Although outbreaks of mosquito borne diseases in Thailand are not uncommon, generally the Thai people don’t seem to get bitten by mosquitoes as much as your average tourist or expat, you just don’t see Thais walking around with the unsightly red bumps caused by mosquito bites, but it’s quite common to see tourists with the tell tale signs of a mosquito feasting on their legs. Or maybe the Thais do get bit but they don’t suffer from effects of allergenic reaction to mosquito bites which causes the unsightly bumps. I suspect diet goes a long way towards making Thai people less attractive to mosquitoes, I’m not suggesting you eat only Thai food, but I am suggesting some foods may actually repel mosquitoes.
Garlic seems to be one of the most popular foods for preventing mosquito bites. It is thought that simply eating significant amounts of garlic can deter mosquitoes from biting you, this might be due to chemical compounds in the garlic or it may be due to the odour of garlic seeping from the skin pores which masks the natural body odours like carbon dioxide, sweat and lactic acid and prevents the mosquito from homing in on you. Garlic is available as a mosquito repellent in spray form, though I’m not sure if it is commercially available here in Thailand.
Bananas!, can eating bananas prevent mosquitoes from biting or not ?, there are a lot of mixed opinions as to whether eating bananas deters or attracts mosquitoes, one goes so far as to suggest that bananas do deter mosquitoes but they must be the small ‘finger’ variety of banana which is common throughout Thailand and the rest of S.E.Asia. Bananas are rich in potassium which is thought to attract mosquitoes, I guess we will have to leave the bananas hanging in the balance, one good thing in their favour, rubbing the inside of a banana skin on a mosquito bite can stop the mosquito bite itching.
Citrus fruits, oranges, limes and especially lemons are supposed to be a good mosquito deterrent, try a lemon shake every morning.
Vitamin B1 ‘Thiamine’ taken in high dosages every day, and up to 2 weeks before travelling is sworn by many people to ‘stop mosquitoes biting’. Always seek professional advice before taking high dosages of any supplement, it may cause mineral imbalances etc.
Onions seem to be good for just about anything, try eating onions raw to deter the dreaded mosquito bites, they are also one of many possible remedies which might stop mosquito bites itching.
One of the many benefits of eating spicy food is that its base ingredients contain onions, chillies, garlic and coriander are all reputed to have mosquito repelling qualities.
Other food and drinks which might act as a mosquito deterrent are brewers yeast, Marmite, try drinking 2 – 3 tea spoons of cider vinegar mixed with water, tonic water because it contains ‘quinine’ a natural mosquito repellent.
Some foods which attract mosquitoes.
Food you should avoid if you don’t want to get bitten by a mosquito are salty foods and any food with substantial amounts of carbohydrates, I guess I should also include bananas here because as i said, there seems to be a mixed opinion about bananas.
Food as natural remedies to mosquito borne diseases.
Besides deterring mosquitoes, many of these foods (listed above) can boost your immune system and help you to recover from mosquito borne diseases. Many food items have been recognised for their ability to the fight the symptoms of dengue fever, papaya leaves are amongst the popular natural dengue fever remedies, the juice form papaya leaves increases blood platelet levels which are depleted by dengue.
In summery, even if you are sceptical about the effectiveness of food as a mosquito repellent, there can be no doubt about the effectiveness of the right foods making you less susceptible to the effects of mosquito borne diseases, and in the case of dengue fever, being an effective natural remedy to aid standard treatment.