How to Treat Head Lice with Olive Oil

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When you realize that your child has head lice you have to choose between traditional OTC lice treatments and a more natural head lice treatment. Among them, the head lice olive oil treatment, though very simple, is one of the most effective ways to get rid of these parasites, and here you’ll learn exactly why.

The olive tree has exceptional therapeutic properties. In fact, all parts of the tree possess interesting properties for medical use. Our ancestors in ancient Greece used olive oil as an ointment to treat aches, ulcers and even cholera.

olive oil treatment for lice They used the leaves of the olive tree as a base, astringent and purifying, as well as preparations made from leaves and olive oil to cure all kinds of inflammations. Moreover, the flowers, bark and ash of the olive tree were included in many medicinal preparations.

Several informal studies show the effectiveness of vegetable oils in the treatment of lice. A test conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that lice submerged in olive oil for two hours die asphyxiated.

The effectiveness of olive oil is explained by the fact that by coating the skin of adult lice, it deprives them of oxygen. As they can no longer breathe, they die.

How to apply the olive oil treatment for head lice

You can definitely use olive oil to treat head lice and here is how you should proceed. In fact it is sufficient to put olive oil on your child’s hair and put a plastic wrap around without leaving any air come in. The oil will thus asphyxiate head lice.

After about two hours, preferably three, wash the hair with mild shampoo, rinse well and comb the hair with a head lice comb to remove dead lice. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the shampoo two or three times to completely remove the oil. You should know that this remedy, just like any other head lice treatment, does not work 100%, so you might still have some live lice after treatment, and you’ll need to remove them manually or repeat the treatment.

Will this olive oil treatment work on nits?

The head lice olive oil treatment has not been tested on nits, and the test conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health did only prove the efficiency of olive oil on lice, not their eggs.

It is likely that the treatment will not work as well on nits as it does on adult lice. But there is a very good natural head lice treatment that you can use to unglue the nits from the hair shaft, it is vinegar. It is then much easier to comb them out. You’ll find more details here:  vinegar for head lice.

What about essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile oils, very fragrant, obtained by steam distillation of flavoring plants. Some oils contain up to 300 different molecules, depending on the plant used, on the time of harvest, on the climate and quality of the distillation. To give you an idea, about 100 kg of fresh lavender are needed to extract 1 kg of essential oil.

The essential oils contained in many plants have insecticidal properties, antibacterial and antifungal. When used for therapeutic purposes, be sure to use quality products, and ideally from organic farming. So for the perfect herbal head lice treatment, consider adding a few drops of essential oil such as lavender oil or tea tree to the olive oil, as this will also help prevent another infestation, promote healing and add a pleasant smell that children will like.

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