When you hear that egg whites add a healthy shine to your hair or an avocado face mask can make your skin glow, it’s always a letdown when these cute folk remedies fail to offer the touted benefits. But sometimes, there is real truth behind the old wives tales.
After studying common insect repelling practices in India, researchers in Mississippi landed upon a new compound that seems to protect people from bloodthirsty mosquitos. Jatropha curcasseeds are burned in lamps similar to the Citronella candles we have in the US. In India, the smoke from the seed oil keeps mosquitos from entering homes and protects the surrounding area from these irritating pests.
Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service found that, like with current popular insect sprays, the exotic Jatropha smoke contains free fatty acids. When scientists isolated the various compounds responsible for mosquito repellency, they saw that triglycerides were also present in the smoke. This was quite a find. Though free fatty acids are a common occurrence in bug repellents, triglycerides could theoretically create a more potent and effective solution to deter bugs.
The lead scientist, Charles Cantrell, is exploring additional properties from other plants. The team hopes that combining triglycerides with existing insect repellent treatments, or studying plants with characteristics similar to Jatropha, will lead to the development of a more effective pest control product. The Moxie team always stays on top of emerging trends in the industry. This initial research is promising and will hopefully lead to expanded use of Jathropha oil in the pest control business.
Mosquitos may not be a big concern during the winter months but if you live somewhere warm or muggy, odds are, relief from itchy welts sounds like a dream. Don’t automatically dismiss folk remedies as urban legend until you know for sure – sometimes it’s those common cures that work best of all!