What's the best Home remedy for head lice? There are so many urban legends and myths concerning the best home remedies for head lice, including suffocating them with mayonnaise, olive oil, motor oil, shaving all your body hair, and others, so how do you evaluate fact, fiction, safety and efficacy?
Few home remedies for head lice have merit apart from a few essential oils, a few dust compounds containing diatomaceous earth, and of course some of the over the counter remedies.
As for a home remedy for head lice, some over the counter remedies and prescriptions contain dangerous chemicals like pyrethrins, pyrethrins, malathion and lindane. Source
Perhaps one reason people search out a home remedy for head lice is self evident. A study of pesticides and childhood brain cancers has revealed a strong relationship between brain cancers and compounds used to kill fleas and ticks, according to a report published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
The study concludes "The specific chemicals associated with children's brain cancers were pyrethrins and pyrethroids (which are synthetic pyrethrins, such as permethrin, tetramethrin, allethrin, resmethrin and fenvalerate) and chlorpyrifos (trade name: Dursban)." [Janice M. Pogoda and Susan Preston-Martin, "Household Pesticides and Risk of Pediatric Brain Tumors," Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 105, no. 11 (November 1997), pages 1214-1220.]
The EPA, in June 2000, halted sales of Dursban. Source
In my opinion, the best of all home remedies for head lice contains tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is well suited as a home remedy for head lice,because it contains several components that have proven themselves in studies to kill lice.
In a study published by Scandinavian University Press, in 1999 in Acta Derm Vernereol 1999; 79: 1-2., several of the chemical compounds in tea tree oil, and tea tree oil itself, was tested in a 10% solution.
In several of the compounds, they worked to kill 50-100% of the headlice. Tea tree oil, in a mild solution, killed 85% of the headlice.
If you were to apply the tea tree oil in a slightly stronger solution, it might work much more effectively, and a shampoo or conditioner with a 3% or better solution should help with head lice prevention.
So, how do you go about treating head lice with tea tree oil as a home remedy for head lice? .
Here's what you'll need, with some basic instructions on your own home remedy for head lice
Tea tree oil has a cooling effect, and so you may experience a little tingling sensation, similar to menthol, but not nearly so intense. This is normal, and in a mild solution such as this, you may not feel any cooling sensation at all, unless you are treating a particularly sensitive skin area.
After two hours, all of the lice should be dead.
As part of your home remedy for head lice, remember to put on clean, preferably freshly laundered clothes, as lice can survive for two days off of your body. Examine the treated areas for any live lice, and use the tea tree oil shampoo daily. In some research, tea tree oil was found more effective than the insect repellent DEET in repelling lice. Tea tree oil shampoo has been used by many families to help prevent re-infestation of lice. Lice lay eggs called nits, and the nits hatch in 7 to 11 days, so it is recommended to repeat the tea tree oil treatment a second time about one week later.
The tea tree oil will most likely have killed all of the nits, but if any items of clothing, bedding, carpeting, or furniture were missed in the vacuuming, washing, and general cleanup, or if any nits survived, you will want to kill them off. My heart goes out to you, as you follow your chosen home remedy for head lice.