Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), Eucalyptus radiata
This blend of oils has been reported in antidotal testimonies to help avoid and eliminate lice issues.
Application Suggestions (see Essential Oil Usage):
Babies, Children and Pregnant Women
Many commercial, chemical preparations should not be used by pregnant woman or infants under 3 years of age. For prevention for a baby, you may want to use 3 drops of the following mixture in baby shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
The following essential oils are considered safe for babies, children and pregnant women. For very small children, you may want to use ½ the amount of essential oils.
20 drops Tea Tree + 15 drops Lavender + 10 drops Eucalyptus radiata (This is the No Lice! blend)
Add 10 drops of this blend to 1 TB Jojoba oil (2% ratio) and apply it to the scalp.
Make sure you don’t get this in the baby’s eyes or ears (if you do, add jojoba oil to dilute).
Cover the hair and leave for 2+ hours or overnight.
Follow the combing and rinsing directions below.
Using a fine-toothed comb, gently comb, wiping the comb between each sweep through the hair. You may want to pass the comb through vinegar each time to help clean the comb. For long hair, you may need to use clips to separate the hair as you comb in sections. When you have combed the whole head, wash the hair over a sink or bath tub with shampoo. Then use the following rinse. (If you do this in a shower, you may not be able to rinse the lice and eggs effectively off your body.)
2 ounces vinegar + 2 ounces water + 10 drops No Lice! essential oil blend.
Shampoo the hair while leaning over a sink or bathtub (not in a shower).
Shake the rinse blend very well, and then pour the rinse through the hair, making sure it doesn’t get into the eyes or ears. For long hair, this may be easier to apply using a peri or similar type bottle.
Repeat this process a week later to remove any that have hatched out from eggs that remained.
~ A rinse is used in all cases. The rinse by itself is ineffective. ~
Note: Jojoba oil is said to dissolve sebum, which may help the essential oils penetrate the insect cuticle faster. Other carrier oils could also be tried, as the insect cuticle is generally soluble to lipids and lipid-soluble compounds. Olive oil overnight on lice eggs prevented the majority of the eggs from developing, but it did not work as effectively with adult lice.
More Lice Control Information Using Essential Oils
Aniseed essential oil still killed 100% of the adults and eggs when diluted 50:50 with water. (The herbal infusion of aniseed was not effective.)
Oregano essential oil killed 99.3% of eggs and 100% of adults (although this may irritate skin).
Tea tree essential oil had 93% adult mortality and 83% egg mortality.
Activity of Tea Tree oil Against Head Lice and It's Eggs
The blended oils that work best are said to be a 50:50 mixture of Tea Tree and Cinnamon Leaf (not cinnamon bark), which killed 100% of the lice and 96% of the eggs.
A rinse was used in all cases. The rinse by itself is ineffective.
Jojoba oil may be used as a solvent, which will deal with the solubility problem. Jojoba oil is said to dissolve sebum, which means that the oils may penetrate the insect cuticle faster. Other carrier oils could also be tried, as the insect cuticle is generally soluble to lipids and lipid-soluble compounds. Olive oil overnight on lice eggs prevented the majority of the eggs from developing, but it did not work so effectively with adult lice. Grain Alcohol (Vodka) is known to increase the penetration rate of the cuticle.
1/5 ounces water preferably with Jojoba oil + 10 drops of an effective essential oil mentioned above. This will be easier to apply if you put it in a peri bottle or an old dish soap bottle.
Rub this into the scalp and leave covered (disposable shower cap) overnight or at least 2+ hours since the lice can shut down their respiratory systems in a “survival mode.”
Leaning over a sink or bathtub, wash hair in the morning with shampoo. (If you do this in a shower, you may not be able to rinse the lice and eggs effectively off your body.)
Rinse using 2 drops essential oil in ½ pint of 50:50 vinegar and water.
Repeat the process a week later.
Prevention: We were exposed to lice by some children visiting, and I did the treatment on the hair, except I didn't do the fine-toothed combing since they didn't have lice (yet!). The children who brought the lice were not staying with us, or that would have posed other issues, but since our children had only been near them in a social context, we felt that one treatment would suffice, and it did for us. If they are potentially continually being exposed, then you may want to do this at least once or a couple times weekly. I think it takes a week for the eggs to hatch, so you can figure if exposed on Monday, if you do a thorough treatment once or twice before they hatch, then you'll probably kill them if they are there. I'd also wash their pillow covers in hot water and dry in the sunshine several times weekly as well - seems like prevention would be almost like assuming they might have them until all "danger" of exposure has passed.
1. My sister's 3 grandchildren came down with head lice. Two of the children live with my sister and the 3rd lives elsewhere. The 2 children with my sister were treated with the No Lice blend - 1st application, then 2nd application 2 days later, then 3rd application a week later, and they were clear! She used the rinse recipe as a spray to treat the car, furniture etc. And, of course, all bedding and clothing and toys got washed well. Unfortunately, the 3rd grandchild was treated with RID and perhaps not thoroughly on her or her environment, because she continues, several weeks later, to have the head lice. Just wanted you to know that your No Lice blend is very effective. I saw the live lice and eggs on one of the children, and after one treatment, no live lice and just a few eggs. After the second treatment, her head was clear! My sister was so happy to be able to handle the problem effectively and without harmful chemicals. Thank you! - Margaret
2. I just want to thank you for all your patient help while I was dealing with lice. It appears to be gone from me and my daughter. No one else in the family got it. Yay! I really appreciate your concern and prayers. I know where I will order future oils from. - Tammi
3. The No Lice blend worked PERFECTLY for my sister whose grandchildren suffered with lice. - Margaret
4. We have had great success with cedar oil. We put it on our head, put on a shower cap and leave it overnight. We do this every few days until I am confident it is gone. - Emily
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood
Aromatherapy Global Online Research Archives
Avoid contact with the eye. Essential oils are lipophilic, meaning they are attracted to fat—like the membranes of your eye and skin. Essential oils are hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Wiping with carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eye. We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your doctor if necessary.