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ACS Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass

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posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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Not to be punny, but you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Since this is a plant usually associated with Indigenous Ceremony and basket weaving, till now the mainstream had overlooked it's practical applications. In a study done by the American Chemical Society I was shocked at all the proper science used to come to an official conclusion. The chemical compounds in Sweetgrass are as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitos. With the Zika scare currently underway this has some real world applications besides for the fly fisherman or camper.

Know this news was from August, but just came across it.


To test the mosquitoes’ aversion to the oil, the researchers filled small vials with a red-colored feeding solution that mimicked human blood and covered the vials with a thin membrane. Then, they coated the membranes with different substances: the sweetgrass oil, alternative sweetgrass extracts obtained without steam distillation, the gold-standard insect repellent N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) or the ethanol solvent control. Then, the bugs got the chance to either bite the membranes to get to the blood or pass them by. The researchers observed what the insects did, counting how many mosquitoes went for a bite of each type of “blood” vat.

“Then you take the mosquitoes and squish them on some paper,” says Cantrell. “If they have the blood mimic in them, you see it right there on the paper.” Of the sweetgrass extracts, the steam-distilled oil got the fewest mosquito bites, matching the repellent potency of DEET.

The next step was to figure out the exact chemicals that give the sweetgrass oil its anti-mosquito power. The researchers purified the oil into 12 fractions and again checked their ability to ward off the bugs. They found three fractions that repelled mosquitoes as well as the oil. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, the researchers identified two chemicals in these active fractions that seemed to be responsible for putting off mosquitoes: phytol and coumarin.



Credit: Andrew Maxwell Phineas Jones, University of Guelph


www.acs.org...
edit on 18-9-2016 by Caver78 because: add pics




posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 11:51 AM
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I live in North Carolina. North Carolina is a big forest where roads, stores, homes, and agriculture is carved out of that forest. Hence there should be a lot of bugginess. Surprisingly where I live, the mosquito annoyance factor is low. Sure you must use a repellent or suffer the consequences. Deet makes me physically ill, my joints the ones being affected, then mobility. I can not use it without expecting to be incapacitated within hours.

What I have found that works well is a product called .... 'REPEL Natural' .... It is available at Wally's and I'm sure sporting goods stores, and likely more. It works Well, though the fragrance is a bit 'Flowery' It must be applied about every hour and a half or so, then you can expect good results and did I mention it's flowery.

I think this might lean towards a less 'chemical' extract potion.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: Plotus

Thanks for the tip!

I currently use water with a high quality lavender oil in it because DEET gives me chemical burns on my skin.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not all chemically sensitive and have worked with some hard core stuff. It's a hoot that when camping my site smells like a nu-age store exploded.


When I first read the article my first thought was GREAT! now the price of Sweetgrass is going to skyrocket more than it already has, last year was a bad year for it. But then I settled down and realized this will encourage more growers and make it more available. Hopefully!



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 12:05 PM
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The main active ingredient that I could determine was this :
Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol. It is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil. It also occurs in small quantities in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils. It appears as a clear to pale-yellow oil ...



Hence I guess the fruitiness. I believe your sourcing Plant life that acts as a natural deterrent is likely a very beneficial in respect to chemical poisons and deterrents.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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This is very interesting. When I was at the Pow Wow this summer I was talking about the properties of the four different things they had near the fire. One of them was sweetgrass. The Indian guy mentioned it could be used to repel bugs but I thought he was referring to it being thrown in the fire.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Believe it or not I've been to plenty of Pow-Wow's and never heard that, which is why this surprised me so much!
Plus it's been so expensive it's not like anyone was burning it willy-nilly.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 01:42 PM
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originally posted by: Caver78
a reply to: rickymouse

Believe it or not I've been to plenty of Pow-Wow's and never heard that, which is why this surprised me so much!
Plus it's been so expensive it's not like anyone was burning it willy-nilly.



These are the four things they had at the fire. I was talking to the tender of the fire at the PowWow asking about the properties of the four things they had there. www.oocities.org...

Sage, Tobacco, Switchgrass, and ceder were the four they had. I forgot the fourth one and had to look it up, it was tobacco. I better go out and have a cigarette, forgetting that means I need one.

They just throw a little bit on the fire, they had four bowls on a piece of wood by the fire. I am always curious so I asked the young fire tender and he had to ask the old woman who was there.

Curiosity does not always kill the cat.



posted on Sep, 18 2016 @ 01:52 PM
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LOL!!
I was told bear grease, & used it....for the skeeters. lets just say my husband was a saint?



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