Science Investigatory Project Essay
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DOES A LEMON GRASS EXTRACT PREVENT A MOSQUITO BITES?
I. ABSTRACT: We the researcher conduct this study due to economic crisis now a days. Its aim to create a product of insect repellent which is cheaper and could give the same quality which the commercial one could give through lemon grass. Insect repellent are important tools for prevention of insect borne – diseases as well as painful or uncomfortable insect bites. And one natural insect repellent is the lemon grass (Cymbopogon Citratus).
Determining the effectiveness of lemon grass as insect repellent is the main goal of the study. Specifically, it intends to apply the Steam Distillation Technique in obtaining the natural elements and essential oil of lemon grass such as citral and citronella. Lemon grass is a native herb from temperate and warm regions such as India, is widely used in Asian cooking and is an ingredient in many Thai and Vietnamese foods. Lemon grass use in cooking has become popular in the Caribbean and in the united states for its aromatic citrus flavor with a trace of garlic. Lemon grass is a member of specie of grass that grows to as high as 1 meter with leaves of 1 to 1.5 centimeters in width that grows from a stalk of about 30 to 80 cm long with bulbous lower end.
a. Background of the study
* Our experiment project is about the effectiveness and benefits of lemon grass in our lives. We use the lemon grass extract as insect repellent. Not only the extract of lemon grass will be use, we mixed other substance like garlic, olive oil, and eucalyptus oil to be more effective. Our product is the most alternative way or cheapest way to protect ourselves from mosquito bites and diseases that came from the other insects. You do not need to buy anything like “Baygon Spray”. We research this lemon grass, we saw and proved that the lemon grass has the ability to repel mosquitoes. We research also about the different benefits of this lemon grass. Lemon grass can be a tea or food scenting.
b. Statement of the problem / objectives
1. General objectives
* The lemon grass has a substance that help the other plants to grow and prevents insect. It helps the insect distracted by the smell of the extract. Our main objective is to prevent the insect from attacking the plants and to keep the soils rich in nutrients. We can also use the lemon grass extract to prevent mosquito bites. Like, a semi – off lotion or alternative off lotion for does who can’t afford the commercial products. 2. Specific objectives
* The insect repellent is to help the plants grow and healthy. It will prevents the insect to come up for the plant that they used to experiment. It may take a few steps and time in processing but the effect would be great and there is no side effects on the soil because it fully natural and no toxic material added. The material use in the experiment are fully access able. The material we used are lemon grass, eucalyptus oil, olive oil, knife, mortar and pestle, garlic, charcoal, and charcoal burner. c. Significance of the study
* The study will be conducted to determine the effectiveness of lemon grass as insect repellent. Extraction of lemon grass is through steam distillation technique. The children will benefit the most because knowledge of insect repellent will enable them to prevent possible disease. Through this study, the knowledge of parents regarding lemon grass as insect repellent would be increased and prevention could be done to avoid more serious damage to their children’s health. d. Scope and limitations
* The focus of this study is to determine the effectiveness of lemon grass as insect repellent. Investigating the performance of this will be described by observation of eucalyptus oil, olive oil, and garlic. One candy will be treated a little amount of eucalyptus oil, olive oil, and extract of garlic and the other candy is without the ingredients. The data used in the research is gathered through observation and steam distillation technique. e. Review of related literature
* It is said that Lemon Grass is an excellent insect repellant. The ancients were familiar with this attribute. This action, bug repelling, does not carry the same punch that it did in the days of the Israelites. Egypt was fertile because it had good soil and lots of water. An abundance of water meant lots of insects, specifically mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry malaria, which was bad news in the ancient world. The ancients burned lemon grass to keep the bugs away just as we do. However, they were worried about a little more than unsightly bump on the legs. Keeping bugs away was a life or death situation. Using coconut oil for the skin is healthy, the natural way. Tropical dwellers have known this fact for at least a millennium or two. Unlike superficial cosmetics formulated in labs of profit – hungry corporations, coconut oil contains absolutely nothing that will harm your precious skin, including the rest of your body. * This essential oil proved to be one of the top performers in a comparative study of insect repellents published in July, 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The two commercial sprays tested kept bugs away from 1 to 3 hours. The results of a 2004 California State Science Fair project show that lemon grass is 30 percent less effective than commercial preparations containing DEET, or diethyl meta toluamide, in repelling mosquitoes. Lemon grass, or cymbopogon citratus, may still be a suitable substitute for persons who cannot tolerate DEET. A study published on the CBS News website compares natural – based insect repellents against DEET products. According to the news network, natural products like lemon grass and citronella work by scent and must be reapplied more often than DEET – based products.
