Lice are a big problem especially if they occur in children. The entire house needs to be sanitized or there is a strong possibility of a recurrence of lice. Lice can be of two types; head lice and body lice. Like the name suggests, head lice occurs only in the hair of the head and body lice can occur in any part of the body including pubic hair.
Lice can be very hard to get rid of. Their treatment needs to be done regularly and religiously to completely get rid of the lice and their eggs. Medically, lice are treated using shampoos and creams. These are available over-the-counter but can be an expensive way of treating lice. To treat lice effectively people often resort to herbal remedies. These herbal remedies are simple to use and easily available in our kitchens and in herbal stores.
Herbal Treatments for Lice
Treatment using Indian Lilac
The common name for Indian Lilac is neem and the tree is a native of India where it is extensively used for treating bacterial and fungal infections. The bark of the tree is used for cleaning the mouth and for freshening up breath. Neem is also the ideal option for getting rid of the lice. The chemicals present in the leaves of the neem are bitter in taste and thus helpful in getting rid of the lice and their eggs.
To treat lice with neem put 100 grams of neem leaves in a liter of boiling water. Boil the leaves for 10 minutes. Strain the water when it cools down. Discard the boiled leaves. Wash your hair with the treated water while it is still warm. Hot water is very effective in killing the lice and their eggs. However, hot water should not be poured on skin or on the hair. Use medicated shampoo on the hair and wash it off using neem water. You should also wash your clothes as well as bed linen using hot neem water. Soak the clothes in extremely hot and neem treated water for 30 minutes. Then wash them using detergent. It is important to get rid of lice from clothes and other articles such as bed sheets and soft toy otherwise the lice can recur.
Alternatively, you can grind the neem leaves using very little water and apply the neem paste on your scalp and hair. Leave on the paste for 30 minutes and then wash hair using warm water only. Do this treatment every day to kill the lice and their eggs. Put dried neem leaves under your mattresses and in your cupboards so that the lice do not infest these areas. Any kind of treatment with Indian lilac should be done regularly for 15 days to kill the lice entirely and prevent them from recurring.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree herb has antifungal and antibacterial properties which is what makes it very popular and effective in the treatment of various infections. Tea tree oil is extracted from the bark of the tree and used in various creams, shampoos etc. essential oils are very strong and should never be used undiluted on the skin. For this reason they are mixed with carrier oils like coconut, almond and olive oil. Combining them with other oil does not reduce their efficiency in any way.
Mix 5ml of tea tree essential oil with 10ml of olive oil or warm coconut oil. Apply the oil evenly on the scalp and on the hair. Use more quantity of the mixture if you have longer hair. Keep the oil mixture in the hair overnight. You can cover your hair with a shower cap while you sleep. In the morning comb your hair thoroughly using a narrow-tooth comb. This will remove the dead lice and their eggs from your hair. Wash your hair with warm water and medicated shampoo. This treatment should be done five times a week to get rid of lice completely and to stop them from recurring.
Combination of essential oils like rosemary, thyme and lavender is very effective in killing the lice and their eggs. In a clean bowl combine 5ml of thyme, 3ml of lavender and rosemary oil with 7ml of any carrier oil. Part your hair and apply this essential oils combo onto the scalp as well as on the hair. Leave on for 45 minutes and then comb through your hair to remove dead lice.
This treatment should be done on alternate days for a week. Essential oils mixed with carrier oil should be massaged twice a week into the scalp of school going children in order to avoid the occurrence of lice.
Garlic is one herb that can be used in the treatment of any type of infection including lice. Peel medium sized garlic and grind the garlic cloves in an electric mixer or crush the garlic using mortar and pestle. Crushing garlic will give you a thick paste of garlic.
Apply this garlic paste on your scalp and leave for 30 minutes. Garlic will smell strong and might even sting a bit. However, the stinging sensation will not last longer than a few minutes. Wash your hair using a strong medicated shampoo and then comb through your wet hair. This will help get rid of the dead lice and their eggs from the hair. Some people prefer mixing instant coffee powder with garlic paste as coffee neutralizes the smell of garlic. Using coffee also helps get rid of the garlic smell while washing the hair.
This treatment should be done every day for five days to effectively treat the lice.
Lemon juice is strongly acidic and therefore is a popular way of treating head lice at home. The acid in the lemon juice helps kill the lice and their eggs. Lemon juice is also effective in getting rid of dandruff so you can treat two conditions at one go!
Squeeze ripe lemons to draw about 50ml of juice. Mix 10ml of water in the juice and then apply the lemon juice mixture on the scalp and hair using cotton ball. Water is mixed in lemon juice to take away the stinging sensation. People with sensitive skin will not be able to tolerate undiluted lemon juice on their scalp especially if they have dandruff.
Leave the lemon juice for 20 minutes and then wash off using plain water. Do this treatment every day for 7 days to treat head lice.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.