Tea tree: the natural enemy of head lice

Thinking about going back to school may mean thinking about the arrival of head lice, among other things. One of the most effective natural solutions to fight them is the essential oil of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Virtually all children between the ages of 3 and 12 have had head lice at least once in their lives. These small undesirable bugs, barely measuring 2mm, feed on human blood and live freely in the hair of small children, going from one head to another by habitual contact. Their life cycle is about one month, and they pass through three stages during this time: nit, nymph and adult. In this later stage, females lay 4 to 8 eggs per day. Lice do not jump or fly, but they go from one head to another by direct contact or by sharing hats, scarves and combs. Infestation has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Indeed, lice do prefer clean, straight hair rather than dirty, curly hair.

The most obvious symptom of the presence of lice is an itching sensation on your head, which may sometimes be accompanied by reddening. If your child scratches his/her head very often, using a lice comb would be the best thing you can do. Lice are hard-to-see brown and quite small bugs that move continuously. However, nits are easier to detect as they are white and attached to the hair. If we place the head on a towel or over the sink, as soon as we pass the lice comb, lice will fall off and nits will be stuck to the teeth.

Many products offered on the market to deal with infestation include insecticides and other chemicals in their formula, and their instructions for use recommend not using them continuously due to the irritation their components may cause on the scalp.

If we bet on a natural remedy, the essential oil of Tea Tree stands out for its antifungal and antiparasitic properties. Its repellent power makes lice stay away. Moreover, it has antiseptic properties, which are quite useful against lice bites on the scalp. In addition, tea tree helps regulate the action of the sebaceous glands of the scalp, thus contributing to protecting the scalp —be it dry, oily or dandruff-prone.

How to use tea tree to fight head lice?

To use it, add 3-4 drops of essential oil to your usual shampoo and use it avoiding eye contact. You can also apply some drops directly to the areas where lice feel most comfortable, on the nape and behind the ears.

In case of infestation, treat the hair but also wash all clothing, including hats, scarves, bed sheets, towels and cushions, as well as combs, ponytail holders and ribbons, and isolate them in a bag for two days, which is the maximum time that lice can live outside human bodies.

Other uses of tea tree

Tea tree not only prevents the spread of lice but also has other very beneficial uses that make it a real multi-tasking product.

  • FUNGI: Helps fight nail fungi and athlete’s foot.

Have baths with hot water and a few drops of tea tree essential oil.

  • WOUNDS: Contributes to avoiding infections and improving the healing of scars and wounds.

Apply the essential oil of tea tree to the affected area with cotton several times a day.

  • ACNE: Thanks to its disinfectant action, it improves the symptoms and helps reduce pimple inflammation.

Mix a few drops in the lotion or water you usually use to cleanse your skin or put a drop directly on the pimple with the help of a cotton swab.

  • INSECTS: Helps shoo mosquitoes and other insects away. In the event of a sting, it enhances the relief of the affected area.

As a repellent, mix it with water and spray the room. For stings, apply undiluted.

  • COLD SORES: Thanks to its antiviral and healing properties, tea tree helps reduce cold sores.

Apply a few drops with the help of a cotton swab until it dries.

  • ORAL HYGIENE: Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it helps tackle oral infections affecting the mouth, teeth and gums.

Add 3-5 drops in a glass of water and gargle to fight oral ulcers. If you add a few drops to your toothbrush before washing your teeth, it will help eliminate bacterial plaque.

Tags #tips #health #medicinal plants

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