* About twenty (20) pieces of lemon grass was collected near in
the house of the researchers in a vacant lot. Only green and fresh leaves were collected. Additionally, this leaves is clean and dry to prevent the other organic substance to be extract in extraction process. If the lemon grass is wet, let it be air dry first before doing the extraction process. a. Materials / Equipment
* Lemon grass
* Eucalyptus oil
* Olive oil
* Mortar and pestle
* Charcoal burner
* Peel the skin of the garlic
* Chop the garlic into small pieces
* Prepare the charcoal burner
* Wash the lemon grass
* Boil the lemon grass
While waiting the lemon grass
* Add water to the chopped garlic and mix.
* Distill the garlic to get the extract.
* Separate the lemon grass from its extract.
* Pour the lemon grass extract to a glass.
* And mix it with the garlic extract.
* Mix the eucalyptus oil and the olive oil.
* And mix it.
* Prepare an empty insect sprayer.
* Transfer the mixture to the insect sprayer bottle. And there you go, A natural insect repellent!!
b. Treatment / General Procedure
* The extraction process will be done through steam distillation technique. Due to lack of laboratory apparatus, the researcher intends to use an improvised apparatus. It requires are eucalyptus oil, olive oil, knife, mortar and pestle, garlic, charcoal, and charcoal burner and the lemon grass leaves to be extracted. *
Most essential oils available today are extracted using a steam distillation process. It is believed by many to be the only way oils should be extracted. This distillation process really is quite simple as long as this extraction process is closely monitored, the steam will remain at a temperature that won’t damage the lemon grass. IV. Results and Discussion:
* As the result, in the observation of two candies, . One candy will be treated a little amount of eucalyptus oil, olive oil, and extract of garlic and the other candy is without the ingredients. After the fourteen (14) minutes, the candy without lemon grass are now approaching by the ants, but the candy with the ingredients still no ants, because of the eucalyptus and olive oil and extract of garlic and the lemon grass that repel the ants away. a. Findings
b. Analysis of data
* We can say that the hypothesis was right. Lemon grass can repel insect away and can be an effective and alternative way of natural insect repellent, because of the oil produce by the lemon grass. * We conclude that the lemon grass extract can prevent mosquito bites and diseases that came from the insects / mosquitoes. We also conclude that the lemon grass have many uses in our life. Examples are, lemon grass tea and lemon grass can be use as food scenting. VI. Recommendations:
* We recommend to use this kind of insect repellent because it is not expensive and the lemon grass extract have many uses in our lives and daily activities. Lemon grass can become tea, herbs, and food scenting. Its extract can prevent mosquito bites. Lemon grass is also good for our health. Other people do not know the other uses of lemon grass. So we recommend our new mosquito repellent, it is purely made from lemon grass extract, garlic extract, eucalyptus and olive oil. We tested and prove it that this experiment is alternative and most effective to repel mosquito bites. It keeping us away from diseases caused by the mosquitoes and other insect bites. We do not need to buy the commercial one because in our home, we can make our own insect repellent.
Reference Goddard PhD., J. (2002). Health Risks and Benefits of Insect Repellents. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/438257_2Repellents Wikipedia(2011).Insect Repellent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insect_repellent.
http://www.newtechbio.com/articles/Lemongrass-as-an-insect-repellent.htm Essential Oil Extraction Distillation Process.Essentials of Aromatherapy. http://www.essentials-of-aromatherapy.com/distillation_process.html Ragan, M. (2005).Improvised Radial Alembic DIY Steam Distillation.
The researcher would like to give her warm heartfelt gratitude to the person which give them knowledge regarding this project and helped to conduct this for the success of the researcher and her group. (name of the person who help you which gave their fur project)support to the researcher through expenses, time and efforts. The family of the researcher which are always there for her and also contribute ideas and thoughts. To the researcher subject teacher (teacher’s name) for sharing the ideas and knowledge for this project and understanding the researcher for the failures in conducting this study. Last but not the least, to our dear God, for guiding and protecting the researcher always and forgiving those persons to make or sharing their ideas and knowledge for this project and understanding of each other for the failures in conducting this study.