Monday, August 24, 2015

Sass N Frass - Essential Oils as a Head Lice Preventative

Essential Oils to Help Prevent Lice

Why can essential oils work for head lice prevention?

Head lice are attracted to us because of our distinctive human smell. Essential oils are very fragrant and their strong flavors hide our human smell and keeps lice away. Essential oils may act as insect repellents, and this is why they can help preventing head lice.
Which essential oils can you use for prevention of head lice?
  • Tea tree oil for prevention of head lice: this oil, also known as melaleuca oil, has antiseptic properties and has been traditionally used in many countries as a repellent against head lice. Just put 3 to 5 drops of essential oil on a nit comb and comb the hair, or put a few drops behind the ears or in the neck area. However, tea tree oil does have side-effects and should not be used in its pure form on babies, young children and pregnant women, and should not be applied on a daily basis.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil: the main component of this oil is eucalyptol, a key ingredient in many antiseptic mouth washes. A study has been published in Phytotherapy Research and has shown that eucalyptus has effects on insects. It works as an insect repellent on head lice. However and unlike tea tree essential oil, it is recommended not to use it with children younger than 5.
  • You can also use the following oil for head lice prevention: lavender essential oil also has a strong flavor that will repel lice. Rosemary essential oil also has antiseptic properties. Peppermint oil has a strong flavor that would hide the human smell and keep lice away. You should avoid contact with eyes and sensitive skin areas.

Are essential oils safe to use to prevent head lice?

Many essential oils are very powerful and although natural they can be harmful for us. Most of them should not be applied pure (straight or undiluted) but should be diluted instead. You can dilute pure essential oils with a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, almond, sesame oils. The best thing to do is read directions of each oil carefully and always apply and use with great care.

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