This post is about an unsavory topic: head lice. It is also about how to use Young Living Essential Oils as a very effective remedy to prevent and eliminate head lice. And it is also intended to scare the crap out of you so you will never, ever, EVER use toxic over-the-counter or prescription solutions for head lice again. Ever. They are dangerous and do not belong on anyone’s head. Period.
Earlier this week the American Academy of Pediatrics offered new guidance on how to treat the most difficult cases of the pesky parasite. Most noted in the new guidelines is that no healthy child should be excluded from or miss school because of head lice, and no-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned. This makes sense to me–I mean, kids have already been exposed to the head lice, right? What DOES concern me, however, is that they are still advocating the use of toxic chemicals to treat a head lice infestation. What’s up with that? How can they even begin to think it is appropriate to douse your kid’s head with malathion, a known endocrine disruptor, and benzyl alcohol, a neuro-toxin? As women and as mothers, let us consider a kinder, gentler alternative, for the sake of our children.
An Ounce of Prevention
Common sense tells us that it is best to avoid an infestation in the first place. Here are some basic guidelines to prevent a head lice infestation:
- Since lice are most commonly spread by direct contact, avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities.
- Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ornaments.
- Do not share combs, brushes or towels.
- Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, rugs, carpets or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
- Add the essential oils listed below to unscented shampoo and/or conditioners and use on a regular basis. You could also periodically massage the Head Lice Blend onto the scalp.
- If you detect a head lice infestation in your home, tell those in your immediate community and prohibit visitors until the problem has been eliminated.
Periodically, as in 2-3 times per week, check the heads of family members, looking for nits and live adult lice. Invest in a head lice comb, section the hair and comb each section thoroughly. If you do find lice, begin head lice treatment immediately.
Head Lice Treatment
First and foremost, after you have a silent freak out, approach the situation with calmness and matter-of-factness. Since you will be using all natural Young Living Essential Oils for your head lice treatment, you can treat all members of the family because it is completely safe and non-toxic. And unlike harsh chemical treatments, the head lice will not develop an immunity to the essential oils because each batch of essential oil will vary slightly from the next, within its given range. This is due to the natural effects of weather, harvesting and distillation on the plants. Organisms, such as head lice and bacteria, can only develop an immunity to something that is consistently the same, such as anti-biotics or, in this case, chemicals that treat head lice.
Before treatment, comb through each family member’s hair using a head lice comb, getting rid of as many live organisms and nits as possible. Continue to use the comb at least once a day for the next 10-14 days to check the progress and to eliminate any live lice.
Make up the head lice blend using the proportions listed below.
Head Lice Blend:
Dilute 50-50 with coconut oil mixed with another fatty oil such as almond, olive or sunflower oil.
Apply 1 teaspoon of mixture to scalp. Massage over entire head and into hair, cover with disposable shower cap or small plastic bag and leave for at least 1/2 hour. Then shampoo and rise well. Wash hair bending over a sink. Do not wash hair in the shower as lice may cling to other body hairs. Follow by using the rinse below.
Head Lice Rinse:
Mix into a container with a watertight lid. Shake vigorously, then pour over hair making sure every strand is rinsed. Rinse and dry naturally.
Repeat daily until lice and eggs are gone, usually from 10-14 days.
This handles the head part of getting rid of head lice. In addition, here are supplemental measures you need to take:
- Machine wash and dry clothing, towels and bed linens used by every family member in the last 3-4 days using hot water and high heat drying cycle. Non-washable items can be dry-cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag and store for 2 weeks.
- Soak combs and brushes in hot water and Thieves household cleaner for at least 10 minutes.
- Vacuum floors, rugs and all furniture, including mattresses.
- Do not use fumigant sprays. If you have an ultra-sonic or cold-air essential oil diffuser, diffuse Melrose, Purification, Clarity and/or peppermint 3-4 times daily for 10 minute intervals.
So with a little bit of awareness, you can turn a potentially toxic health issue into one that is handled with confidence and common sense using all natural, non-toxic products.
This gives ‘nit-picking’ a whole new meaning. Are you scratching your head yet?