Lice are microscopic organisms that are parasitic in nature and usually attach themselves to the skin and hair of humans and animals. Hair lice are more common than body lice as they get transferred from one person to another easily. The problem of lice is commonly seen in young school going children who sit and play in close proximity to each other at school. You know you are infested with hair lice when your scalp starts itching intensely and you feel tiny feet crawling on your scalp. Lice multiply and spread at very fast rate and should therefore, be treated as soon as possible. It is also best to avoid sharing combs, clothes, towels and pillows with if living with other people.
The problem of lice is not only irritating but also socially embarrassing. Fortunately, the problem can be controlled and also resolved using proper forms of treatment. There are many shampoos and oils available in the market that help treat lice. But these are loaded with chemicals such as sulphur and chlorine that can result in severe hair fall as well as damage the texture of the hair making them appear dry and lifeless. There are many effective and easily available herbs that can be used for removing lice and their eggs. These herbs are absolutely safe for use and do no cause damage to the hair.
Herbal Remedies For Lice
Tea Tree Oil
The essential oil of tea tree is mainly used in the treatment of infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Therefore, tea tree oil works well in the removal of lice and their eggs from the scalp.
Mix 4ml of tea tree oil with 8ml of olive oil (use more if you have larger area to be covered) and apply the mixture well on the scalp as well as the hair. Leave the oil in the hair for 30-45 minutes and then run a thin-toothed comb through your hair. This will remove the dead lice and their eggs from the hair. Wash hair using mild shampoo. The treatment should be done regularly for 5 days to get rid of the lice completely. This treatment will not only remove the lice but also their eggs so that the problem doesn’t return. Tea tree oil will take care of any infection in scalp including dandruff and olive oil will keep the hair well moisturized.
Many people are put off by the pungent smell of garlic and this hold true for the lice and their eggs as well. These micro-organisms are unable to cope with the strong odor of garlic and find it difficult to survive when breathing in the odor.
Crush peeled pods of garlic and apply then on the scalp as well as the hair. Leave on for a couple of hours and then wash hair using a strong smelling shampoo. Comb wet hair using lice comb so that the dead lice and their eggs are removed from the scalp and hair. The treatment needs to be done every alternate day for a week to get relief from lice and their eggs.
Indian lilac is commonly found growing in India and hence the name. The leaves of Indian Lilac or ‘Neem’ are well known for their medicinal properties and have been used since ancient times to treat various infections. In some rural parts of India the branch of neem tree is used for cleaning the teeth in order to keep germs and infections at bay.
Neem can be effectively used in the treatment of lice as well. Gather neem leaves or buy neem powder sold in beauty products’ shops. Clean the leaves thoroughly and leave them in the sun to dry for 4-5 days. When the leaves are dried put them in an electric mixer to grind them into fine powder form. Mix the neem powder with little water to make a thin paste. Cover you scalp and hair using this paste and leave on for a couple of hours or until the paste dries completely.
Wash your hair using only plain water and then comb your hair to get rid of the dead lice. Using neem leaves once for killing lice and their eggs is enough but you can perform the treatment again the next day to get rid of the problem completely. Neem leaves are excellent for hair growth as well.
Lavender is mainly known for its aroma that has a soothing and calming effect on both mind and body. But not many people are aware that the herb is anti-bacterial in nature, which is one of the reasons it is used widely as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners. The herb is also antiseptic and can be used in the treatment of cuts and wounds. The essential oil of lavender is strong enough to kill and repel hair lice and is therefore, used in the treatment of lice especially in children.
Apply neat lavender oil directly on the scalp and mix it with olive or coconut oil before applying on the hair. Leave on for 45 minutes and then run a lice comb through your hair to remove the dead lice and their eggs. Wash your hair using lavender based shampoo. Perform the treatment 5 days continuously to be lice free.
This edible herb is known for its strong aroma and is popularly used in the manufacture of perfumes. However, the aroma of rosemary is definitely not pleasing to the lice, which is the reason the herb can be safely used in the treatment of lice and their eggs. Rosemary too is available in the form of essential oil but has a stronger composition than lavender and should be used in diluted form only.
Mix the oil with any of the carrier oils and massage the scalp using this oil mixture. Apply the oil on your hair as well because many lice and their eggs are found sticking to the fibre of the hair. Leave the oil mix on the scalp for 45-60 minutes and then comb your hair using lice comb. Wait for another 30 minutes and comb hair again. Wash hair using mild shampoo. The infestation of lice has been successfully dealt with.