when it comes to essential oil use. Generally, I just slather them on, or ingest them directly with no problem. Now, you've got to be super careful with some of the cinnamons. Earlier this week, I was filling some small 1.4 mL vials, and I had a gentlemanly itch. Needless to say, I now had Cassia oil in a very tender spot. A shower quickly ensued.

As for the oils, I don't plan to dilute them at all. I've got my tick oil mixture that is going to go probably on my skin by my ankles, but maybe just on my socks and my pants cuffs. With these oils, the carrier is the other oils that might not be as effective of a repellent. So, while I could have an effective concentration of one ingredient, I would rather have a blend of many.

01-28-2019, 00:07
That's another thing that studies focusing on commercial repellents fail to account for. If a normal brand has 5% of an active ingredient, then how would we account for twenty different oils, each at 5% concentration, with each giving different repelling characteristics?

Let's also be honest about another reality. The studies that discuss Deet are not discussing someone slathering it on daily for a week straight without a shower. They're discussing the safety of using it in a single instance. We are all allowed to decide which is best for ourselves, however I am choosing to use DEET only as a last resort. I'd rather choose an edible ingredient for my skin applied insect repellent.

01-28-2019, 17:45

I suspect almost all the essential oils labeled cinnamonum are of the cassia or aromatic species, commonly referred to as Chinese cinnamon, rather than true cinnamon Cinnamomum verum or Ceylon cinnamon. I'd be aware C. cassia is a significant source of coumarin which is a blood thinner. Ceylon cinnamon has much much lower coumarin levels. If consistent edible cinnamon use is anticipated on trail I'd seek out Ceylon cinnamon. It's more mild flavor and more mild on the human body. You don't usually find it in main stream large grocery stores. And, if it doesn't say 100% Ceylon cinnamon it isn't. It's C. cassia. Expect to pay 3-5X more per dr oz for Ceylon. Both are quite beautiful tropical looking trees we grow in Hawaii. They can be mildly invasive.

Trambo, you might want to look further into why some 100% essential oils need to be or advised to be diluted before being applied topically or used as aromatics. I'm not sure about using as edibles. And, if I was I'd make sure I was consuming edible essential oils and varieties as some are not advised to be consumed regularly.

01-28-2019, 23:13
As with any use of oils, one must test it for themselves. I have used all of these oils externally and internally for years (probably 7 years or so), with zero ill effects. This doesn't mean that everyone should attempt that, but that they need to test the oils that they desire to use on their own body. As for my oils, I pay extra to go with Doterra. I found that they are much cleaner of aromas and tastes compared to other brands. As for the cinnamon, I have both Cinnamon and Cassia oils. The cinnamon comes from Cinnamomum zeylanicum, aka the verum plant that you referenced.

As for the Doterra oils, they are all graded for internal use. As for not using 100% essential oils, that's just companies having to be careful with instructions, because customers are idiots. Test the oil on a very small part of your body, and then test in the most sensitive area that you will apply it to. In my opinion, an oil should be safe externally if it can be taken internally. The only thing needed to watch out for is skin irritation or burning, but that has to deal more with a person's individual reaction to a particular oil, than a hard rule for safety. You also have to understand that someone died because of misuse of product. A long distance endurance runner slathered wintergreen over their entire body, and died. I think that it was the salycillic acid that killed the runner. That doesn't mean that the oil is dangerous, just that there is the ability to misuse it. FYI, people can die from too much ingestion of any substance (even plain old water).

01-28-2019, 23:45
Let me provide a little more information, because your claims (about not being able to use an oil undiluted), is very common and absolutely incorrect.

