It's summer, here in Wisconsin, that means tick season. GROSS! Nothing makes my skin crawl or feel like something is crawling on me, (when nothing actually is), like seeing a tick. ACK! Heebeejeebee time! Seriously.
I have been shown a tick removal video done by a doTERRA sales person using peppermint essential oil far too many times. Not only is this unsafe, it is wasteful and very dangerous.
Let's go over the reason's why you should NOT do this.
Applying undiluted peppermint essential oil to your skin is not recommended. Peppermint is considered a HOT essential oil and can very easily burn you.
Applying an essential oil, vaseline, nail polish, gasoline, hot match or anything else to a tick, can cause the tick to suffocate and die while the head is still in your body.
When a tick dies while still attached to you, if it hasn't already, it will regurgitate infected (hopefully it isn't carrying a tick borne illness) material from its gut into your bloodstream. You could then be infected with any tick-borne illness it is carrying.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. It takes a lot of plant material to obtain a bottle of pure oil. One drop of peppermint oil is like drinking 28 cups of herbal peppermint tea. It also takes 50 roses to get one drop of rose essential oil. Kind of puts things into perspective.
Remember, everything you put into your body, your elimination organs need to filter out. If you don't truly need the essential oil for medical reasons, save it for later, when you do. Like after the tick is removed.
CDC Recommendation for Tick Removal
Taken directly off the CDC website. This is how they recommend removing a tick.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
A few years back I bought some tick keys at our veterinarian's office. Little did I know they would become invaluable. Very easy to use, inexpensive and has removed the tick and it's head EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
After the tick is removed and properly disposed of, this would be a good time to add a diluted essential oil to the affected area. Watch for the tell-tale bullseye around the bite or any signs of illness. Here is a link to the CDC for signs and symptoms of illness. https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/symptoms.html. My family have already had tick bites this year. I have diluted Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) at the ready. They are safe for children over 6 months old. Studies show they may keep infection at bay.
Keep your dilution at 0.25-2% (1/4 - 2%), depending on age. 0.25% is 1-2 drops of EO in 1 ounce of carrier oil, 1% is 5-6 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil, and 2% is 10-12 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil. Err on the side of caution to use the least amount of essential oil you should for a particular age. You can always add more but you can't take away once it's applied. Should you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Love and light,
Caution: The material on this page is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.