Head lice on school age children

Q: My cousin is having trouble with this–i thought there
must be some kind of herb or combination of herbs that would be helpful to her – thanks!!

A1: My daughter had terrible problems with this. We tried everything on the market and nothing worked. Then we made a mixture of olive oil with essential oils of lavender, rosemary, peppermint and clove (use only a small amount of this as it can irritate sensitive skin if you use a lot). For each five mls of olive oil, there should be one drop of essential oil. Work this out between them with equal parts for all but clove (this should be about half what the others are). You need to leave it on for at least three hours and comb through with a lice comb rinsed in vinegar after each time. We found this very effective if used once a week for about three weeks. The added bonus was it’s a fantastic conditioner, too.

A2: Tell your cousin to try tea tree oil, that will work for sure. Alot of health food stores carry it. You can either mix with your own shampoo or buy the tea tree oil shampoo.

A3: For head lice, try a rinse of cider vinegar after hair-washing. I had several friends in the Peace Corps, and this is an old trick that was passed around — it’ll kill lice and fleas quite nicely, and even better if it’s left in until it dries.

Pour about a half-cup on the hair, (depending on length — use enough to saturate the hair AND scalp), work it in, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse. Make sure it doesn’t get in the eyes — it’ll STING something fierce, though it won’t do any permanent damage.

Vinegar also has the added benefit of cleansing any shampoo/conditioner residue, and will add shine.
Give it about a week of daily shampooing, and the lice should be gone. And it’s a LOT gentler (and CHEAPER!) than the chemical products sold. If hair gets dry, use an oil-based conditioner — mayo and/or avocado work well.

If the hair is short, just douse with vinegar and let it dry — the smell will go away, and it’ll work faster if it’s not rinsed out, but that can be a pain with long hair, because it takes so long to dry, and the smell may be too strong for Younglings.

This treatment will also work well on body lice — which were the main problem in Peace Corps areas/countries.

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