tea-tree-oil-for-liceWhen you are looking for a treatment for head lice, there are many options available to you.

A lot of people want to apply a herbal head lice treatment, and aromatherapy and essential oils have become very popular over the past few years.

Let’s see why a tea tree oil lice treatment may be a good option to get rid of these pesky parasites.

Tea tree oil therapeutic properties

Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that is very effective in fighting many conditions. Its major properties are antiseptic, disinfectant, bactericide, fungicide, and antiviral.

It can be used to fight mites, to fight an infection, or against parasites. It also facilitates healing, perspiration (“makes you sweat”), and supports the immune system.

Can tea tree oil be used for head lice removal?

Yes, tea tree oil can be used with more or less success to treat a variety of conditions such as the following: skin infections, acne, abscesses, fungal diseases of the skin, sores, sunburn, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, herpes, dog bites, insect bites, psoriasis, warts, and…head lice.

However, as far as head lice are concerned, you should always be careful when using tea tree oil. Essential oils are powerful, and they should always be used with caution.

Some studies have shown that tea tree oil can be effective against adult lice. However, there is not enough scientific evidence that would prove its effectiveness.

Moreover, pure tea tree oil can have many side-effects and should not be ingested nor applied pure to babies, young children and pregnant women.

It should also not be used on a daily basis. If you want to use tea tree oil, make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive oil. And also make sure you consult a professional who is knowledgeable about essential oils and their use.

How to use tea tree oil for treatment of head lice: 2 recipes

Basically you have 2 options for your tea tree oil lice treatment.

Recipe #1: Applying pure tea tree oil

1. Apply pure tea tree oil to the scalp of the infested person. You can apply pure tea tree oil directly on the skin, provided that you apply it to a very small area and do not apply it too often and over a long period of time.

2. Some important guidelines: Use 2 drops of pure tea tree oil maximum, and during three days maximum.

Like most essential oils, tea tree oil should not be used during the first 3 months of pregnancy or during breastfeeding, and it should also not be applied pure to babies and young children. You might in any case prefer to choose the second recipe .

Recipe #2: Diluting tea tree oil with another oil

  1. Add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil (also called melaleuca essential oil) to 60 milliliters of regular oil (vegetable or olive oil).
  2. Coat the hair very well with the mixture and leave on for about 3 hours.
  3. Then, comb the dead lice and the nits out with a nit comb dipped in warm water and vinegar. Rinse the comb each time you comb nits out.
  4. Then wash the hair with a regular shampoo to remove the oil. Check out our tips to combing out head lice.

Note: tea tree oil can actually be replaced by citronella oil, rosemary oil or lavender oil.

Bonus: Recipe #3: Tea tree oil and lavender oil with almond oil

1. Mix 25 drops of tea tree essential oil and 25 drops of lavender essential oil with 100 milliliters of almond oil.
2. Coat the hair (preferably wet) with half of this mixture, just before shampooing.
3. Comb the hair with a regular comb, and then put the other half of the mixture on the scalp.
4. Again, comb the hair section by section with a regular comb, from the scalp towards the end of the hair, beginning on the forehead and ending in the neck area.
5. Wrap the head in a tight shower cap or plastic wrap and leave it on for 2 to 3 hours.
6. Rinse, make two regular shampoos, and rinse again very well.
7. Comb the hair with a nit comb dipped in water and vinegar to comb dead lice and nits out.
8. Repeat this treatment 7 days after the first one.

Where can you buy tea tree essential oil?

You can usually buy tea tree oil it at a “all natural” store, or in Vitamin World or GNC stores.

You should make sure you do not buy an oil in a clear glass. Essential oils should be sold in dark amber or blue glass bottles, as light can cause the oil to spoil.

Also make sure to buy a high quality essential oil, because they are not created equal and cheaper oils are usually of inferior quality.

Clive Mills, Brian V. Cleary, John J. Walsh, John F. Gilmer – Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by Tea Tree oil – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1211/0022357022773/abstract
Webmd.com – Tea tree oil