A preliminary pilot survey on head lice, pediculosis in Sharkia Governorate and treatment of lice with natural plant extracts

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2002 Dec;32(3):725-36.


Twelve different representative areas in Sharkia Governorate were surveyed for head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis. The pre-valence was investigated among 120 houses containing 2,448 individual, with different age, sex and socioeconomic status. Examination was done by naked eye aided with hand-lens. A total of 137 individuals were infested. Infestation rates were higher in the rural areas with low socioeconomic levels, concrete houses with over-crowded family members. Children had significantly higher infestation rates than adults. Males had lower infestation rates than females. However, the hair length and permanent hair washing were the factors accounted for both age and sex difference in prevalence of pediculosis. Head lice infestations were found all over the year, but increased in summer and spring. One hundred infested patients (90 females and 10 males) with different aged and hair length were treated with tour mixed cream from plants Lawsonia alba L. (Henna). Trigonella faemum-gracanum (Fenugreek), Hibiscus cannabinus (Hibiscus) and Artemisia cina (Wormseed). The head lice completely disappeared within a week among those patients treated by henna mixed with aqueous extract of sheah (100%) or mixed with helba (75%) or with karkada (50%).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Animals
  • Chenopodium ambrosioides / chemistry
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hibiscus / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lawsonia Plant / chemistry
  • Lice Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Lice Infestations / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pediculus / growth & development*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prevalence
  • Scalp Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / epidemiology
  • Seasons
  • Sex Distribution
  • Trigonella / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts