Tea tree oil, also known as melaleueca oil, originates from Australia and is harvested from the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia trees. Aboriginal people in Australia have used tea tree oil for centuries as a folk remedy, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that its antimicrobial properties were documented and people started using tea tree oil for lice.
In the 1970’s, tea tree oil started becoming a very popular and well-known home remedy in Western society, which can be attributed to the resurgence of interest in natural products during this time. Recently, tea tree oil has become a popular way for people to prevent and treat head lice outbreaks. One study on tea tree oil found found it to be more effective at getting rid of lice than permethrin, which is a synthetic chemical prescribed to treat lice.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Many products designed to kill lice contain powerful chemicals and may be unhealthy to use. In addition to being potentially toxic, some chemical pesticides designed to kill lice may negatively affect the Ph balance of hair follicles. Tea tree oil; however, doesn’t have the same negative side effects since it is a naturally derived essential oil. In fact, a tea tree oil lice treatment has been noted as a safe and effective alternative treatment to prevent and get rid of head lice. This is one of the main reasons that tea tree oil treatment options have been embraced by the alternative medicine community.
Tea Tree Oil Advantages:
- Safe and natural
- No toxic chemicals
- No dangerous side effects like other treatments
Getting lice can be an uncomfortable experience for you or your child. The first step is to take the affected person into a sterile environment. The bathroom may be the best place to apply treatment, since spilled oil can be easily cleaned off of the flat surfaces. You may simply dab the tea tree oil into the person’s hair, or you may opt to mix it into some shampoo for a brief rinse. Make sure to coat as many hair follicles as possible with the tea tree oil while you apply this treatment. This is important to do because lice are notorious for being a very invasive pest and are very challenging to completely remove.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil To Prevent Lice
You may also consider using a nit comb along with the tea tree oil. Though tea tree oil will effectively kill lice, you’ll want something to gradually comb them out of the persons hair to ensure that all of them are removed. Additionally, though adult lice may jump off, the eggs or nits will still be stuck in the hair. Additionally, you can use tea tree oil and wash all of the person’s clothes and bed spreads since these may also contain lice. This can help prevent another outbreak from occurring within your home.
Using a Nit Comb:
- Apply tea tree oil and make sure entire head is covered
- Do one side of the head at a time and make sure to cover area
- Examine scalp closely to make sure all eggs are removed
- Use the comb one more time to ensure all eggs are removed
Is it Effective?
Tea tree oil for lice has been noted as a safe and effective way at preventing and treating an outbreak. It is an all natural essential oil and doesn’t have the same harmful side effects that more traditional methods may have. However, it is important to note that a very small number of people may experience allergic reactions to tea tree oil, so it’s best to try a small amount first. There are also many different tea tree oil and lice products you can use. Always be sure to discuss with your doctor before beginning any tea tree oil lice treatment.