A Frederick business owner has developed products she thinks can help slow the spread of mosquito-transmitted viruses, including one that spread to the U.S. this year.

Misti Morningstar, owner of Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick, created Mosquito Power Shield this year after learning about the Chikungunya virus, which originated in Asia, spread to the Carribean last year and now has made its way to the U.S.

Frederick business owner develops mosquito repellant

Misti Morningstar, owner of Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick, has created Mosquito Power Shield in the forms of soap, oil and natural incense. Misti Morningstar adds ingredients to the solution of 12 oils extracted from plants. Staff photo by Bill Green

As of Aug. 5 there were four locally-transmitted cases confirmed in Florida, and 480 cases of U.S. travelers who picked up the virus in another country, including nine cases in Maryland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Morningstar has been selling the soap, oil and natural incense in her shop at 10 E. Church St. since July. The soap and oil are made of 12 essential oils extracted from plants. Combined, they have properties that are antiviral, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and restorative, Morningstar said.

Environmental Protection Agency testing has shown that mosquito repellent with chemicals and synthesized plant oils protect for longer periods than unsynthesized plant oils, but Morningstar said she is committed to finding solutions to health problems using nature alone.

“I believe the answers to solving many diseases lie within nature,” Morningstar said.

Frederick business owner develops mosquito repellant

Misti Morningstar, owner of Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick, has created Mosquito Power Shield in the forms of soap, oil and natural incense. Staff photo by Bill Green

Morningstar began to develop the products about a year ago when talking to a friend from Africa and learning more about malaria. She tabled the project for a few months, but then started to really research how to make it happen after visiting the Dominican Republic in January.

A month before she arrived in Punta Cana, a type of mosquito-borne virus called Chikungunya had spread to the region. The virus causes fever and joint pain, but does not often result in death, according to the CDC.

The county’s health department and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are both monitoring closely the spread of the virus, said Darlene Armacost, program manager of communicable disease and preparedness for the county.

Morningstar said she used essential oils to create her products because they are healthier for us and the environment, and offer anti-viral and anti-bacterial solutions, unlike chemical sprays and lotions.

“A natural solution with protection beyond just being a repellent is better and in the long run will save lives and our environment,” she said.

Frederick business owner develops mosquito repellant

Misti Morningstar fours 35 pounds of the completed mixture into a mold that will be cut into bars once hardened. Staff photo by Bill Green

Camille Turgeon, one of Morningstar’s friends and customers, said the first time she used the soap, she used it before going out on a patio with friends.

“Everyone got eaten up but me,” Turgeon said.

Turgeon said she has passed it along to friends and family members. She also vouches for the product’s ability to help once you are bitten by an insect.

Turgeon said she uses only natural products.

“I believe in holistic approaches,” she said.

The county suggests that people protect themselves against mosquito-transmitted viruses using guidelines from the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Armacost said.

The state department follows CDC recommendations that include using insect repellent that has been registered with the EPA, and then following instructions on the product label.

The CDC website lists dozens of registered products. The products that protect skin the longest, between six and 14 hours, have active ingredients that include DEET, picaridin, IR3535, p-Menthan-3,8-diol, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

Morningstar said that the anti-viral properties in her products that can’t be found in others are derived from star anise.

She plans to work with her friend to ship her products to Africa, to test it at the store’s cost.

“Working with nature and coming up with better ideas and systems to implement for the good of everyone, to live a better and healthier life, is a mission we stand behind,” she said.

Follow Jen Fifield on Twitter: @JenAFifield.

Details:

Savage Soaps

10 E. Church St., Frederick

www.savagesoaps.com, 301-694-8805

Frederick business owner develops mosquito repellant – The Frederick News-Post : Health.

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