Pinworms, headlice.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: pinworms & headlice
From: Tsu Dho Nimh <>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 11:17:34 -0700

"Rowyn Wood" <> wrote:
>Having the grand fortune of finding both pinworms and headlice over the holidays on my kids, I volunteered to write a paper for the school to provide parents and staff with information. I am in the process of learning to become a nutritional consultant with a few other modules also, all in the field of holistic health.
>So I would really like to provide some information on natural treatments for both of these.
>I have been having a hard time finding a liquid cleanse for children, both as treatment or preventative, any I have seen are pill form so far, or MLM, which is not what I am looking for (no offense, I just want something a person can pick up at the healthfood store).

It's about PREVENTION as well as treatment. A full de-worm regimen has to include thorough cleaning of the whole house because the eggs are loose all over the place.

The best preventive in the world is available at EVERY supermarket and drugstore ... it's called SOAP. Lax hygiene spreads worms.

And ALL members of the household need to be treated at once. One non-prescription treatment is green pumpkin seeds, ground into a powder and uses to thicken a sauce or soup (approximately 1 tablespoon powder for toddlers up to ¼ to ½ cup for adults). Give three days in a row, and repeat in a 2 weeks.

>I was told black walnut tincture is good, but was told by another source that it is slightly poisonous. (very mildly but is it safe to take for myself or kids on a regular basis?)

To kill worms, it HAS to be slightly poisonous.

>And I also came across information on that said...
> "The information published describes essential oils, including tea tree oil as complex mixtures of over 100 hydrocarbons and terpenes. Neurotoxic effects were noted with no known mechanism of action. The conclusion was that for safety reasons, the promotion of commercially available essential oils as treatments for head lice should be dicouraged until more data is available."

YUP, if it can kill bugs, it might be dangerous to people. Try the smothering routine:

Comb hair out, then work vaseline or any vegetable oil liberally into the scalp and hair (making sure not to tangle the hair). Cover with a shower cap or something and leave it for several hours or overnight. Dilute some liquid dishwashing detergent in warm water and use it for the first shampoo to cut the grease. Follow with several shampoos.

Another way to kill the lice and eggs is with heat ... use straightening irons, curling irons, or blow-dry on hot to kill them.

You have to remember to treat the combs, brushes, hairbands, toys, and everything else that comes in contact with the head. If they can't be washed, seal them into plastic bags and leave them in a warm place (sun, car trunk, etc.) for three weeks. Around here, one day in a car trunk will sterilize almost anything.

Tsu Dho Nimh

From: Zorniak <>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 18:35:26 -0600

Hi, as a teacher on the front line I have have heard all of the remedies and excuses of why children have head lice. No, tea tree oil does not work, it makes the hair feel nice but does not get rid of the pests. Vaseline is slightly effective but you then have a greasy mess to clean up and the possibility of lice still in the hair. Nix or other lice labeled shampoos work - only if the nits are removed. Shampoo is a way to kill the live lice and clear up some of the new batch - but the nits have to be combed out or else you will have repeat cases.


From: "Rob Wing" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 17:55:16 -0500

I have to agree with Zorniak on this one. I fought this war for 3 months with my daughter. If the children have hair longer than shoulder length, cut to shoulder length - it is easier to manage.

The hair should be treated every three days (these guys are the masters of stealth). You can pick the lice (dead?) out with tweezers. I question mark the dead lice because Nix will not kill them - it stuns them. If you picked out the Nixed lice and placed a droplet of water on them - they come back to life within a minute.

You need to check daily for nits - they need to be combed out daily.

Every three days check for lice and treat even if you don't see any. If there are nits, there is lice.

To be sure. Boil all combs and brushes daily that the child uses.

Try this for a month and the lice should go away. Also, tell the school nurse - the school and day care (if used) need to be aware of the lice. You can be assured that other families will not treat this problem as aggressively as you will.

From: Zaphod & Trillian <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 21:09:55 -0800

After reading through this thread, I see that there are several recommendations that one use a nit comb, plastic or metal. My children had lice once and nit combs do not do it. The expression "nitpicking" has a real meaning to it when you are getting rid of lice. The only way to do it is have the child sit in front of you and go through the hair and pick the nits out and wipe them off your fingernails onto a wet paper towel. Do this thoroughly- about 3 hours worth, the first day, then do it thoroughly the second day, then do it thoroughly the third day, etc. Boil the bedding the first day, etc. The over the counter remedies may have worked at one time, but the current crop of lice is immune to them. The old English remedy is kerosine, and it still works. I wish there were an effective herbal remedy - my granddaughter brought home scalp passengers from school recently and my poor daughter tried everything before resorting to the old methods.