Here’s an interesting one: essential oils have antiseptic properties and have such medical uses as hand cleaners in physicians offices to preventing post surgical infections (rather than antibiotics) in hospitals. Intrigued, I googled around on the subject and found a few additional recipes to the Thieves Oil discussed in the Time’s article. I made one up using lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus and tea tree oils (12 drops or so each/ 4oz of water in a mister bottle) that I use as a hand sanitizer in my clinic.
The one I made also seems to be keeping the ants out of the kitchen. I mist the counters with the spray. Last year someone some recommended cinnamon for ants, so i got a few 12″ sticks and placed them around the kitchen where the ants hang out. It seemed to reduce the population markedly. I got the idea of using the spray from my eco-exterminator who says wintergreen, thyme and rosemary deter insects, especially ants.
Here’s a link to the NY Time’s article about cinnamon oil’s antiseptic uses:
Here’s a video from NBC that shows how to easily make the thieves oil discussed in the Times article:
Below is an abstract of one of the studies cited in the Times article.