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Friday, August 5, 2016

Fair Friday- All Natural Insect Repellent

Over the last two years I have been making small changes to my eating to help me be healthy and perform better as an athlete. Those small changes add up over time and now I am starting the same process to eliminate harmful chemicals from my personal and cleaning products.

My first candidate was insect repellent.  The effective agent in most insect products is DEET. It is effective but potentially harmful.

Since the mosquito's get pretty bad here in Wisconsin, I still needed something when I am outside.  So I did an Internet search and came up with two versions.

Essential Oils choose from: citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, lavender, mint, cinnamon, rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, oregano, basil, oregano, orange, pine,  peppermint

Natural Witch Hazel
Distilled water
Vegetable glycerin (optional)

Fill an 8 ounce spray bottle half full of distilled water.
Add witch hazel almost to the top.
Add 1/2 tsp glycerin
Add 30 to 50 drops of any combination of essential oils.  The more oils used, the stronger the spray.

Vodka can be used in place of the witch hazel.

If the spray will be used during the day do not use any citrus such as lemongrass. Citrus essential oils make your skin sun sensitive and you can get a sunburn.

Be sure to shake the bottle before each use.  I used a mixture when I was in Dallas last week and the only time I got any bites was when I forgot to wear it.  I did a day time blend with no citrus and a night time blend that had several citrus oils.

Both  mixtures had tea tree, lavender, citronella, peppermint and eucalyptus.  For the night time mixture I added orange and lemon oil.  The citronella was a bit strong for me so next time I may try less/

The mixture can be tailored for different types of insects:

Mosquitoes-citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemon grass, geranium, lavender

Ticks- rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, oregano

Fleas- cedar wood, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange, pine.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and will represent the US at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 196 members in 37 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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