Home remedies

The best home remedies for lice

The best home remedies for lice

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Treat head lice with natural home remedies

In this article, you will learn which home remedies help with lice. Lice are still a taboo subject in society. Little insects are quickly associated with uncleanliness. The bloodsuckers are neither dangerous nor do they transmit any diseases. They also have nothing to do with poor hygiene.

In order to deal with the little beasts, chemical agents are mostly used. Alternatively, tried-and-tested home remedies can provide a natural remedy - although their application and effectiveness are still controversial. Regardless of which measures are taken, treatment in the case of lice infestation is imperative to curb the spread.

Important in lice infestation: take the right precautions

Hysteria is no longer necessary when a family member brings lice home. However, there are a few things to consider and precautions to be taken: Bed linen, pajamas and towels for the person concerned must be washed at at least 60 ° C. Towels should not be used with other family members at the same time. The risk of being infected by objects is not great. Nevertheless, hats and scarves are best washed after diagnosis and not shared with others. Combs and brushes should be cleaned daily in hot vinegar water or soapy water and not passed on to other people.

For a long time, people thought that cuddly toys had to be packed in a plastic bag in the freezer for a few days. Explaining to the kids that their best friend should be in the cold room for a while is not easy. In any case, however, the favorite animal should be examined, sucked off and possibly washed.

The house does not have to undergo a cleaning column. Vacuuming carpets and sofas is sufficient. A child suffering from head lice is not allowed to visit a community facility such as school, kindergarten or after-school care. The facility must also be advised that lice are in circulation in order to avoid infection.

Schools and kindergartens usually distribute leaflets on which the rules of conduct in the event of a head louse infestation can be found. It is also usually mentioned here that the child can visit the community facility again as soon as treatment has started with an officially approved agent. However, home remedies are not mentioned here and are also not permitted. If there is suspicion that a person has contracted lice, but the beasts cannot be found, a visit to the doctor or health department can help.

Natural treatment for lice

It is still controversial whether home remedies really produce the desired result for head lice. But not everyone wants to treat their scalp immediately with chemical agents. Products with chemical insecticides (insecticides) are often not tolerated and may not be used by children or pregnant and lactating women in general. In such cases, treatment with natural means is definitely worth trying. If these are unsuccessful, parents and those affected can find advice in the pharmacy when choosing a suitable lice remedy.

Important tool: a good comb

A good lice comb is generally important. This has tines, the distance between them is not greater than 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters. A corresponding comb made of metal or plastic is available. Plastic combs are softer, do not hurt so much when combing and their color makes it easier to identify lice and eggs. This should be used every day.

To better catch the wingless insects, damp hair is best treated with a commercial conditioner, which makes the small insects a little sluggish. Then the hair is parted and combed strand by strand from the hairline and the "result" is removed with a towel. In this way it can be checked whether lice and / or lice eggs have been detected.

Hair treatment with vinegar water and olive oil

Vinegar water, which is made from one part of household vinegar and two parts of warm water, also has a debilitating effect on the small insects. The mixture should act on the hair for ten minutes, after which the procedure described above is carried out with the lice comb. In any case, regardless of the home remedy chosen, the hair is searched daily with the lice comb, as long as lice and eggs are still found. The comb is then cleaned in hot vinegar water.

Another effective home remedy for fighting lice is olive oil. This is first warmed up and then generously applied to the hair and scalp. The oil can act for several hours or even overnight, wrapped in a towel. Then eggs and nits are removed with the special comb and then the hair is washed with a conventional shampoo (possibly enriched with a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil). A shampoo that contains willow bark extract and coconut oil is helpful. This can also be used for prevention.

Vaseline and mayonnaise are also known to help choke blood-sucking parasites. This also embalms the hair, covers it with a plastic cap and wraps it in a towel. This "anti-lice pack" can stay on your hair all night.

Combat lice with essential oils

Lice don't like the smell of essential oils like citronella, lavender, rosemary or geranium. Two drops are mixed with soybean or coconut oil so that the hair, especially around the neck, temples and ears, is soaked. Then a shower cap is pulled over it and packed in a towel. The whole should work for at least an hour. To wash off a large amount of shampoo is needed, to which a few drops of tea tree oil are best added.

The pharmacy has various products that contain essential oils, vinegar, rapeseed and or coconut oil. This will help you get rid of head lice quickly.

Effective lice treatment with tea tree oil

To fight adult head lice, the Australian tea tree oil has proven itself, because it has a germicidal and slightly disinfecting effect, inhibits inflammation and relieves the itching sensation. The oil can be used for all types of treatment and thus helps to gradually eradicate the insects.

  • Mix about 10 drops of the intensely smelling tea tree oil in your hand with the usual amount of your (ph-neutral) shampoo
  • Foam the hair with it and let the shampoo oil treatment take effect for about 10 minutes

Hair tonic

  • Mix 25 milliliters of high-percentage alcohol (50 percent) and distilled water with five milliliters of tea tree oil
  • Massage the mixture carefully into the scalp and it is best to leave it on overnight
  • The next morning the hair is washed thoroughly and brushed or combed

Detergent additive

  • Since tea tree oil is an excellent disinfectant, it is very suitable for treating lice, clothes, bed linen, pillowcases, etc. in the washing machine
  • Put about 50 drops of tea tree oil per full load of laundry into the wash cycle

Danger: Use caution when using tea tree oil and take care that the oil does not come into contact with the eyes and mucous membranes! The oil should not be used in combination with homeopathic remedies!

