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J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Sep;72(1-2):305-11.

Pediculocidal and scabicidal properties of Lippia multiflora essential oil.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Obafemi Awolowo Univesity, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


The essential oil from the leaves of Lippia multiflora Moldenke (Verbenaceae) was tested for its pediculocidal and scabicidal activites against bodylice, headlice and scabies' mites. The 'knockdown' times obtained for bodylice and headlice using lippia oil preparations were comparatively shorter than those obtained using benzyl benzoate and Delvap Super, a brand of dichlorvos. The lethal effect of the lippia oil on headlice was increased when applied in an enclosed system that prevented volatilization of the oil while allowing maximum contact of the vapour with the headlice. A 20% v/v preparation of lippia oil applied to scabietic subjects for 5 consecutive days gave 100% cure compared with 87.5% cure obtained for benzyl benzoate preparation of the same concentration. The GC-MS analysis of oil revealed, among others, the presence of terpineol, alpha- and beta-pinene which are known to be lethal to body and headlice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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