Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nasty Nits

We had an encounter recently with nits...are you scratching yet just thinking about them? I am.
I check my girls hair regularly when I know they are going around, which seems to be mostly when the seasons turn into Autumn and into Spring.
We haven't had them in over four it was probably our turn again, and the fact that my guard was down led to the following mistakes.

This time I had mistakenly sent Cherub to preschool with freshly washed hair that she had refused to let me tie up. The evening before I had washed and conditioned her hair and whilst I was blow drying it I checked for nits. Nothing.
The next day when I picked her up from preschool I could see the eggs all around her hairline. They had obviously jumped on board early and started reproducing with a vengeance. I sat there squishing as many lice and nits as I could easily find...they were HUGE and gross. The only way to easily ensure you kill them is to 'pop' them between two thumbnails.

The nits are the eggs and the lice are the live insects.

Remember that lice don't jump they are just very agile swingers from one hair strand to another, so ensure your own hair is tied up and out of the way before commencing any treatment.
Immediate action was taken to prevent the spread throughout the family and within a couple of days she was confirmed nit and lice free. Remember that they love clean hair and dislike dirty greasy hair.

 Here is the best natural treatment for nits that I know of - not for the slight of stomach when it comes to squishing insects.

1. Wash hair thoroughly with lots of lathered Neem soap, I use Trade Aid Neem Soap. The neem oils seem to help unstick the stickiness of the eggs.

2. Optional: whilst hair is still wet apply generous amounts of conditioner and leave in. This makes the lice very slow moving. So when you are combing you have a chance to get them and squish them.

3. Take a time consuming fine toothed comb and gently comb out tiny sections of hair at a time. I find it easiest to go nape of the neck up towards one ear at a time, then up though the crown and forward above each ear, then around the face. This part is time consuming and natural daylight is best if the hair you are combing is dark brown at the root. There is truth to the term 'nit picking' you have to be so thorough to do every tiny section of hair.

The nits are laid very close to the scalp, any that are found more than a centimeter from the scalp are 'old egg sacks'. When you get an egg on the comb you need to pop it between your thumb nails. Leaving them to fall on the floor, chair or couch where you are sitting will just promote the spread of them throughout the household. They are laid close to the scalp for incubation purposes, once off the head and not incubated they are unlikely to survive but it is better to be safe than sorry.

4. If you haven't used the optional conditioner: As you are combing sections add small amounts of oil to the roots of the hair in the sections that you have cleared. The reasons for this are to deter any missed lice from laying any more eggs (remember that they prefer clean hair because it gives them easy access to the scalp), and if any missed nit hatch they won't survive in the grease.

I use any body oil, but I usually have almond oil on hand with added aromatherapy (which is even better at deterring and kills insects).

5. If you have used the optional conditioner: Once you have combed out every single nit and louse that you can find and killed it, feel free to rinse out the conditioner. Once the hair is rinsed generously add the oil to the hair roots.

6. Leave the oil in for as long as possible, preferably 24hours or more. Then wash it out with the neem soap again.

7. I recommend thoroughly fine combing the hair every 3 days until you are certain that there are no nits or lice left. Any that have been missed will have hatched and be big enough to see. You have to keep interrupting the cycle. Using this method I have never had to do more than a quick check on day three, but it all depends on how thorough you are with the fine combing.

Good luck and may the force for killing be with you.

Immune Boosting Aromatherapy Blend

Today the weather finally turned....the frost was thick on the wooden fence rails and the house was freezing. It was one of those days where I just couldn't seem to get warm. First real cold snap usually brings the I'm arming myself ahead of time.
I had run out of my usual immunity boosting blend, but timely coincidence the Courier also arrived today with my aromatherapy supplies order. I quickly mixed up my favourite blend and infused my home with it.
Mix together in equal parts eucalyptus, rosemary and lavendar essential oils. Simple. These oils in combination are highly effective at fighting germs.

Therapeutic Properties
Eucalyptus: analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, decongestant, deodorant, expectorant.
Rosemary: analgesic, antidepressant, astringent, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, hypertensive, nervine, rubefacient, stimulant, sudorific and tonic.
Lavender: The therapeutic properties of lavender oil are antiseptic, analgesic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-rheumatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bactericide, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypotensive, nervine, rubefacient, sedative, sudorific and vulnerary.
You can make it into an air freshener which is useful to be spritzed around the house, especially if you have someone with the sneezes that may be letting fly some infected particles into the air. Or put a few drops into an oil burner with water and let it slowly infuse the air within your home.

This is a blend that I use in so many ways: as a perfume, eradicating nits, immune boosting and also cleaning my home. I will be blogging about all these ways - so check back in when you can.

Giving out to my addictions

I'm addicted to sweet stuff there is no two ways of 'sugar coating' this fact (pun intended). I can't resist something sweet in the evenings and any time I need a snack I'd easily pick sweet over savoury.
I'm not overweight but sugar can affect health status in so many ways, mostly related to metabolic hormones and reproductive hormones.
Recently I read Joshua Beckers book "Inside-Out Simplicity" (he blogs at Becoming Minimalist). Within this insightful book he talks about overcoming addictions and defines them as "anything that would be difficult to give up for the next 30 days". So I have decided to "give up added sugar" for the next 30 days.

My definition of giving up added sugar is this:
* adding sugar, honey, syrup etc to anything that I eat
* sweet treats, sugary snack foods, sweet baking
* non real fruit juice, lemonade or milo/drinking chocolate

The 'Hannah' Rules:
I'm not going to stress about a bit of sugar in a stir fry sauce if I am making a lazy tea.
I don't drink coffee but if I do go out to a cafe with a friend I would normally order a soy hot chocolate....that's gone :( even though I hate paying ridiculous amounts of money for a herb tea bag and hot water!
I will still make my own sweetened yoghurt though, and dried fruit in other things is fine (i.e. low GI fruit bread), but not handfuls of dried fruits

Day two - and it's going easier than I thought, apart from porridge with nothing sweet in it.
Canned fruit will be added next time - canned in juice not syrup, although technically there is sugar in it.
I'm exhausted today, not sure if it was from interrupted sleep or sugar detox. Will sleep soundly tonight and hope that tomorrow brings more energy.

I'll keep you posted on my progress, hopefully it will all be positive progress: in the meantime (in the words of Joshua Becker) "See if you can fill in this blank, I could never give up ______________ for the next 30 days!"

The Way Things Were.....

Day Two - Cherub meeting her 3 year old sister for the first time.
Nearly 4 and a half years ago our little Cherub arrived early. Not spontaneously though, I was induced at 30 weeks gestation due to severe Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.
I was pretty sick and if she hadn't come out early she would have died and possibly I would have too.
Having a premature baby is a journey that one can never truly understand unless one has traveled that road, and everyone's journey is so different.
When we were going through the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) experience we had so many friends and family throughout the world sending their love, positive vibes and prayers from the believers. I have always firmly believed that all that positive energy targeted at Cherubs spirit was what energised her enough to do as well as she did, despite her gestational age, birth weight and enduring constant exhausting medical procedures. Even putting an IV line into tiny premature veins is exhausting for these babies as the physical rubber gloved contact and pain is so stimulating to their fragile nervous systems.
At that time DH put together this blog to keep everyone updated on Cherubs progress. I just wanted to link it into this blog now as a way of unifying the past and present.
Cherub age 4yrs as flower girl at our wedding
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