Natural help through homeopathy and Bach flowers

Homeopathy is common in lice infestations Graphites (Black Carbon) D6 is used to relieve severe itching. It is also suitable for this Ledum very good, two globules are taken three times a day. Sabadilla can change the human body odor minimally, so that the unpleasant insects are "driven" to another place. Experts recommend taking five globules in the morning for a maximum of three weeks.

Children are particularly often affected by lice. If these are discovered, panic quickly arises - with the child itself, but also with parents, siblings, etc. Suddenly everyone starts to “automatically” scratch and suspect the little bloodsuckers everywhere. In this case, the flower "Crab Apple" (number 10) from the field of Bach flower therapy is recommended because it helps particularly well against the hectic pace, restlessness and fear. In order to be able to treat the lice effectively, rest and a structured procedure are necessary, so additional treatment of this kind can relax the situation considerably for all involved.

Head lice: causes and risk factors

Head lice are blood suckers that feed exclusively on blood. Without this food, they must die after two to three days at the latest. The two to five millimeter large parasites choose humans as hosts to live there - on the hairy head (pubic lice, on the other hand, prefer pubic hair). The louse needs four to five meals a day, which means that it drinks blood every five hours.

If this unpleasant insect is sucked in, it is painless because it releases a narcotic. The bad thing about the louse is its reproduction. The female lays between five and ten eggs within a day, which she sticks to the hair near the scalp with a sticky substance. This "glue" is water-insoluble, which means that washing normal hair cannot harm the lice.

Adult lice, louse eggs and larvae are in different stages of development on the head at the same time. The first animals hatch from the eggs after about ten days. These become sexually mature within seven to ten days. The female bloodsuckers reach the age of thirty to thirty-five days, the male lice about fifteen days old.

A female louse lays about 100 eggs in her life. The insects prefer to settle in the neck and behind the ears because they are the easiest to find food there. They prefer children's heads between the ages of three and twelve and attack girls more often than boys, since they usually have longer hair. The bloodsuckers love a temperature between 28 and 32 ° C and a humidity of around seventy percent.


Lice become noticeable by massive itching or head itching - even before they can be seen in the hair. This is triggered by the saliva of the insects and occurs especially at night in a warm bed, which can be very sleep-consuming at times. Some sufferers also develop so-called lice eczema on the neck, which is noticed by red, itchy and flaky nodules.

The itching does not have to occur immediately, but can only start after several weeks, even if lice are already present. Intensive scratching can ignite the affected areas and cause swelling of the lymph nodes on the neck. Such an infection belongs in the hands of a doctor.

Diagnosis: This is how head lice can be discovered

A direct diagnosis is made by finding living adult lice. Although these can be seen with the naked eye, they are so nimble that a little luck is required to discover the parasites. The more lice there are, the easier it is to track them down, which is simplified by the following trick: damp hair is massaged with a normal conditioner, because this makes the little beasts “unable to act” for a short time.

The rinse makes combing easier with a very fine comb, a so-called “lice comb”. Streak for streak is combed through, then the comb is wiped on a towel. This can reveal the insects. Once the beasts have dried, they move again at a normal pace, unless they have already died. To make sure that there are really lice on the towel, the following helps: If what is on the towel clings to a hair and crawls on it, this is certainly a louse.

Another diagnostic option is the indirect type, that is, the search for eggs or nits. Nits are the shells of the eggs from which the larva hatched. Only experts can distinguish eggs from nits. The eggs stick to the side of the hair, very close to the scalp. They are brownish, grayish, about 0.8 mm in size, attached to the hair like tiny drops and cannot be shaken off.

With the help of the lice comb, which is very carefully combed strand by strand, the eggs can be discovered. Hair grows an inch a month and a fresh lice egg is brought very close to the hairline in order to find food there. It can therefore be assumed that if they are more than one centimeter from the hairline, they are empty (nits) and can therefore no longer cause any damage.

Transmission paths

Lice can neither jump nor bounce. However, they are climbing artists, along the hair. Accordingly, there must be close hair or head contact so that the bloodsucker can change from person to person. Children especially like to put their heads together while playing. However, only adult louse specimens have the ability to leave the host. The louse babies are unable to do this. The eggs cannot serve as a transmission path either, as they stick to the hair until they hatch. Even if hair falls out, this is not possible because the as yet undeveloped lice need blood immediately after hatching and cannot survive without the temperature on the head.

For a long time, it was believed that the insects could be transmitted via shared hats or cuddly toys. However, this is very unlikely since the lice are extremely reluctant to leave their host voluntarily. However, a transfer is possible via combs or brushes. Because a louse can be pinched when combing, survive until the next day and then find a new host on another head. If the pests have left the human head, they become slow and immobile quite quickly and starve to death within two to three days. (sw, nr)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Editor Heilpraxis.de, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Information from the German Pediculosis Society (accessed: August 18, 2019), German Pediculosis Society
  • Shankar Raghunath Phatak: Homeopathic Medicine Teaching, Urban & Fischer Verlag Munich, 5th edition, 2013
  • Laura Meister, Falk Ochsendorf: Head lice epidemiology, biology, diagnostics and therapy, Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2016, Deutsches Ärzteblatt
  • Maria Kettenring: Medicine cabinet essential oils: quick help for every day, Joy Verlag (February 10, 2014)

Video: Best Treatments for Lice. Consumer Reports (January 2023).