I Must Garden uses only ingredients deemed "generally regarded as safe" by the EPA. Read about all of our ingredients here and see why I Must Garden is considered by many as the best repellent you can buy.
- Cinnamon Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Clove Oil
- Geranium Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Castor Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Blood Meal
- Bone Meal
- Fish Oil
- Meat Meal
- Silica Gel
- Citric Acid
- White Pepper
- Citric Acid
- Fuller's Earth Clay
- Potassium Sorbate
- Soil Sulfur
- Xanthan Gum
Cinnamon OilCinnamon oil is pungent and has a strong, spicy taste, so it is no wonder that animals dislike it. It has a long history as an antiseptic and antimicrobial. Cinnamon is mentioned in a variety of ancient texts from the Bible as an ingredient in Anointing Oil to Chinese writings on botanical medicine dating back to 2700 BC. At one time it was considered more valuable than gold and there was a lucrative cinnamon trade throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The oil in particular was associated with spiritual protection.
Cedar OilCedar oil is used mainly today in aromatherapy and insect repellent, but the ancient Sumerians actually used it as a base for paint. It is the oldest oil known to have been made by humans, and evidence dates back over 4500 years. Many societies referred to it as the "oil of life." It has a characteristic wood scent, which is said to improve many conditions from anxiety to allergies. The ancient Egyptians found that the oil has a preservation quality, and it was injected into body cavities in the embalming process.
Citronella OilCitronella oil is commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics, and is a renowned insect-repellent. The aroma, pleasant to us, has been used in China for centuries as therapy to promote happiness and positive thoughts. In the past it had been used to treat rheumatic pain and also as a remedy for the flu.
Clove OilClove oil is versatile, and well known in dentistry - often used to temporarily relieve toothache pain. It is an antiseptic and analgesic, which is also found in many cold medicines and used in aromatherapy. Because of its qualities as an anti-oxidant it is also an ingredient in oil paints, where it works to slow the drying process. It also works well to repel insects. Historically, the Japanese even used it to polish and clean their swords.
Geranium OilGeranium oil is derived from the geranium plant — a relatively common garden flower that originated in South Africa where they were kept in the home to ward away evil spirits. It is often described as having a strong floral scent with a bit of mint and has insect repelling properties. It is used in aromatherapy to balance the emotions by stimulating the lymphatic system and hormones. In addition, it is good for a variety of skin ailments from acne to the healing of wounds.
Lemongrass oil is similar to citronella oil. It has long been used as a natural pesticide as well as a preservative. In India it was used to cover manuscripts made of palm-leaves to protect the writing, making it last much longer. It is hydrophobic and repels water, which kept the important manuscripts dry and protected. It has anti fungal properties and was also used in medicine to treat fevers. In addition, the versatile oil is used for culinary purposes, such as herbal tea.
Rosemary oil comes from the same plant as the popular kitchen herb of the same name, and is concentrated from the leaves. Ancient Romans used this oil in a variety of religious ceremonies, and it was associated with the goddess of love Aphrodite. In the sixteenth century it was a staple of many herbal medicine practices to treat ailments of the entire body and the mind.
Peppermint oil has an ancient history. Archaeologists have discovered evidence that it was used for medical purposes as far back as ten thousand years. Peppermint is a common flavor in candies and tea and other confections, but in high concentrations it actually irritates the stomach because it is very potent— just a few drops of the oil make a great digestive aid. It contains a cooling agent when inhaled can help with respiration and also soothes the skin if applied topically and when properly diluted.
Thyme oil has a sweet and herbal smell, much like when thyme is used as seasoning. It is very strong and should only be used in small concentrations. Its antiseptic property makes it an ingredient of many commercial mouthwashes and all natural, alcohol-free hand sanitizers. In aromatherapy, it is used to aid concentration and focus. It can be used to stimulate the lungs in treatment for cold and flu symptoms, and it also has a warming agent, which is great for topical pain relief. Historically, the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used it for religion ceremonies. The Egyptians specifically used it in the embalming process of mummification.
