Lice are a common problem seen in school going children and sometimes even in adults. There are shampoos and creams available for the treatment of hair lice but these contain harsh chemicals that may harm your scalp.
Lice are best treated at home using effective but safe herbs; regular herbal treatment will completely eliminate lice as well as their eggs.
Herbal Remedy To Get Rid Of Lice
Indian lilac, or neem, is popularly found growing in northern parts of India. The leaves of neem are used extensively in treatment of infections because of their medicinal properties. The leaves contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds that effectively get rid of the cause of infections and prevent their recurrence. Therefore, the plant is an excellent remedy for treating the problem of lice.
To treat lice with Indian lilac boil 250mg of the leaves in 500ml of water for 20-30 minutes in a covered pan. Let the water cool before straining it; throw away the boiled leaves and store the water in a bottle. Take cotton bud and dip it in the treated water. Apply the water on the scalp as well as on the hair in generous amounts. Leave for 45 minutes and then wash hair with only warm water. Perform the treatment everyday for a week to get rid of the lice and their eggs.
Some people also prefer grinding the neem leaves with a little water before applying it on their scalp and hair. Doing this will also kill the lice but keeping the paste on your hair for long may get messy. Avoid the paste from falling all over your clothes by wrapping the hair in a shower cap.
Garlic is known for its ant-fungal properties that are highly beneficial in the treatment of infections of the skin and scalp. Juice of raw garlic forms an excellent remedy for treating head lice and helps eliminate not only the infectious micro-organisms but also their eggs. Peel plenty of garlic and crush it using mortar and pestle. Apply the crushed garlic directly on your scalp and leave for a couple of hours. Remove the crushed garlic using warm water and apply shampoo if the smell of garlic on your hair bothers you.
Do this treatment repeatedly for a week. At the end of the week not only will your head be free of lice but you will notice volume and shine in your hair as well. Do not use processed garlic or the garlic pastes that are available in the market for cooking purposes. These contain preservatives that will not do anything for the lice but may harm your hair.
Onion works much like garlic in getting rid of the lice and their eggs from your head since the former too is a natural anti-fungal agent. However, some people may feel overwhelmed by the constant smell of garlic on their hair. Peel a large onion and grate it or grind it in electric mixer without adding water. Squeeze the onion to draw out the juice and apply the juice on your scalp using cotton bud. Leave for 40-60 minutes and wash using warm water.
Some people may be tempted to use shampoo to remove the odor of onion from their hair but should avoid doing so. Instead mix half a teaspoon of instant coffee in the onion juice before applying it on your head. The smell of coffee will conceal the odor of onion effectively. The treatment for lice using onion juice should be done every day for 7-10 days to get rid of lice completely.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Use of tea tree essential oil is perhaps the best way of getting rid of lice because the oil has very strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds that not only treat the infection but also ensure that it doesn’t return. However, since tea tree is an essential oil it should be diluted with carrier oil like olive or almond oil before being used. Mix one part tea tree oil with one part olive oil and apply the mixture on your scalp and hair. Leave the oil on the head for 45 minutes before washing it. Comb your hair using lice comb to remove the dead lice and eggs from your hair. Wash hair using mild shampoo and warm water.
You can even leave the oil overnight if oily pillow covers don’t bother you; the longer you leave the oil in your hair the better. The treatment should be done every day for 10 days to kill the lice and their eggs. If you work with young children or there are chances that the lice may recur because of your living conditions then massage your hair with tea tree oil once a week to ensure the lice don’t return.
Witch hazel is a widely used herb in many cosmetic products meant for the skin; it is popularly used in the manufacture of astringents as it helps maintain the –pH balance of the skin. However, it is also an excellent remedy for treating head lice as the anti-bacterial agents found in the herb successfully eliminate the micro-organisms making the scalp clean and germ free.
Powder of witch hazel is available in many herbal stores and can be used for treating head lice. Mix two tablespoons of witch hazel with sufficient quantity of water to make a paste. Apply the paste on your scalp and allow it to dry completely. Wash hair using warm water and then comb your wet hair using a narrow tooth comb or lice comb to remove the dead lice from the head. Use witch hazel paste on your scalp every alternate day for two weeks to clean the scalp from all kinds of infection.
You can even apply organic witch hazel water on the scalp and hair for getting rid of head lice. Some people also prefer preparing witch hazel water at home using fresh leaves from the herb but people who are hard pressed for time or don’t have access to fresh leaves of the herb can use commercially available witch hazel powder. The powder is as effective in treating the lice as is organic witch hazel water.