Essential Oils & Ticks

12:28 PM Posted by Jo Pedranti

A tick bite can very serious for humans and animals. Even though all ticks don't carry lyme disease, the chances are pretty high that you may contract it if you're bitten by a tick. Over the years I have come to know quite a few people with lyme disease. It is a very serious disease that can cause a lot of problems. 

What is lyme?
Lyme disease, Lyme borreliosis is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus borrelia. Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are cause most of the lyme disease in Europe while Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto is the main cause of lyme disease in North America. Infected ticks spread the disease by biting humans. Some of the early symptoms may be fatigue, depression, headache and fever and the circular skin rash. If lyme is left untreated, some of the later symptoms may involve the central nervous system, joints, and heart. If the illness is treated early the infection and its symptoms may be eliminated. When the treatment is delayed or inadequate the symptoms can become more serious and difficult to treat.

How to prevent tick bites
Fortunately pests and insects don't like the smell of oils. It is important to apply the oils quite frequently and fortunately the essential oils have other therapeutic properties that will be beneficial.  

I use the oils in different ways:

Oils historically known to repel ticks and other insects are:
Lavender, lemongrass, citronella, Eucalyptus radiata, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, geranium, palmarosa, and palo santo. Gary Young recommends to dilute 20-80 and apply as needed.

How to remove the tick:
If you find a tick still attached to the skin, be very careful and make sure you remove it the right way. It is pretty easy to remove the tick with essential oils. Gary Young suggests to apply 1 drop neat thyme or oregano to make tick loosen from skin. These are hot oils but the main purpose is to remove the tick.

Palo santo is a great choice
Evelyn Vincent has experimented with palo santo essential oils with great result. Evelyn put ticks in three different jars, each jar contained a different essential oil to see which oil was the most powerful against the tick. The jar with palo santo killed the tick within 15 minutes, while the ticks in the jars with an antibacterial blend and peppermint were still alive after two weeks. She says the embedded ticks pull out when 2-3 drops of palo santo are dropped on the site, and the ticks are dead within 15 minutes or less.  

What I would do after the tick is removed
I would to what the Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide suggests, I would apply 1 drop of my favorite antibacterial blend on the site to detoxify the wound.  I would also apply 1 drop neat peppermint every 5 minutes for 50 minutes to reduce pain and infection. It is said that the chances of getting lyme are reduced if the tick is removed in the first 24 hours. I would apply my favorite antimicrobial blend, tea tree (Melaeuca), lavender or my favorite antiseptic blend.

Antibacterial blend:
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis).

Antiseptic blend:
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), naouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and clove (Syzygium aromaticum).

Antimicrobial blend:
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus radiata and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).

Dress in long sleeve shirt and long pants when you are out in areas with lots of ticks. Save your small empty bottles of essential oils and fill them up with suitable oils when you go hiking.

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. Also, Read this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

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