Castor oil is derived from the castor bean, which is not actually a bean at all, but technically a seed. This oil has a long history, dating back to ancient Egypt, and the plant it comes from was traditionally referred to as "Palma Christi" or "the palm of Christ." It has been used to help stomach ailments as well as promote healing topically by increasing circulation. It also makes an excellent skin softener. To us it has little or no odor, but many animals find it repugnant.
Vegetable oils are commonly used in the kitchen and those same oils are used in our mixtures. Some vegetable oils have repelling qualities, which are an added bonus, but we also use them to change the physical properties of our repellents. They increase water-resistance, viscosity, and are also fixative agents in the products. They are an excellent, environmentally friendly substitute for the harmful chemicals of other repellents.
Cottonseed oil is regularly used in cooking and in snack foods such as potato chips, and also as an ingredient in salad dressings and mayonnaise. Until the 1940s it was the major vegetable oil used in the United States and now it is third behind soybean and corn oil. Interestingly, the leaves, stems, and roots of the plant also have insect repelling properties.
Garlic has been used throughout history for culinary and medical purposes. It is unknown when or where garlic was first cultivated. The oldest known use of garlic was in ancient Egypt. It is also mentioned in the Bible and Talmud, and has been seen as both good and evil. An Islamic myth states that garlic sprouted in Satan's left footprints and onions in his right when he left the Garden of Eden. In Europe, it gained a reputation for warding off demons, vampires, and werewolves. Hippocrates mentioned the use of garlic to treat parasites, respiratory problems, and lethargy. In Korea it was believed that the unique six clove garlic would give women supernatural powers and immortality when eaten. Modern studies have shown that garlic does possess antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It also thins the blood.
Soybean oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils in the world. It has a unique drying property causing it to slowly harden when exposed to air. It then turns into a waterproof, clear, flexible solid, which leads to it also being used for printing ink and oil paints in addition to culinary uses. In the 1930s, Ford used soybean oil to paint automobiles and also as fluid for the cars' shock absorbers. It is used as a fixative in many insect repellents, not being of its own repelling properties, but because it extends the duration of other essential oils.
Blood meal is dried and powdered blood, which is often used as high-nitrogen, organic fertilizer. It makes excellent compost and works to activate the other nutrients. It is excellent for repelling herbivores as well, who pick up on the scent and then avoid the area believing a predator is nearby.
Bone meal, like blood meal, is a dried powder used for organic fertilizers, rather than potentially harmful chemicals. It is used mainly as a source of phosphorus, which is particularly helpful for bulbous plants. It was once used as a calcium supplement because it is also rich in that element. Bone meal readily absorbs liquids and serves to extend product material allowing for even disbursal.
Eggs, especially rotten eggs, have long been used to repel deer, rabbits and other herbivores. Unfortunately, when used alone, they repel people too.
Fish oil is commonly used today as a dietary supplement and to treat a wide variety of medical conditions from depression to heart disease. It has high concentrations of Omega fatty acids, providing numerous health benefits and minimal negative effects. It has long been used medicinally in parts of the world where fishing was common to treat everything from minor pain to memory loss. Fish oil was also once used as the main base of many paints, but has now been replaced by chemicals. Fish oil is very sticky and we add it to our products to make them rain-resistant.
Meat meal, like blood meal, has high amounts of phosphorus making it a good organic fertilizer. Meat meals are used in dog and cat foods. Meat meal readily absorbs liquids and serves to extend product material allowing for even disbursal.
Molasses is a by-product of making sugar cane into sugar. It gets its name from mel, the Latin word for sugar. It is a common ingredient in baking, especially gingerbread cookies. It is also used in dark stouts and ales, and can be fermented into rum. It can be used as a chelating agent to remove rust. As a fertilizer, it can be added to soil to promote microbial activity to enhance flower blooming and fruit enhancing.
