Head Lice and children
Head Lice are a common problem, especially in school children between the ages of 4 to 11years.The lice are relatively harmless, but can be irritating and frustrating to deal if they live in the hair for a long time without treated. They walk from head to head, during physical contact. If they become detached from the head they are vulnerable, and their eggs need to be kept warm, so children are unlikely to catch head lice from bedding or from the backs of chairs. Head lice usually feed on blood every five hours; if they’re removed from the head, they quickly start to become very weak and die. They are extremely difficult to spot because they camouflage well in the hair varying in colour from whitish to grey-brown. They can be as small as a pin head or as large as a sesame seed.
One of the ways to confirm a child has head lice is to find a live louse by combing their hair with a special fine-toothed comb called a nit comb which you can buy from your local pharmacy.
Detection combing can be done on dry or wet hair. Dry combing takes less time, but wet combing is more accurate because washing with conditioner stops head lice moving.
Other signs of Head Lice:
Small white eggs or nits (egg cases) in the hair behind the ears or at back of the neck.
An itchy scalp.
A rash on the back of the neck.
Feeling as though something is moving in the hair.
Treating Head Lice allopathically.
There are lotions or sprays that kill head lice available from Pharmacies – but some state they aren't suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for children under two (so why would anyone use them?).
Removing head lice with a nit comb – which less convenient because it has to be done several times to be affective, but is relatively inexpensive, and is non-toxic.
Treating Head lice homeopathically and naturally:
From a homeopathic perspective, it is important to look at diet, as an acidic diet full of refined carbohydrates (now common), lots of sugar and processed foods can lead to a destruction of the natural bio flora that governs the intestines and the immune system.
The continued use of allopathic drugs such as steroids, vaccinations etc. adds to a lowered immune system making children more susceptible to Lice.
From an energetic perspective, dysfunction in the large intestines can lead to external susceptibility to head lice. This can be linked emotionally to letting go of grief and changes in a child’s life. Anything that causes us conflict and unhappiness can find release here and create intestinal problems and increase our susceptibility to parasitic infestations because the environment has to be right for the lice to establish themselves. It is very important to establish the causes of your child’s susceptibility to head lice.
Before we look at homeopathic remedies it is worth addressing the key issues.
If intestinal integrity is weakened by using drugs:
Anti-biotics, steroids etc. kill off the beneficial bacteria as well as the bad bacteria, making you more susceptible to food allergies, toxins, malabsorption disorders, inflammatory conditions, and of course catching head lice.
Taking prebiotics and probiotics can help regenerate digestive integrity. This is essential for health and a daily must for the modern children.
Eating a diet rich in fermented foods, which contain large amounts of the beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, is essential for optimal health. Making Kefir is a good start. http://happykombucha.co.uk/collections/live-kefir
Tools for supporting the body to fight reoccurring infestations are:
Superfoods are a special category of foods found in nature. By definition they are low in calorie and have a nutritional content, they are superior sources of anti-oxidants and essential nutrients - nutrients we need but cannot make ourselves.
Even if we are adding more salads and vegetables to our diets, we need to take into consideration the quality of foods grown on mineral depleted soils with pesticides and herbicides. This then makes Superfoods an intelligent choice.(And easier to get children to take as they can be added to foods they like).
I believe investing in superfoods for children who don’t get enough greens in their diets is well worth the money; personally, I prefer this to buying supplements.
Wet detection combing with natural products:
Wash the hair with Neem shampoo (the Neem team do a good range of Neem products) and apply plenty of Neem conditioner.
Use an ordinary, wide-toothed comb to straighten and untangle the first hair.
Once the comb moves freely through the hair without dragging, switch to the nit comb.
Make sure the teeth of the comb slot into the hair at the roots, with the edge of the teeth lightly touching the scalp.
Draw the comb down from the roots to the ends of the hair with every stroke, and check the comb for lice each time – remove lice by wiping the comb with tissue paper or rinsing it.
Work through the hair, section by section, so that the whole head of hair is combed through.
Do this at least twice to help ensure you haven't missed any areas and continue until you find no more lice.
Add 2 drops of each essential oils of Tea tree oil/Lavender oil/ and Neem oil to Aloe gel.
Create a mixture of your Tea tree and Lavender essential oil, Neem oil to Aloe gel. Smother the hair with the mixture.
Place a shower cap over the head and leave overnight.
The following morning rinse out the Aloe gel mixture and comb out dead lice and nits.
Use care if applying essential oil directly on the skin as it can cause irritation depending on your level of sensitivity. Applying it along with a carrier such as ale gel or carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil will alleviate this concern. Make sure you buy organic pure essential oils not cheap synthetic oils that may be toxic.
Homeopathic remedies do not control physiological processes in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs. Instead they are designed to stimulate the body to find its own natural equilibrium to complete its own healing. This makes them appropriate for acute and chronic conditions especially home prescribing because they are safe. The following remedies will also make sure that head lice do not reoccur and will support the immune system to come in to proper balance.
Acute Homeopathic Remedies for Lice
Arsenicum: Chronic reoccurring of head lice, the child becomes anxious restless and fearful. The scalp becomes intolerably itchy at night with sensitivity combing and brushing the hair.
Lycopodium: Children are susceptible to lice because all their resources are spent in a state of anxious anticipation to perform well at school. Their digestion is weak leading to malabsorption and there is a craving for sweets and cakes. Itching aggravated between 4 and 8 pm at night.
Psorinum: Chronic cases, with reoccurring out breaks of head lice - the first signs of infestation are usually accompanied by sneezing and itchiness of the nose as if the child has hay fever. Severe itching of the head, worse at night, with the heat of bed.
Staphisagria: This remedy is especially useful for children’s whose susceptibility to head lice may be due to being bullied at school, they feel victimised. They feel angry and humiliated but are unable to express their feelings. The scalp itches, changing place on scratching; there is a feeling of crawling insects on the scalp
Sulphur: Very similar to Psorinum with reoccurring out breaks of lice. Children become peevish and selfish. The scalp is dry, the hair brittle and it becomes extremely sweaty and moist at night. As soon as they get warm in bed, the itching starts with burning and soreness.
The difference between conventional medication and Homeopathic remedies.
Homeopathic Remedies differ from drugs in at least two important regards. First, homeopathic remedies are not given as material doses so are completely safe.
Secondly, they work on a subtle level to stimulate the body to do more of what it is already doing and that is to complete its healing. Symptoms are the body trying to heal itself so finding out the cause of the symptoms is very important.
This very much relies on the resources to heal this is why we discussed probiotics and the importance of superfoods for children - our environment from food to water and sunshine provide the human body with the resources to heal.
Homeopaths believe that many of these acute diseases are actually acute exacerbations of the chronic states latent within the constitution that have been brought forth by exciting factors.
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