There's an interesting discussion on Mothering magazine's website about a new product, "Quit Nits," for getting rid of head lice without the use of synthetic and toxic pesticides.

Sounds a lot better than "Ovid", the much-touted malathion-based poison marketed for children!!!! (They have no shame, no ethics!)

But, does the fact that it contains no malathion or other synthetic pesticides make it safe?

Interestingly, the moms who've commented all question the statements from the manufacturer -- statements by the manufacturer that do not induce confidence, refering to the natural botanicals as "homeopathic," which they are clearly not.

Does anyone here knows these botanicals, and if they are safe to put on the scalps of 3-year-olds and leave it there for 4 hours as directed?

The plant-based ingredients in the product are:

- Quassia Amara
- Eucalyptus Globulus
- Staphysagria
- Sabadilla

which, according to the manufactuer, have a long history of use against lice.

I really like Mothering magazine -- it provided very helpful advice to me 20 years ago in raising my daughter -- and real people comment from their own experiences.

Unfortunately, they don't mention other products here, such as Lice'R Gone (manufactured by Safe Solutions), whose ingredients are:

purified water
anionic/nonionic surfactant blend
peppermint oil
sodium borate

Steve Tvedten's online book, The Best Control, provides much good information here:

Strangely, there are some Bayer products listed. Steve, what's up with that?

Here's the link to Mothering's page on Quit Nits:

Here are some of the comments:

how does it kill bugs without being a pesticide?  Perhaps a dictionary might be of some use here?

I used it on myself and on my 2 year old son last year.  A niece came back from summer camp and infested the rest of us.

Quit Nits worked for us.  One day we had lice, they next day they were gone.  You're supposed to leave product in the hair or at least 4 hours - or better yet overnight if you're able to - and then wash off.  The downside is that, for an active 2 year old, 4 hours with a shower cap on (to keep hair moist) feels like forever.  But, I'd rather go through that discomfort than expose a young child to toxic pesticides, which have a 50-50 chance of working the first time out since bugs these days are resistant to common pesticides.

Hope this helps!

Thao Le
VP of Marketing for Hyland's, distributor Quit Nits

To clarify, the active ingredients in Quit Nits are natural botanical ingredients - not the synthetic or chemical pesticides found in leading head lice treatments.

The active ingredients in Quit Nits, including Quassia Amara, a plant, have been shown to kill lice and their eggs in both lab tests and clinical studies.
So what makes Quit Nits homeopathic?  Isn't the idea behind homeopathy that you treat a condition by using a substance that produces the same symptoms as the condition?  I don't see how this product fits in with that idea.
Yeah...homeopathic is not necessarily the same thing as "natural" or "herbal." Homeopathic means that in order to curb wheezing, you give a substance that causes wheezing.
Still waiting to hear from a mom who has used this product and says it works (no offense, but the VP of marketing for the product may not be the most objective reference, though it may well have worked for her...).
Hi Mothering Members!

I am a Mothering employee. I work with our Sponsors that support our community.  I just wanted to clarify that this product's ingredients are botanical ingredients. Hyland's is a maker of homeopathic remedies, but this is not a homeopathic remedy.

We are interested in getting your feedback, though!  It would be great to have the Mothering Community weigh in on their experience with Hyland's Quit Nits.

Reimbursement on Quit Nits For Reviews:

Please feel free to use this coupon from Hyland's to make your purchase.  We look forward to hearing from our members!

This page makes it sound like they are calling this a homeopathic product.

And the message from Hyland's right in this thread says:
Its special formulation kills bugs and eggs by exposing them to plant-based, homeopathic ingredients.

What makes Quit Nits Kit and Spray so unique is its homeopathic formulation of natural ingredients.

Ring the bells that still can ring,  Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in. 
~ Leonard Cohen