World Malaria Day 2017: Fight Malaria with These Mosquito Repelling Plants and Oils

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: April 25, 2017 16:02 IST

World Malaria Day 2017: Fight Malaria with These Mosquito Repelling Plants and Oils
  • You can keep these plants in your house
  • Crush their leaves and rub onto your skin like a natural insect repellent
  • Essential oils can also be put to use to repel mosquitoes
This World Malaria Day the focus is on prevention and educating people about the numerous ways that can aid in protecting from the infected mosquitoes. One of the best ways to keep the disease at bay is by ensuring a cleaner environment and not making your house conducive of mosquito development. If you like your space all green and love gardening, you can use this interest in a way to beat malaria and other mosquito borne diseases. We did our research and found that some of the plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay. So, don't ditch your everyday mosquitoes coil or repellent creams if you don't want to, but keep these plants to fight mosquitoes naturally.

American Beautyberry
Also known as Callicarpa Americana, this plant has proven effects against mosquitoes and a host of insects. Charles Cantrell, an ARS chemist in Oxford, and Jerry Klun, an ARS entomologist in Beltsville, Md., found that rubbing its leaves on the skin helps ward off biting mosquitoes and insects like ants and ticks. The information was quoted by ScienceDaily and provided by the University of Mississippi.

(Also Read: 8 Genius Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites That Really Work!)

This commonly used herb is not only excellent for cooking purposes but also for insect repelling, especially mosquitoes. "Lemongrass helps in keeping mosquitoes at bay. One can even try lemon balm. The citrus notes of these plants do the trick," Vijay Chetiwal, Green India, indoor and outdoor green solutions.

lemongrass 625

As per the study, 'Plant-based insect repellents' published US, National Library of Medicine's online journal; many insects react to the odour released by certain plants, the odour is trapped in their antennas. Insects therefore avoid coming in contact with such plants. Citronella is one such plant that is really effective in warding off mosquitoes. "Many plant volatiles are deterrent or repellent because they have high vapour toxicity to insects," notes the study. Citronella and lemongrass belong to the same Cymbopogon family.


The superpower of neem is not new to the world. From Ayurvedic concoctions to grandma's home-remedies, neem has been a traditional favourite as a cure to many everyday woes. "Neem is widely advertised as a natural alternative to DEET - the most common active ingredient used in insect repellents. Several field studies from India have shown very high efficacy of neem-based preparations. it may confer some protection against nuisance biting mosquitoes," 'Plant-based insect repellents: A review of their efficacy, development and testing 'by Marta Ferreira Maia and Sarah J Moore.

neem leaves 625

You can keep these plants in your house, crush their leaves and rub onto your skin like a natural insect repellent. Essential oils and some other ingredients can also be put to use to repel insects and mosquitoes. Items like glycerin, coconut oil, lavender oil and soybean oil also help keep insects at bay.

essential oils

Essential oils derived from the mint, pine and cedar family have commonly been put to use in making insect repellents. Thyme oil, peppermint oil, clove oil among others have been known to repel malaria-causing mosquitoes.

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