Autumn is almost here, and while the fall brings so many lovely associations of crisp weather, pumpkin spice everything, and approaching holidays, there is another association with back-to-school that is less pleasant, and on the minds of many parents: lice. These pests are unfortunately easily transferred among students in close classroom environments, and apparently, a new breed of “super lice” have become resistant to the over the counter pesticide treatments that are usually recommended. These lice have spread through 42 states, and it is certainly easier to avoid them than get rid of them, but how?
Many parents try to buy organic food and avoid unnecessary chemical exposure, so why would we want to apply even stronger prescription strength pesticides to our child’s scalp? Everything applied to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream in varying degrees, just like any topical pharmaceutical. That makes it very important to consider what we apply to our skin all the time, but especially when looking to eliminate a pest like lice. It can be tempting to use the strongest chemical available just to get rid of the nuisance, but we have to consider the effect on our children’s health. That is where essential oils can play an extremely helpful role!
Pure essential oils are carefully distilled and contain the plant’s strongest, most therapeutic properties. They can be effective even when harsher treatments are not, and since they are non-toxic and health promoting, using them preventatively is a great option to prevent lice from ever having a chance to become a problem!
Some oils that are known to help repel lice are:
Cedar Leaf (aka Thuja)
Tea Tree (aka Melaleuca)
(Any combination of these oils should be effective, but using all of them together even more so.)
Since essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts, it is important to purchase high quality oils from a reputable source, and use care when applying them to children. Usually it is suggested to dilute essential oils with a carrier, such as a salve or oil before applying. One great option is to combine one drop of each oil per teaspoon of carrier in a jar. Mix well, and rub a dab between your hands before massaging into the scalp. This will nourish dry hair and promote a healthy scalp as well! Another way to use the oils is to combine 10 drops of each in an 8oz spray bottle with water. Shake before spraying on a small amount while covering eyes, then smooth over the hair. With either preparation, if any irritation occurs, stop using. The oils may be too strong, in which case, dilute with more carrier. When preventing lice it is also recommended to keep long hair tied back in a bun.
Caitlin Eisner Fisch is a writer, personal chef, and independent distributor with Young Living essential oils. You can learn more about oils, and order through http://babystepseo.com/u/thejoyofcaitlin
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or check out her homeschooling journey on Instagram @thejoyofcaitlin and her essential oil journey @thejoyofcaitlin.oils