Every time I came home from school, tiny, stubborn creatures would crawl on my scalp, causing incessant itching. Right away, my mother recognized that the lice had set up camp on my head. As soon as she found out, 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 works best.
It goes without saying that Indian households are full of natural solutions that 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 these wonderful leaves can provide several benefits for your overall health, can neem help get rid of lice? Let’s see if my mother’s lice remedy gets the approval of the experts or not!
Is neem oil for lice effective?
Neem or Azadirachta indica is a tree found in India. It has been used for centuries in the Indian subcontinent due to the many medicinal properties it contains. A study published in the Pharmacognosy Review found that neem was used as a remedy to treat infections, pain and fever. As it contains antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal properties, neem is a popular remedy used to combat lice, says Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.
Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the neem tree, contains compounds like azadirachtin known to disrupt the life cycle of lice. It further suffocates adult lice and even inhibits the hatching of their eggs. In short, it is an effective remedy to get 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 to use neem oil against lice?
Here’s how to use neem oil to get rid of those persistent little intruders called lice.
1. Dilute some neem oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil 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. Leave the mixture to act 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 as needed because lice can be stubborn and nits can be resistant to treatment.
Are there any side effects of neem oil for lice treatment?
Although neem oil can be an effective remedy for lice, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The expert says that some people might be sensitive or allergic to neem oil, so it is crucial to do a patch test on a small area of the skin to avoid any complications. Leave it for a while and continue using it only if you do not feel any problems like itching or burning sensation.
You should also avoid ingestion as this can lead to problems. Ingesting neem oil can prove toxic when consumed. You may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and more serious symptoms if you are not treated immediately.
Neem oil is a natural option for treating lice, but its effectiveness may vary from person to person. It is most 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 skin test and consult a healthcare professional 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 ingesting it or if you have any allergies.