Natural Remedies To Eliminate Lice
What are lice?
Lice are light brown or grey and are extremely small. They can be difficult to identify as their bodies are only 2-3 millimeters long! Lice are wingless parasites that feast on human blood from the scalp. They are only able to survive on a host for 24-48 hours, but in that time adult females are able to lay 6 eggs per day on average. It is even possible for them to lay up to ten! Eggs are deposited as close to the scalp as possible and secured to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance. Nits are a whitish or yellow color and are about the size of a pinhead. It takes around 8-9 days for eggs to hatch. An egg hatches into an immature louse called a nymph and develops into an adult in 9-12 days as long as there is blood available.
Problems with Traditional Lice Treatments
The most common lice treatment products contain harmful toxic pesticides like lindane, malathion, and pyrethroids. Lindane is a neurotoxin and causes cancer. It's also harmful to the nervous, hormonal, and reproductive systems. Many countries have banned it! The U.S. has only banned it for some uses, but continues to use it in lice treatment products. Malathion, a nerve gas derivative, also interferes with the nervous system. Symptoms range from nausea and dizziness all the way to respiratory paralysis and death! Pyrethroids such as permethrin cause asthma, respiratory failure, pneumonia, and muscle paralysis. They are also harmful to the immune system and thyroid.
A child's risk of developing leukemia was doubled when they were exposed to insecticidal shampoo, according to a study by French medical researchers.
Recently, super lice have developed! That means that lice are becoming immune to these toxic treatments. Just another reason why you want to use natural treatments!
Powerful Ways to Naturally Kill Lice!
1. Essential Oils:
Essential oils will kill and eliminate lice. Tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, and neem oils are some great options. There are many other essential oil options you can use. All of these oils except for lavender kill eggs as well. Lavender is great at repelling and preventing an infestation in the first place though!
Mix around 7 drops of lice killing essential oils into 1 teaspoon of shampoo. Spread with a fine-toothed comb and leave on hair for 15-20 minutes. Rinse. You can also add essential oils to your whole container of shampoo and use it daily to act as a preventative. Another option is to combine essential oils with a carrier oil or conditioner and apply to hair.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Loosens the "glue" that holds the eggs to the hair shaft.
Mix vinegar and water at a 1:1 ratio. Apply to hair and let sit for a few minutes. Rinse with water and then comb nits out. Repeat the process daily until all nits are gone. Use on a regular basis to repel lice. Use this in conjunction with another option to make it easier to remove eggs.
Wet hair and apply conditioner. Next, comb entire head from scalp to hair ends to remove lice and nits.
4. Clean Items & Home:
Wash brushes, combs, and accessories in very hot water and soap. You can also soak them in rubbing alcohol for at least 1 hour. Wash all items that could be contaminated and dry on high heat. For items that cannot be washed you can seal them in an airtight bag for at least two weeks until lice and nits are dead. Vacuum all floors and furniture and apply an essential oil spray if needed.
We hope you don't have to deal with lice, but if you do you now have some natural ways to eliminate those pesky things!