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A REVIEW ON NATURAL INSECT REPELLENT
UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF
Mr. K. SEETARAM SWAMY M. Pharm
( Assistant professor )
Department of Pharmacy
CHILKUR BALAJI COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
(APPROVED BY AICTE, NEW DELHI)
(Affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad,Telangana)
Insect repellants are an alternative to the use of insecticides.
Insecticides which includes mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches etc. It is
commonly known as bug spray. An individual can be protected from
insect bites by using these natural insect repellants these insect repellants
work by masking human scent.
A Natural insect repellant is a spray or lotion, applied to the skin for
the prevention of mosquito bite.Natural mosquito repellents were
preferred over chemical mosquito repellants.
The Insect repellants are used from the ancient period. Different
types of plant oils were used to kill insecticides. Oil of citronella is one
of the mostly uesd repellent from those days.In 1937 dimethyl phthalate,
was discovered.Later several other compounds have been evaluated.
After citronella oil DEET is the most widely used mosquito repellent.It
has less toxic effects. Attempts have been made to find out new active
ingredients,those derived from natural plants to replace synthetic
The nine potential plants were used namely
• Finger root
• Greater galangale
• Siamese Cassia
• Citronella grass
These plants consist of high degree of repellency against mosquitoes.
The potential of volatile oils were extracted from these plants.
•The compounds present in these having repellent characteristics.It is
most effective and provided 2 hours of repellency.
The crude essential oil consists of five active ingredients.It consists of
16 volatile oils.
The 4 main components present in this includes:
Citronella oil has good efficacy against 44 mosquitoes in
concentrations ranging from 0.05% to 15%w/v.
Citronella based herbal mosquito repellant cake which is more
effective and cheaper.
PREPARATION OF CITRONELLA LEAF CAKE
The Fresh leaves should be taken and were grounded into paste
50 to 100 gms of of citronella leaf paste was taken
The different binders were added to it.
Wet weights were taken and then it should be dried.
Dry weight cakes were allowed to dry in sun for 24 hours.
As a result citronella leaf cakes were formed.
In this preparation it also includes cow dung and neem powder.
The Mosquito repellent activity that prepared cakes were checked its flammability,
burning efficacy and effectiveness.
Ash produced by cakes were weighed and recorded.
The cakes were burn in selected mosquito prone areas only. In the evening or night
Only in selected areas only the cakes should be burn for the first time.
The cakes were conducted to check its combustibility.
The Flammability test is done to observe its fumes. The cakes were burnt using
After the burning of that coil is completed the ash which is produced to be collected.
The quantity of ash, irritation produced by different combination of cakes and the time
period should be recorded.
The main point is that the coil should be burn completely.
After that note the high residual percentage and less residual percentage.And compare
with the other combinations.
MOSQUITO REPELLENCY TEST
By selecting mosquito prone areas.
The test should be done in the evening near the bushes, shrubs, and the areas were the
more mosquitoes are present.
After allowing them to burn check if the mosquitoes are present or escaped away
from the burning cakes.If is it is not worked properly then some more inggredients were
added to the preparation for the better results.
It may includes addition of neem powder for the better repellancy activity.
The effectiveness of both the combination was further increased by adding 10%
• The plant compounds are used in preventing attack from phyto phagous
• The repellency of plant material has been exploited for thousands of years
by man, most simply by hanging bruised plants in houses.
• Plants have been used in the form of fumigants where plants were burnt to
drive away mosquitoes and later as oil formulations applied to the skin.
• Natural smelling repellants are preferred because plants are perceived as a
safe and trusted.
In Roman and Indian scholars Plant-based repellents are still extensively
used in this traditional way throughout rural communities in the tropics
because for many of the poorest communities the only means of protection
from mosquito bites that are available, and indeed for some of these
communities, as in the Europe and North America “natural” smelling
repellents are preferred because plants are perceived as a safe and trusted
means of mosquito bite prevention.
Lemon Eucalyptus was discovered in the 1960s during mass screenings of
plants used in Chinese traditional medicine.
Lemon eucalyptus essential oil, comprising 85% citronellal, is used by cos-
metic industries due to its fresh smell.
However, it was discovered that the waste distillate remaining after hydro-
distillation of the essential oil was far more effec-tive at repelling
mosquitoes than the essential oil itself.
Many plant extracts and oils repel mosquitoes, with their effect lasting from
several minutes to several hours.
• Their active ingredients tend to be highly volatile, so although they are
effective repellents for a short period after application, they rapidly
evaporate leaving the user unprotected.
• Citronella. was originally extracted for use in perfumery, and its name
derives from the French citronelle around 1858.
It was used by the Indian Army to repel mosqui-toes at the beginning of the
20th century and was then registered for commercial use in the USA in
Today, citronella is one of the most widely used natural repellents on the
market, used at concentrations of 5-10%. This is lower than most other
commercial repellents but higher concentrations can cause skin sen-sitivity.
• Essential oils distilled from members of the Lamiaceae (mint
family that includes most culinary herbs), Poaceae (aromatic
grasses) and Pinaceae (pine and cedar family) are commonly
used as insect repellents throughout the globe.
• Many members of these families are used in rural communities
through burning or hanging them within homes.
• Almost all of the plants used as repellents are also used for
food flavouring or in the perfume industry, which may explain
the association with these oils as safer natural alternatives to
DEET despite many oils causing contact dermatitis.
• Many commercial repellents contain a number of plant essential oils either
for fragrance or as repellents including peppermint, lemongrass, geraniol,
pine oil, pennyroyal, cedar oil, thyme oil and patchouli.
• The most effective of these include thyme oil, geraniol, pep-permint oil,
cedar oil, patchouli and clove that have been found to repel malaria, filarial
and yellow fever vectors for a period of 60-180 mins.
• Most of these essential oils are highly volatile and this contri-butes to their
poor longevity as mosquito repellents.
• However, this problem can be addressed by using fixa-tives or careful
formulation to improve their longevity.
• For example, oils from turmeric and hairy basil with addition of 5%
vanillin repelled 3 species of mosquitoes .
Currently, the use of synthetic chemicals to control insects and arthropods
raises several concerns related to environment and human health. An alternative is
to use natural products that possess good efficacy and are environmentally
friendly. Among those chemicals, essential oils from plantsbelonging to several
species have been extensively tested to assess their repellent properties as a
valuable natural resource. Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) oil is the essential
oil whose repellent activities have been demonstrated, as well as the importance
of its leaf remains which are generally thrown as waste are the main focus of this
study.Citronella leaf remains in the form of cakes is the first and preliminary
report. In addition, the use of other natural products in the mixture, such as
binders, could increase the protection time, potentiating the repellent effect of
some essential oils.
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