This recipe for homemade insect repellent has been used for generations in our village. It is the same recipe that we use in arathi thattu for weddings. When my son was a baby, everyday I used to put him to sleep in thooli / Indian baby hammock. I followed all the traditions that was practiced for generations in raising a baby. Though at first I didn't understand the reason for certain traditions, I just followed them, trusting my elders. Now that I am researching into our home remedies and traditions, I am so glad I followed the instructions of my elders. Now all these customs and traditions are backed by science and I am able to understand the reason for these traditions much better now. One such custom is placing a bowl filled with navadhanya grains, slaked lime and turmeric paste under the Indian baby hammock/ thooli. I never under stood the meaning for this ritual, but since I am a firm believer of our traditions, I used to religiously keep the bowl under his bed. Now it has been proven that this mixture is one of the best homemade insect repellent recipes and it helps to protect the child from insect bites. Navadhanya grains is used mainly for navagraha pooja and it contains nine cereals combined together. The navagraha pooja is a prayer offered to the nine planets and the navadhanya grains are said to be effective in purifying the energy field of the place. We get navadhanya grains already mixed together in markets. To make this homemade insect repellant, first get fresh turmeric paste by rubbing a turmeric over a coarse stone. Mix together navadhanya grains, turmeric paste and water in a bowl. Now to the turmeric and navadhanya mixture, add slaked lime till the mixture turns red. Place this homemade insect repellent mixture under the thooli/ Indian baby hammock. You can also use this recipe for making arthi during ceremonies.
1. Rub a piece of turmeric on a coarse stone to get turmeric paste.
2. These are the navadhanya grains.
3. Mix the navadhanya grains, water and turmeric paste to make a very runny mixture.
4. Add the slaked lime to the mixture till it turns red.
You can use good quality turmeric powder, instead of turmeric paste for this homemade insect repellent.
If you have bought a large pack of navadhanya, dry it well in sunlight for a day then store it.
We change this mixture every day, but you can use it for 2 to 3 days too.