Paprika is made from grinding up dried sweet bell peppers and is most often used as a coloring agent, garnish or seasoning. Christopher Columbus is thought to have brought the spice to Europe where it eventually migrated to Hungary where it is renowned and used frequently.
Silica gel is actually a solid, contrary to its name. It is usually granular or beaded. It is most commonly encountered in packaging to control humidity to avoid degradation. It was patented in 1919 by Walter A. Patrick and was used in World War I to absorb vapors in gas mask canisters. In World War II it kept penicillin dry and protected military equipment. Diatomaceous earth is crystalline-free silica often used in cat litter and agriculture as an acceptable organic livestock feed.
Soil sulfur lowers the PH of soil, making it more acidic. This promotes activity and the development of vital enzymes in root growth and seed production. It also helps in chlorophyll formation
These ingredients are used in the mixing and blending process of our products. Many are natural preservatives, rather than artificial chemicals, and serve to prolong the effectiveness of our products. Others also affect the Ph of the mixtures, stabilizing them. Some change the consistency of the mixtures, making them superior topical repellents. or granular repellents. that work under the widest range of conditions.
Citric acid is a naturally occurring organic acid. It works well as a preservative and is used in the culinary world to add flavor to foods and beverages, particularly soft drinks. It can also be used as an environmentally friendly cleaner. Citric acid was discovered in the 6th century and its use is mentioned in medieval encyclopedias. It has many uses including, but not limited to: an ingredient in food coloring, an alternative to white vinegar, wine and beer production to increase the acidity, a ripening agent for mozzarella cheese, and slowing the settling of cement. It will stabilize and lower the PH of potassium sorbate, making preservation optimal.
Fuller's Earth Clay
Fuller's earth is a non-plastic clay material. It is most often used in filtering processes to purify oils and greases and as kitty litter. It occurs naturally and in the United States it is mined, often being found with calcite, dolomite, and quartz. It gets its name because fullers originally used it. The process of fulling is a step in wool cloth making, in which oils, dirt, and other impurities are eliminated from the wool. Fuller's earth absorbs these impurities. Modern uses include the decontamination of clothing after exposure to some chemicals and common fabric cleaners.
Potassium sorbate is primarily used as a food preservative. It inhibits mold and yeast in cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meats, soft drinks, and baked goods. The use of potassium sorbate does not have any known negative side effects and allergic reactions are rare. In the wine making process it is mostly used in sweet wines, sparking wines, and hard cider because it prevents re-fermentation after the sweetening agents are added.
Sodium Chloride (Salt)
Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride. It is essential to animal life in small quantities, but harmful in excess, causing conditions such as high blood pressure. Salt is involved in regulating water content in the body and is important in food preservation. It was the main form of preservation, especially for meat, for many thousands of years. Salt was also used as a funeral offering in ancient Egypt. There are many verses in the Hebrew Bible mentioning salt, including the story of Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt after escaping Sodom and Gomorrah. Salt is involved in the consecration of churches and also Holy Water. In Pagan religions, it is often associated with the earth and often used in cleansing rituals.
Vinegar is produced during the fermentation of ethanol. Its name comes from the French word vinegar, which means, "sour wine." It has been used and made for thousands of years and as far apart as ancient Egypt and ancient China. Roman legionaries drank a mixture of water, vinegar, and honey called pocha. It is use in food preparation, a condiment and for pickling. It can be used as a cleaning and polishing agent. It is also good for killing weeds.
Xanthan gum is a food additive, commonly a thickening agent. It is also used in cosmetics as a stabilizer. It is a by-product of the fermentation of sucrose, fructose, or lactose. It was first discovered in the 1950s and commercially produced in the 1960s. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 1969. It is unique because a very small quantity of it will substantially increase the viscosity of liquids. In salad dressings and sauces it often appears in amounts as small as .05%. It can also be found in toothpastes and ice cream.