The UK's Defense Science Technology Laboratory discovered that citriodiol—a natural active ingredient found in insect repellent—can add an extra level of protection against COVID-19, as reported by The New York Post.
Britain's armed forces
were told to use citriodiol as an additional protective measure to kill strains
of the coronavirus; a military source told Sky
News in April that there is enough evidence to
consider it "a new layer of protection against COVID-19."
The troops were advised
to continue to use face masks, wash their hands, and employ other means to
combat the coronavirus because the repellent is not adequate on its own to prevent
the spread of COVID-19. When tested on synthetic latex skin, the virus was
still partially intact after a four-hour period,
according to The Guardian.
Citriodiol is commonly found in the leaves of eucalyptus citriodora
trees, also known as lemon eucalyptus, and is
effective against insects, insect bites, and ticks.
containing citriodiol can help protect against the strain of the coronavirus as
long as it doesn't also contain deet, which is another common active ingredient
found in insect repellents.
Citriodiol is found in
Mosi-guard, Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray, and
REPEL plant-based lemon eucalyptus insect repellent.
The renewable resource
contains p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), which is found in low levels of essential
oils, not usually exceeding 1-2 percent. The process of increasing the PMD can
make citriodiol a much more powerful repellent in comparison with using the
natural essential oil alone.
The managing editor of
Citrefine International Ltd., Jacqueline Watson, is hopeful that the naturally
sourced ingredient can eventually terminate the virus, and she wants the
government to help conduct a formal testing program, according to Sky
"What we can say is that
we do feel there is a good chance it could work against this virus, but it does,
of course, need to be thoroughly tested," Watson said.