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Effective Herbal Based Head Lice Treatment

Speaking of James Wong, I thought this neem oil head lice treatment recipe was a great example of the power of herbal remedies:

From an NPR interview with researcher James Wong:

Introduction: With up to 80 percent of head lice now resistant to conventional treatments, the hunt is on for an effective and safe insecticide to treat nits — the tiny eggs that are notoriously hard to eradicate. This natural recipe, free of organophosphates, uses plant extracts with known insecticidal properties to kill both lice and the nits.

Neem Nit Treatment

Makes enough for 5-10 doses

  • 20 tbsp (approx. 100 g) fresh rosemary leaves
  • 20 tbsp (approx. 25 g) fresh lavender flowers
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) neem oil
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) almond oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tea tree essential oil

1. Strip the rosemary leaves and lavender flowers from their sprigs.

2. Combine the neem and almond oil together in a measuring cup.

3. Crush half the rosemary and lavender in a mortar and pestle with a little of the oil to help ease the crushing process. Place the mashed-up herbs in a saucepan. Repeat with the second half of the rosemary and lavender, again adding a little oil for crushing.

4. Place the crushed herbs and the neem and almond oil in the pan, and add the minced garlic. Heat gently for about 20 minutes.

5. Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Add the tea tree oil to the reserved oil, stir, then filter into a sterilized 1⁄2 pint (500 ml) bottle.

Usage:  If using immediately, apply to dry hair, making sure that the hair is completely covered and that the oil penetrates to the scalp. Cover with a towel and leave on for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible. Then wash off with two applications of shampoo. Apply conditioner, and comb through with a nit comb. Use the next application 7 days later, to deal with any nits that may hatch during that time. Comb through with the nit comb every 3 days.

Storage: Keeps for 6 months.

From the book Grow Your Own Drugs By James Wong. Copyright 2009 by James Wong.

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