Natural Treatment For Head Lice

head-lice

Lice are very tiny (only about 3mm long) parasitic insects that attach themselves to your hair, typically quite close to the scalp, and feed on human blood. The eggs that they lay are called nits and can be seen in the hair when looking closely. Nits hatch in about 8-9 days, so treatment of head lice often requires more than one treatment to effectively remove the lice.

 

Head lice are incredibly common in young children. The most distinct sign of head lice is a very itchy scalp. You may also see small lice or nits (little white eggs) or notice a rash or irritation along the hairline and neck.


Treatment Options

 

No strategy is 100% effective at removing head lice right away, and, surprisingly, many chemical treatments are becoming less effective as the lice adapt. You can find some natural head lice removal shampoos at your local health food store, or you may choose to try a homemade removal method. Whichever option you choose to follow, it is important to ensure you clean your home and all sources of possible contamination thoroughly.

 

Combing the hair while wet with a fine comb and picking out the live lice and nits is essential for complete removal of head lice.  Plus, the addition of the following treatments:

·    Coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil – help to suffocate the head lice and inhibit their ability to stick to the hair shaft.

·    Tea Tree oil – for its antiseptic properties, has been shown to be quite effective in treating lice. 

·    Vinegar and salt – apply a mixture of vinegar and salt into the hair.

·    Beneficial essential oils: eucalyptus, ylang ylang, peppermint, cinnamon, clove, lavender

 

Try: mixing coconut oil with 10-20 drops of tea tree oil, combing into head thoroughly and covering head with a shower cap for about 2 hours, after which you should comb through the hair and remove any lice or nits you see. Cleanse the hair thoroughly with anti-lice shampoo from the health food store. This may need to be repeated a few times over the course of 2 weeks.


Preventative Strategies

 

·    Create a natural hair spray with just water and a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil. Spray it on your child’s hair daily to help prevent lice from coming back from school

·    Clean combs daily

·    Do not share clothing, costumes, coats, hats or mittens with other children


Supportive Herbs

 

Your child may be in a stressed, embarrassed, or restless state due to the head lice. It is important to support your child emotionally and help them to relax. Flower Remedies are helpful for emotional relief & some gentle nervine herbs will help to calm the nervous system:

 

Chamomile – acts as a very mild sedative and will help to soothe your child to sleep if they are having trouble due to itching and uncomfortable emotional feelings.

 

Lemon Balm – a calming and tension taming herb. Drink Daily

 

Spearmint – acts as a cooling and calming herb that can help to relieve stress.

 

Oat Straw – helps to soothe and strengthen the nerves and is also nutritive, containing trace vitamins and minerals. Oat straw can also help to relieve stress and anxiety.

 

Try: using any of these herbs alone or in combination as a tea.


Lifestyle Support

 

It is important to thoroughly clean your home and any area where the child has been in contact with fabrics, hair or textiles often & thoroughly

This includes: your house, carpets, your car, sheets, pillows, stuffed animals, hats, mitts, coats, and clothing.

If you cannot wash certain items, seal them in a garbage bag for at least 2 weeks to ensure any potential lice have died.

 

Remember that effective treatment and removal of lice is possible. Although it’s a tedious process, the lice will eventually disappear. The more care put into removing the lice at the first signs means less chance of recurrence down the line.   

 

kristin dahl