Home Remedies for Lice: 4 Natural Products to Use

February 2023

Some good ways to eliminate lice and nits is to wash your hair in a strong rue tea, applying citronella spray, using camphor alcohol or applying essential oils to the scalp.

These home remedies can be used on children as they non-toxic, and effective for getting rid of lice and nits. 

Using natural ingredients are a great way to prevent lice as well during infestations among siblings or classmates without the risk of side effects. After using these home remedies, you can additionally use a fine-tooth comb to remove remaining lice and eggs. 

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Natural products for lice

Some home remedies you can use to treat lice include:

1. Apply camphor alcohol 

An excellent home remedy to treat lice or nits is to apply camphor alcohol, which can be found in pharmacies. This can be applied with spray directly on the scalp.

You can also make this solution by soaking small pieces of camphor in alcohol. You can spray this alcohol on your hair to prevent a lice infestation.  

2. Wash your hair with rue tea 

Another way to treat treat lice is by washing your hair in rue tea. This tea helps to get rid of the parasites and soothe itchy scalps. It should be applied generously to wet hair and then you should pass a fine-tooth comb through your hair. 

Ingredients

  • 40 g de rue leaves
  • 1 liter (33 oz) of boiling water 

How to prepare 

Place the rue leaves in the boiling water and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Cover the infusion, allow to cool and strain. Once ready, you can apply this infusion to your hair with cotton balls or gauze. You can also pour the tea over your scalp, making sure that all your hair is fully wet.  

Once wet, wrap a towel over your hair and allow the infusion to soak for 30 minutes. Then wash your hair with shampoo and apply conditioner. Do not rinse - first pass a fine-tooth comb through your hair to remove dead lice and eggs. 

3. Use citronella spray 

Citronella repels insects, including lice, due to its intense smell. You can use citronella as a spray to help get rid of lice. 

Ingredients

  • 150 mL (5 oz) of liquid glycerin 
  • 150 mL (5 oz) of citronella tincture
  • 350 mL (12 oz) of alcohol  
  • 350 mL (12 oz) of water

How to prepare

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and place in a sealed container. Apply directly to the hair and scalp, leaving it on for a few minutes. Then pass your hair through a fine-tooth comb to remove the live and nits. You can then wash your hair with your usual shampoo and conditioner.

4. Apply oils to your scalp 

Coconut oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil can help to kill lice and nit. Therefore these oils can be used to get rid of them.

Ingredients

  • 50 mL (1.5 oz) of coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil 
  • 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil 
  • 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil 

How to prepare

Mix all the oils together and apply to the scalp. Allow to soak for 20 minutes, and then pass your hair through a fine-tooth comb. You can then wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner. These oils can be applied 2 to 3 times per day. 

Other ways to get rid of lice 

Another important tip to get rid of lice is to wash your clothes and linens separately from those of anyone who is infected. All clothes linens should be washed at high temperatures or placed in a large container of boiling water for several minutes. Learn about other tips for getting rid of lice

Each bug lives for about 30 days and lays 6 to 8 eggs per day. These eggs take 7 days to develop into a lice bug. Therefore, it is important to avoid cross-contamination and avoid sharing hats, hair brushes or clothing. 

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Updated by Tua Saude editing team, on February of 2023.

References

  • TAKANO-LEE, Miwa et al. Home Remedies to Control Head Lice. J Pediatr Nurs. Vol.19, n.6. 393–398, 2004
  • DI CAMPLI, Emanuela et al. Activity of tea tree oil and nerolidol alone or in combination against Pediculus capitis (head lice) and its eggs. Parasitol Res. Vol.111. 1985–1992, 2012
Show more references
  • BURGESS, Ian F.; BRUNTON, Elizabeth R.; BURGESS, Nazma A. Clinical trial showing superiority of a coconut and anise spray over permethrin 0.43% lotion for head louse infestation. Eur J Pediatr. 2010 Jan;169(1):55-62. . Vol.169, n.1. 55-62, 2010
  • EISENHOWER, Christine; FARRINGTON, Elizabeth A. Advancements in the treatment of head lice in pediatrics. J Pediatr Health Care. Vol.26, n.6. 451-461, 2012
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