One of the darkest periods in my life was when I was in college and realized that I had lice.  Ew.  


NOT a teeny-tiny cute little spider.

A few days later, itching my head, I found (getting goosebumps just writing this) a whole lot more teeny-tiny spiders!  Not so cute any more.  

I practically ran to the drugstore to get Nix or whatever the over-the-counter lice remedy at that time was called.  Following the instructions to a “T” – even washing and vacuuming everything in sight – I was sure the ordeal was over.  


The little invaders returned.  Lice II.

I did the Nix again.  I even had my lovely, lovely roommate (I love you Erica) painstakingly comb every strand of my hair and hand-remove every single nit she could see.  This took about 3 hours.  

Lice III.

It was like a horror movie.  This time they actually were in my eyelashes.  And eyebrows.  I think I may have screamed.  

So, I did what every other red-blooded American does.  I called my doctor.  I was a UT student so I went to the student clinic on campus.  The doctor listened to me rant – probably frantically – about the lice “they were even in my eyelashes!!!”  Her expression didn’t change.  “Did you try Nix?”  “Yes… (thinking – I’m not stupid…).  I did it twice and it’s not working.”  “Did you wash your bedding and vacuum?”  “Yes!”  “Well, I can give you a prescription for something.”  She shrugged her shoulders.  I’m sure she was judging me in her head.

I tried the prescription-strength lice-remover stuff.  I kid you not.  Lice IV.  

This is like the scene in the scary movie where the heroine is running to the door, crying.  The killer is right behind her.  This is her last moment to survive.  Kill or be killed.  

So I did what every other hippy-ish Austinite would do.  I went to Whole Foods.  I got tea tree oil shampoo.  One gentle washing and comb-through.  I also took some deep cleansing breaths and mentally decided that this phase is over.  Lice eradicated.  

I still have little flash-backs of this nightmare.  Seriously.  When I get a little itch on my scalp, I still check to make sure there’s no lice.  It has been over 15 years.  

My whole point is…(yes – there is a point!)

Well, two points:

1.  Tea tree oil is amaze-balls for treating lice.

2.  Why do we tend to go for the equivalency of the Atom bomb before trying a peace treaty?  Why do we opt for prescriptions and surgeries (which in a sense are fighting against what your body is trying to do and tell you) before we try something non-invasive and natural (that works with your body and its senses)?  I know there’s a time for the harsh tactics, but I think it’s when all else has truly failed.  

I think it’s that when we are hurting or sick in some way, we want the strongest thing around to fight it off.  Maybe this is just human tendency.  I’ve found that if I can just calm myself down first – whether it’s back pain or headache or stomach cramps or throat infection – and decide that I’m going to recover with the help of just some herbs, acupuncture, and maybe a massage, it works!  

What do you think?  Do you notice if you’ve ever gone in “full-force” to treat something with harsh medicines only to end up the same or worse?  Have you ever tried a natural approach and surprised yourself with how well it worked?  

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