How to Help Parents Cope with Preventing and Getting Rid of Head Lice


Adult Louse (Lice)

According to an article by Channel 4 News, researchers have determined there is a new strain of lice with a high level of resistance to current over the counter medications being used, therefore, prescription medications may be necessary. It also seems as though the combs, “nit pickers”, typically used to remove lice are ineffective as well.

The study that was conducted suggests two possible prescriptions that may be helpful, ivermectin or spinosad. However, no additional information is provided about these two prescriptions that would be place on the heads of children across the United States. As a mom, grandmother, learning specialist, nutritionist and basically an inquisitive individual who walks to her own drummer and wants to know why before doing anything, I have taken the time to find out what are these prescriptions, how are they used, what might be the side effects and are there alternatives.

Ivermectin: This is a drug mixture of two structurally synthetic lactones that is used in veterinary medicine. It is used to treat a variety of parasitic infections, nematode worms, mites and insects. It has been used orally and typically for head lice, but was not previously licensed for this purpose ( ). Only after two trials, the FDA approved its usage on children in 2012 (

Spinosad: this is described as an organic flea, tick and mosquito control for dogs, cats and the home.

As a fourth generation nutritionist and following family traditions of my Navajo grandmother and mother who is a hematologist and certified herbalist, there are other natural things that can be used topically as well as orally to repel many forms of insects.

Topical Treatments for Lice May Include:


  • Lavender Oil as an ingredient in shampoo, bath body wash and laundry detergent
  • Pennyroyal can be sprinkled on cushions, rugs and linen
  • Eucalyptus oil and Citronella combined then added to shampoo, bath and body wash and laundry detergent

Oral Treatments for Lice  May Include:

Fruits and Vegetables (3)

  • Culinary Lavender added to soups, pastry, deserts etc
  • Lemongrass as a tea or in soups
  • Peppermint in teas
  • Garlic and Onion in every day cooking
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables especially those containing vitamin-C

Prevention and Treatment for Lice:

Avoid processed foods and especially sugar as lice love sugar, they feed on it, it is their food. Given the life cycle of lice, a daily routine to eliminate all traces should be a maintained for a minimum of 2 months. This should enable you to kill both the adults and any larva (babies) that may be in the developing stages. See diagram below:


A Few References:

Strains of Lice in 25 States May Now Resist common Treatments

Safety and side Effects of Ivermectin in Dogs and Cats

Environmental Risks of Dissolved Ivermectin to Marine Organisms

Head Lice (2011)

New Treatment for Head Lice Effective With One Dose and No Combing (2012)

Is There a Food You Can Eat to Repel Mosquitos?


Before using any of these oils either topically or orally, it is advised you check with your doctor. Nothing contained herein is to be interpreted as Mama Vega, Mama Vega Products or any of the subsidiaries providing medical advice or prescribing treatments. Everything presented is shared using evidenced-based information.


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