Every time I came back from school, some small, persistent creatures would crawl across my scalp, making it itch non-stop. My mother immediately recognized that the lice had set up camp on my head. As soon as she knew, she did everything she could to get rid of the lice as quickly as possible. She had several remedies up her sleeve. But neem oil for lice treatment worked the best.
It goes without saying that Indian households are filled with natural solutions that will help you get rid of various problems. Neem is one such natural herb that contains medicinal properties that provide numerous benefits. While it is true that the miraculous leaves can provide several benefits for your overall health, can neem help get rid of lice? Let’s see if my mom’s lice remedy gets a thumbs up from experts or not!
Does Neem Oil Work for Lice?
Neem or Azadirachta indica is a tree native to India. It has been used for centuries in the Indian subcontinent for the many medicinal properties it contains. A study published in the Pharmacognosy Review shows that neem has been used as a remedy for infections, pain and fever. Because it contains antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal properties, neem is a popular remedy for lice, says Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermatosurgeon at The Esthetic Clinics.
Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the neem tree, contains compounds such as azadirachtin that are known to disrupt the life cycle of lice. It further suffocates adult lice and even prevents their eggs from hatching. In short, it is an effective means of getting rid of lice.
Neem oil may work for some people, but its effectiveness may vary. Some people may find it useful in combination with other lice treatments or as a preventative measure.
How do you use neem oil against lice?
Here’s how to use neem oil to get rid of those stubborn little invaders known as lice.
1. Dilute some neem oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil to reduce its potency as it can be harsh on the scalp.
2. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair, focusing on the affected areas.
3. Let the mixture sit for a few hours or overnight.
4. Comb the hair with a fine-toothed lice comb to remove dead lice and nits (lice eggs).
5. Shampoo and rinse thoroughly to remove residue.
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The expert recommends repeating the process when necessary because lice can be stubborn and nits can be resistant to treatment.
Are There Side Effects of Neem Oil for Lice Treatment?
Although neem oil can be an effective remedy for lice, there are certain things you should keep in mind. The expert says some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to neem oil, so it is crucial to perform a patch test on a small area of skin to avoid complications. Leave it for a while and only use it further if you do not experience any itching or burning sensation.
You should also avoid ingestion as it can lead to problems. Taking Neem oil can prove to be poisonous when consumed. You may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and more serious symptoms if you do not take immediate action.
Neem oil is a natural option for treating lice, but its effectiveness may vary from person to person. It is more effective when combined with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and applied directly to the scalp. However, it is important to exercise caution, perform a patch test and consult a doctor if the problem persists. Additionally, you should consult a doctor if you have any concerns about using neem oil on your scalp, especially in children. You should avoid its intake or if you have allergies.