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HEALING HERBS: Home remedies for itchy skin

ANNETTE MAYNARD-WATSON, [email protected]

HEALING HERBS: Home remedies for itchy skin

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EVERYWHERE I turn I’m hearing people talking about Zika.

“Oh how we hate this Zika thing and the Zika mosquitoes.” However what they most despise about Zika is the itching. This itching seems to be out of this world so here I am today focusing on itching.

The Online Plus Dictionary defines itching as “a tingling or irritation of the skin that makes you want to scratch the affected area. Itching may occur all over the body or only in one location.”

The dictionary further posits that “they are many causes of itching which includes ageing skin, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis (poison ivy or poison oak), contact irritants (such as soaps, chemicals, or wool), dry skin, hives and insect bites and stings.”

Home-made remedies for itching which I have used effectively are as follows:

• Aloe vera gel: I picked fresh Aloe vera from my garden and peeled off the green skin. I crushed the white solid gel with my hand and massage it on the affected area.

• Tea tree oil: Rub a little on the affected area.

• Apple cider vinegar: If a small area is itching I usually dab the area with some apple cider vinegar. If my entire skin itches I would add 3 tbsp of the apple cider vinegar to a bucket or ½ bath tub of water and wash the entire skin.

• Neem: Boil 1 cup of neem leaves in 3 cups water. Wash the affected area with the cooled liquid.

• Oils: Dab one of the following on the skin; rosemary, nettle, peppermint, neem or thyme.

• Lemon Juice: Lightly dab the itching area with lemon juice.

• Oatmeal: mix ½ cup oatmeal to a paste and cover the itchy area.

• Bicarbonate of soda: Add 2 tbsp of baking soda to a bucket of water and wash the skin. I also add some of this powder to cornmeal and throw it on my skin.

• English plantain/whiteman foot (Plantago major)- Make a poultice and put on affected area.

• Honey and lime tea: A cup as desired.

Lemon and ginger tea: As desired.

• I like drinking soursop tea, nettle tea or fennel tea during this period. I also spend time repeating positive affirmations and keeping myself warm in bed.

It is also good to look after yourself, listen to or read the valuable information which is provided in the media, drink plenty of water and consume as many Caribbean fruits and vegetables as you can. This will assist with keeping the immune system in tip-top condition. I recognise that a Zika alert is in the air and as the old saying goes “prevention is better than cure”.

Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via [email protected] or by telephone 250-6450.

• DISCLAIMER: It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under the direction of your health care provider.