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Observations placeholder

Assessment of the efficacy and safety of a new treatment for head lice



Type of Spiritual Experience



Carapa is a genus of flowering plants in the mahogany family, Meliaceae. These are trees up to 30 meters tall occurring in tropical South America, Central America, and Africa. Common names include andiroba and crabwood.The oil contained in the almond andiroba is light yellow and extremely bitter. When subjected to a temperature below 25 °C, it solidifies producing a consistency like that of petroleum jelly. The oil contains olein, palmitine and glycerin.

Andiroba oil is one of the most commonly sold medicinal oils in the Amazon. It is also used to repel mosquitoes by forming an oilseed cake into balls and burned, or mixed with annatto (Bixa orellana) and formed into a paste applied topically to protect the body from mosquito bites.

Andiroba oil is extracted from light brown seeds collected from beaches and rivers, where they float after being shed by the trees or from the forest ground.

A description of the experience

ISRN Dermatol. 2012;2012:460467. doi: 10.5402/2012/460467. Epub 2012 Oct 30.  Assessment of the efficacy and safety of a new treatment for head lice.  Mac-Mary S1, Messikh R, Jeudy A, Lihoreau T, Sainthillier JM, Gabard B, Schneider C, Auderset P, Humbert P.  1Skinexigence, Pavillon Sainte-Lucienne, Saint-Jacques University Hospital, 25030 Besançon, France.

Infestation with head lice is a widespread, persistent, and recurring issue leading to serious health problems if untreated. We are facing resistance phenomena to usual pediculicides and questions about their direct or cumulative toxicity.

The aim of this trial was to assess the efficacy of a new product, free of chemical insecticides but with a physical effect. This product contains components whose antilice efficacy has already been demonstrated, as well as Andiroba oil which asphyxiates the lice and Quassia vinegar which dissolves the chitin of the nits (they are then inactivated).

30 patients with head lice infestation, aged 3-39 years, applied the treatment one to three times, 5 days apart. Cure was defined as the absence of live lice after 5, 10, or 14 days, and symptoms are usually associated with infestation.

Easiness and safety of the treatment were assessed by the patients and/or their parents.

Overall cure rates were 20% on D5 after one treatment, 37% on D10 after two treatments, and 90% on D14 after three treatments.

Symptoms such as itch, scalp dryness, redness, and flakiness rapidly diminished. This treatment seems to be a beneficial addition or a valuable alternative to existing treatments, considering the total absence of chemical insecticides, the absence of drug-resistance induction in head lice, the absence of major toxicological risks compared with usual pediculicides, and the favourable patient use instructions.

PMID:  23209928

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Head lice