"According to Kurt Schnaubelt, author of Advanced Aromatherapy and Medical Aromatherapy: “It appears that most, if not all, of the sweeping generalizations are not inspired by a thorough analysis of potential toxicity, but by a sentiment to err on the side of safety. The aim is to establish simply rules which would prevent a public, often perceived as less than intelligent, from incurring any and all adverse reactions with essential oils”. He recommends that a more balanced approach be adopted based upon individual essential oils and their therapeutic efficacy and safety." from - https://aromaticstudies.com/undiluted-application-of-essential-oils/

Let me also provide this link to the doterra information showing that some oils are able to be used "neat" (aka undiluted). If the rule was never undiluted (like many blogs claim), then the oil company would never suggest undiluted use. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-living-spring-2015-topical-use-of-essential-oils

The best information on this controversy is at the first link that I gave. The second link proves that even manufacturers agree that undiluted use is allowed. This is absolute proof that anyone claiming that oils must always be diluted is absolutely incorrect. i'll stay with the information of a multi-million dollar oil company, than what some people believe and say .... because do they have any knowledge, or are they simply parroting what someone else has said ..... it's the same situation as with DEET. Our understanding of these topics increase over time, so we must be careful which information we spread. Is it antiquated? Is it based upon evidence? Is it to the best of our knowledge?

As for oils, I think that it all boils down to personal experience and body chemistry. That first link describes how people with fairer skin have a more difficult time with sensitivity. This makes sense, and I'm sure there are more personal variables that we aren't considering. In the end, all I know is that I've created my system for use of oils. I know how they react to my skin, and I only purchase from one known company. I know nothing other than my own personal experience.

Edit to add this third link https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-topical-use-of-essential-oils The previously linked doterra article was pulled from a magazine brochure. This link is a basic guide to using oils, and they discuss using oils undiluted. That basic guide then gives a link to their article which talks about carrier oils and dilution rates. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-different-types-of-carrier-oils Here they give a list of oils that need diluted (saying that the rest are neat aka undiluted).

When it comes to using essential oils topically, doTERRA oils are organized into three specific categories. Neat, Dilute, and Sensitive. Oils that are in the Dilute category are those that are high in constituents that are particularly strong, such as phenols. Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Oregano, and Thyme all belong in this designation.

For children and those with sensitive skin, the Sensitive category is especially important to pay attention to. Always dilute oils in this category when using them on your skin for the first time. Oils in the Sensitive category include:

Black Pepper
doTERRA Breathe®
doTERRA Cheer®
Deep Blue®
doTERRA Forgive®
doTERRA Motivate®
doTERRA On Guard®
doTERRA Passion®
Slim & Sassy®
The rest of the doTERRA oils are categorized as Neat if they are meant for topical application. If an oil is categorized as Neat, for most people these will not cause sensitivity. However, if you want to be safe when trying an oil for the first time, you can always test it by diluting it in a carrier oil and putting it on a small patch of your skin.


I hope that this shows you that people who write blogs about essential oils might not have a clue what they are talking about. Incorrect information is really bad in our internet society, because one "expert" can spread tons of disinformation. Saying that you CAN'T do something is very different from saying that you should BE CAREFUL when doing something.

01-29-2019, 14:29
https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/h...f-carrier-oils (https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-different-types-of-carrier-oils)

As said, "some 100% essential oils need to be or advised to be diluted before being applied topically or used as aromatics." One can personally determine this by testing.

I am familiar with Doterra and their site. Thanks for posting.

01-29-2019, 15:19
https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/h...f-carrier-oils (https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-different-types-of-carrier-oils)

As said, "some 100% essential oils need to be or advised to be diluted before being applied topically or used as aromatics." One can personally determine this by testing.

I am familiar with Doterra and their site. Thanks for posting.

Understood. I find it important to spell things out, because others reading this thread won't have the understanding. This is more as a refutation to the "NEVER EVER USE UNDILUTED" school of thought. There's even a theory that they want you to use more, to sell more oils. I'm sorry... not me... I'm going full strength for full repelency. But, it's not as though any single drop will contain 100% of a single oil. I'll have the correct diultion percentages of each oil in each drop (if done correctly).

