Written by Chris Kilham
It’s back to school time, and with this time of year comes some predictable childhood health problems. When dealing with head lice, pink eye and anxiety, try these simple natural remedies for relief.
The National Institute of Health’s website describes head lice as follows: “Head lice are tiny insects that live on the skin covering the top of your head, called the scalp. Lice can be spread by close contact with other people… Head lice can live up to 30 days on a human. Their eggs can live for more than 2 weeks. Head lice spread easily, particularly among school children. Head lice are more common in close, overcrowded living conditions.”
According to the National Institute of Health, the most common ways that people get head lice are by head to head contact, sharing hats, scarves, towels and head rests. Common drugs for head lice like the insecticide malathion, as well as lindane and benzyl alcohol, can be quite harsh on the scalp. In four different published studies, natural essential oils from plants proved equally effective in getting rid of head lice. These oils include oregano oil, lavender, anise seed and cinnamon leaf bergamot, spearmint, clary sage, pennyroyal, benzoin, caraway seed, Roman chamomile, tea tree, eucalyptus and lemongrass oils.
To treat head lice, mix any of these essential oils with a simple alcohol such as isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Alcohol will help the essential oils make it further into the skin and follicles. Try a mixture of five parts of alcohol mixed with one part essential oil. Leave the mixture on the scalp overnight and then shampoo the hair thoroughly in the morning. This treatment should be sufficient to kill the lice and their eggs – resolving the problem.
Conjunctivitis – more commonly known as pink eye – is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane that lines the eyelids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conjunctivitis can be caused by many factors, including allergies, bacteria, chemicals in the environment, fungi, viruses, and contact lenses – most often extended-wear contacts.