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How to Cure Scabies Naturally, without Chemical Pesticides

Updated on March 19, 2016
Thyme in bloom
Thyme in bloom | Source

Scabies are mites that live under the skin, tunnel around in there, and multiply by laying little eggs. They itch infernally.

Our family went through the scabies experience a number of years ago, after we moved to a part of the country where they are common. Like head lice, I think they are most often picked up at children’s sleep-overs. But, unlike head lice, they are just as happy to infest adults as children. (Though head lice will infest adult hair, they prefer the tender, juicy hair of elementary-age children.) You head-lice troubles will probably be over, once your youngest child hits middle school. Not so with scabies.

Some of the older folks will remember that both head lice and scabies were virtually unknown among children—or anyone else—during the 1950s. Mothers of that generation (while they were still living) liked to blame the housekeeping of younger-generation moms.

Well, the truth is, both head lice and scabies began making a comeback after DDT was banned. I’m not making an argument in favor of DDT—just mentioning it in passing. You may want to tell your mom this, when she “finds out.”

As with head lice, even though local natural treatments of the skin will likely be successful, washing the whole family’s clothing and bedding is essential to complete eradication.

Here’s how I got rid of them—though I suspect that the other two remedies are not only equally effective, but easier and more pleasant to apply:


I learned that one of my daughters had scabies shortly before she left to visit her father. I know he would be clueless about treating her—and probably about taking her to a doctor, as well—and I looked through my herbals for a remedy. In Jeanne Rose’s Herbs and Things, I read that oil of thyme kills scabies, and I happened to have some on hand. (It has many uses.)

I mixed a little oil of white thyme (oil of red thyme is available, but is a somewhat inferior product) with hand and body lotion (about a tablespoon per cup of lotion), applied it, and told her to continue applying it until the critters were gone. She reported that her scabies cleared up quickly.

This application has a strong thyme smell, and it stings a little when you apply it, but it works really well. I used it successfully on myself and the other children, when I discovered that we had scabies too.


Turns out, this was not the last of our troubles. When my oldest daughter, who had not been exposed to scabies at all, moved in with me she complained of a skin problem of a different kind. It looked to me like scabies, but I took her to the doctor anyway.

Dr. Dorman, our local naturopathic physician, diagnosed her skin problem as psoriasis. When I told him of our recent bout with scabies, he mentioned that scabies can be cured by applying Vitamin E oil.

While I have not had any further occasion to cure scabies, I have never known Dr. Dorman to steer me wrong. If he says it works, it definitely works! Use the oil from capsules that you have broken open and apply.


Another application that I am told is highly effective is tea tree oil. Tea tree applied to the skin will kill the mites that cause scabies. Apply to the affected areas. (It will probably sting a bit.)

What would I use, if I had another outbreak? I think I would probably go with Vitamin E oil, to avoid the stinging and odor of the other two options.


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