For me, it's important to show that there are claims to both sides of the debate. If there was only one side, then it would be clear. If two sides, then a person simply needs to look into the information themselves, and decide their own opinion. The ingestion of oils internally is widely debated. My favorite oil blend was equal parts of every single oil that I owned (over 60 varieties at that time). I would carry this in a tiny quarter dram vial, which made application simple. I just ran my finger tip over the hole when it was tilted, and a perfect amount comes out. I then put it right onto my tongue. The taste and sensation is hard to describe, but I enjoyed it much.

01-29-2019, 15:44
Cassia on skin feels like the warm part of Icy-hot. If I was to make a copycat muscle rub like icy-hot, I would mix equal parts of my spicy mix and my cinnamon mix. This "might" be one of the mixes that I dilute with fractionated coconut oil. Then again, I'm planning on carrying regular coconut oil for cooking (as a butter replacement), and I love coconut oil for almost everything. I could simply carry the oil at full strength, warm up some coconut oil in my hand, add a drop of the muscle mix to it, and rub it in. On second thought, as I write this down .... it would be easier just keeping my spicy mix and mint mix separate, and then I could create muscle rub with the oil and addition of those two components when desired. The plus side, is this then fully leaves those oils open for cooking and nutritive use (spicy in oatmeal or dessert), Mint to flavor water, tea, maybe some mint cocoa (who knows).

Now that I think of it, I need to pick up a bottle of this citrus mix called citrus bliss. I loved putting a single drop of that into a glass of water. It made it taste similar to orange juice (just diluted).....but, I loved it. That would be much preferred than the flavoring squirts that I could buy to put into my water.

Also, my absolute favorite vegetable dish to cook was made with an essential oil. I would steam the broccoli just a little bit, while I'm sauteeing a little garlic and onion. The broccoli gets drained, and then sauteed with a little coconut oil. A little black pepper and sea salt is all that's added at this point. When the broccoli get's sauteed, pull it off the heat and let the hot oil cool down a little. Then add a drop of Oregano essential oil to the coconut oil in the pan. Add a little more coconut oil if needed, as you'll want a half tablespoon at least to transfer the flavor of this oil to the broccoli. Mix the oils well, and then toss all of the broccoli in it. I do the oils after the heat, so that I keep all of the flavor and nutrients as possible. For some reason the oregano and broccoli are just amazingly delicious together. You can keep the seasoning simple, and those two flavors together become the star.

Most people think that cooking is difficult. In reality, it's just one or two extra little steps to elevate the meal. Skill can sometimes be the deciding factor between decent and great, but often it's just patience. It intrigues me how many people say that they don't have the time to cook. I view cooking as part of my mental health, something keeping me occupied and sane. I am also going to be writing in a little journal as I gather my thoughts and unwind from the day.

Since more of my time is going to be around food, I need to make that priority of mine when making and breaking camp. The tarp should go up first, with my stove and cooking next. There will be plenty of time to set up the hammock and get camp ready while water is heating up, or something is baking. It's all about efficiency and timing when it comes to cooking. Some chefs would find it difficult to cook a thanksgiving dinner with a single oven. It's this dance of different temperatures for different lengths of time over the day. I excel at that task. This is why I will be able to bake some great meals, and be able to accomplish much in camp. Those 5 or 10 minutes while baking will be time for me to check for blisters, trim nails, examine for ticks etc.

I don't fault someone for thinking that cooking is too laborious of a process. I don't fault them for deciding to leave their stove at home. It's all about priorities, and I prioritize eating yummy food.

01-29-2019, 21:01
Understood. I find it important to spell things out, because others reading this thread won't have the understanding.

I feel ya. No matter the current level of understanding we can further learn from one another when we keep ourselves open to it. No one knows it all. Certainly not myself.

I've enjoyed your input. I've learned a few things. TU.

I will try adding oregano essential oil to coconut oil sautéed broccoli next time. ;)

01-30-2019, 11:17
Thank you Trambo for your insight on essential oils, cooking and time management in camp. http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/images/smilies/dblthumb2.gif