Beauty Berry is a relatively hardy shrub located in the southeastern woods. It has purple berries that ripen in the fall. This bush was traditionally used by farmers who would use the branches to protect their horses. They would put the branches in between the saddles and the horses' backs and as the oils were released, the horses were protected.
It has since been used for ages on humans as well. Simply crushing the leaves by hand releases the natural oils. The oils can then be applied to the skin giving protection from harmful insects.
In 2006, the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS concluded that the extract matches DEET in effectiveness against mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, and more for three hours at a time. Science, it seems, caught up with what people already knew.
Have you ever used beauty berry as an insect repellent? Did you know about beauty berry? Please share your experiences on Twitter using #alacuisinellc.