Natural health is a part of Jamaica’s culture, with many of us relying on all-natural remedies to protect against disease and stimulate healing.
It’s no wonder that during the Zika Virus outbreak, Jamaicans flocked to all-natural solutions to protect themselves against the dreaded mosquito bite. One such solution is the use of natural insect repellents that contain pure essential oils, such as lemongrass, citronella and lemon eucalyptus oils.
Studies show that these essential oils are effective, non-toxic alternatives to DEET, the chemical most commonly used in popular mosquito repellents. DEET has been found to be harmful if ingested, and can have negative effects on the central nervous system.
According to the Center of Disease Control, a US-based governmental body, the use of lemon eucalyptus oil, in properly formulated mosquito repellent products, has been tested and proven effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Most recently, with the surge in mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, many Jamaicans have gone back to their roots, opting to use lemongrass oil and other natural products containing the oil, as their go-to insect repellent.
Lemongrass grows in abundance in Jamaica and is indigenous to the island. Jamaicans have long revered the power of lemongrass as a powerful herb for healing. Along with being an effective insect repellent, lemongrass boosts the immune system, reduces fever, eases stomach pain, cures colds and flus, and relieves depression.
Citronella, like lemongrass, is a known insect repellent as well, and also has a variety of health benefits, including its ability to help alleviate migraines, stomach pains, menstrual cramps and respiratory issues.
These factors have presented a number of business opportunities in Jamaica.
Our Jamaican-based business, Starfish Oils, has leveraged some opportunities. We are an all-natural aromatherapy company, and now the largest retailer of natural mosquito repellent products in Jamaica. We use both lemongrass and citronella oils as the main ingredients for our No Mosquito Candle and No Mosquito Spray products. Earlier this year, when Zika Virus afflictions were at an all-time high in Jamaica, Starfish Oils’ No Mosquito spray and candle were in great demand, with sales of these products skyrocketing like never before. Jamaicans and tourists alike sought out and relied on the all-natural spray and candle to protect them against mosquito bites. Similarly, in Miami, Florida, online sales of the product line also increased significantly, as persons seek a non-harmful alternative to the common, toxic mosquito repellent.
We have also utilized the advantages of e-commerce by selling our products online via our website. We are an example of how businesses can thrive in Jamaica through maximizing various opportunities. We encourage entrepreneurs to continue highlighting that Jamaica is a great place to do business!