Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice For Real

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice

The mention of that four-letter word L-I-C-E can send parents of school-aged children into a panic and fast! Does tea tree oil kill lice saying it aloud is not our preference; we resort to secret whispers, as if lice were a deadly plague. In reality, however, head lice are not harmful or life-threatening. Yet, dealing with an infestation becomes a significant inconvenience. Consuming our time, energy, and occasionally causing embarrassment.

Experiencing a welcome relief would be avoiding the headache and head itching typically associated with lice. In recent years, you may have heard of tea tree oil due to the rise of the essential oils craze. While I generally have reservations about essential oils. Tea tree oil seems to have some merit among the many oils available.

Tea tree oil, derived from the tea tree (different from the tea plant use for brewing). Finds occasional use in treating bacterial or fungal skin infections. Manufacturers have developed various formulations of tea tree oil to address conditions including athlete’s foot, acne. Fungal nail infections, ringworm, lice, scabies, as well as serve as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and other bodily infections. Recently, there has been promotion of tea tree oil formulations as preventive measures against lice infestations when applied to the scalp.

Tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the tea tree plant, has been use medicinally by Aboriginal people in Australia for centuries. Today, people worldwide continue to embrace tea tree oil as a remedy for numerous conditions.

One of the claimed uses is the ability of tea tree oil to kill lice. However, not all experts are convinced, and further research is necessary before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

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Does it provide a safe and effective method for preventing lice?

You may be considering, “Alright, if other people are using tea tree oil for those purposes, then I should give it a try too.” While it is true that tea tree oil is utilized for various applications, it’s essential to have more information before making a decision for your family.

Two crucial aspects to address are its safety and effectiveness. When assessing the safety and effectiveness of such remedies. It’s important to remember that alternative or “natural” treatments are not subject to the same regulations as conventional medications.

While prescription and over-the-counter drugs undergo rigorous testing to establish their safety and effectiveness before public release, Manufacturers of health supplements have the sole obligation of reporting any issues that arise after their products have entered the market.

Furthermore, studies have revealed significant variability among the different tea tree oil products available. This means that not everything you see or hear about them can be trust, as it is often inaccurate or misleading.

These are some of the reasons why doctors and pharmacists may be cautious about recommending such therapies. They rely on scientific data to determine the safety and efficacy of a product for the specific medical conditions it claims to treat. Most alternative therapies lack reliable data to support the health benefits claimed by their sellers.

However, in the case of tea tree oil, there is some scientific data supporting its use in certain instances. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) states that tea tree oil has demonstrated effectiveness in treating athlete’s foot, acne, and fungal nail infections. Additionally, small-scale studies have shown that a combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil can effectively eliminate lice eggs and reduce the number of live lice.

Tea tree oil appears to be relatively safe for topical use on the skin. Although it may cause irritation or swelling in some individuals. However, it is important to note that tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. Concerns have also been raised regarding a potential link between tea tree oil and abnormal breast growth in boys. But there is currently insufficient data to confirm or refute this association.

Tea tree oil shows promise

A study published in BMC Dermatology found promising results. With investigators utilizing three different products to treat children with head lice. Including one containing tea tree oil and lavender oil. After finishing the treatment, nearly all the children who were administered the tea tree and lavender product or the lice suffocation product were determined to be free of lice. In contrast, only a quarter of the kids treated with pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide, common ingredients in anti-lice shampoos, were lice-free.

It might keep lice away

Researchers conducted another study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology. Where they compared botanical and synthetic substances to prevent lice in primary school-age children. The researchers determined that tea tree oil exhibited the highest efficacy as a standalone treatment. Tea tree oil and peppermint exhibited potential in repelling lice. While tea tree oil and lavender were observed to deter lice from feeding on treated skin. Nonetheless, the researchers concluded that none of the treatments reached the level of effectiveness required for official endorsement, despite the encouraging outcomes.

What risks does tea tree oil pose when used?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Most adults are generally considered safe when they apply diluted tea tree oil topically. Nevertheless, it is crucial to remain aware of the potential side effects linked to its usage.

Tea tree oil contains a compound that can irritate the skin, which may lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis, in some individuals. Furthermore, the repeated use of tea tree oil has been associated with the enlargement of breast tissue in prepubescent boys. The NCCIH highlights a study where a young boy experienced breast growth after using hair products containing tea tree oil and lavender oil.

Never swallow it

It is crucial to note that tea tree oil should never be swallow. According to the NCCIH, ingestion of tea tree oil is toxic and can result in symptoms. Such as drowsiness, disorientation, rash, and loss of muscle control in the arms and legs. In severe cases, individuals have even entered into a coma after consuming tea tree oil.

What’s the proper dose?

If you intend to utilize tea tree oil as a treatment for lice, you may be curious about the appropriate dosage. Scientists have not yet established a specific dose of tea tree oil that has been scientifically proven to be clinically effective.

During specific clinical trials, researchers administered a dose ranging from 1 to 10 percent tea tree oil in the form of a shampoo or gel. Typically, the researchers apply these formulations to the participants’ skin at least once a day for a duration of up to four weeks. It is advisable to consult your doctor for further guidance on the appropriate dosage and usage of tea tree oil for lice treatment.

Proceed with caution

Preliminary studies indicate that tea tree oil might have effectiveness in treating head lice. Either on its own or when use alongside other botanicals like lavender oil. However, further extensive studies are necessary before experts can confidently endorse tea tree oil as a safe and effective lice treatment.

If you or a family member is dealing with lice. It is important to consult your doctor and discuss various treatment options. Prior to attempting tea tree oil or any alternative remedies, seek their advice. They will assist you in evaluating the potential benefits and risks associated with the use of tea tree oil for lice treatment.


Does tea tree oil kill lice has garnered attention as a potential treatment for lice infestations. Although some studies indicate its effectiveness. Further comprehensive research is required to establish tea tree oil as a safe and reliable solution. It has shown promise in treating head lice when use alone or in combination with lavender oil. However, it is crucial to consult a doctor before considering tea tree oil or any alternative remedies for lice treatment. Medical professionals can provide guidance on different treatment options. Assess potential risks, and help determine the most suitable approach for individual cases.

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Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh is a content writer with a passion for both reading books and writing about health and lifestyle-based information. He has a deep understanding of the latest health trends and he is knowledgeable about a variety of lifestyle topics. He uses this knowledge to craft engaging and informative content that provides real value to the readers. His style is approachable and he strives to make complex health and wellness information accessible to everyone. For more info, you can visit his linkedIn profile.