There has been a bit of folklore around what substances are able to kill demodex mites. In 2008 Rosacea News published an article that listed 100% alcohol, tea tree oil, carraway oil and dill weed oil as proven to kill demodex mites. Many other substances, for example seabuckthorn oil are also claimed to kill demodex.
Recently Galderma has released Soolantra (ivermectin 1%) which is now an official treatment for rosacea, and is able to kill demodex mites.
Now a paper published in Bacteriology & Parasitology details how Chia Seed Oil (Salvia hispanica) is able to kill demodex mites in 7 minutes in a test tube. By comparison 100% Tea Trea Oil is able to kill demodex in 4 minutes.
Demodex Mites are Tiny
Note that in order to see the mites, the researchers were required to use a microscope with 200-400x magnification. Despite what you read on the internet, you cannot see demodex mites with your naked eye. Read more things you didn’t know about demodex mites.
Nutrient or Insecticide ?
The fact that something like the oil from chia seed which has traditionally known as nutrient can act like a anti parasitical agent is very interesting.
This leads to an open question for me is Salvia hispanica a nutrient or anti-parasitical?
Salvia has useful secondary metabolites like terpenes, and it is thought that Terpinen-4-ol is the most active ingredient in tea tree oil.
Salvia already has a history of being used to treat eye disease, acne, headache, pruritus (severe itching) and oral or pharyngeal inflammation and is also thought to have inhibit growth of cancer cells and have mosquito larvicidal activity.
Peppermint Oil Also Kills Demodex
The paper also tells us that Peppermint Oil ((100% Mentha piperita) was able to kill demodex mites in 11 minutes in vivo.
Topical for Skin ?
Note that this research deals only with eliminating demodex mites in a dish i.e. they have not created a treatment that is proven topically.
Indeed the paper cites the difficulty in creating a topical treatment for the skin that is as effective as pure Salvia Oil is in the lab.
If you are able to source an elegant source for topical salvia oil please leave a comment below.
Full Article Link
J Bacteriol Parasitol, 2015, Volume 6. Issue 3.
Aleksandra Sędzikowska, Maciej Osęka , Beata Roman3and Emilia Jaremko.
Department of General Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland. Ofta Ltd., ul. Mleczna 8, 03-667 Warsaw, Poland, Verco Sp. z o.o., Warsaw, Poland.
Demodicosis is a medical condition caused by presence of Demodex mites. Mites may cause ocular demodicosis with symptoms such as burning and itching of eyelids. Currently, several drugs are available for the treatment of demodicosis. However, their use carries a risk of serious side effects. According to recent studies, substances contained in some plant-derived essential oils kill Demodex mites.
Good efficacy of tea tree oil against Demodex sp. has been reported. However, some patients develop allergic reactions and ocular irritation in the course of tea tree oil treatment. Tests with essential oils showed that salvia and peppermint oils rapidly kill Demodex-in 7 and 11 minutes, respectively. Salvia is known as a valuable herb and is used to treat eye disease. Therefore, salvia essential oil could be an alternative treatment for demodicosis.