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| Herbs for Prurigo Nodularis? |
Answered by: Susan Eagles Question from: Name Not Given
Posted on: February 2, 2004
I have a skin condition called "prurigo nodularis". Have you heard of this condition and if so, can you recommend a solution (herbwise)?
Prurigo nodularis is a skin condition of extremely itchy nodules on the limbs, caused by scratching or rubbing. The initial cause of the itch is unknown, but is sometimes associated with the nervous system or the immune system. It most often occurs in middle age and later.
Thomas Bartram, in “Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine” (available at Richters), recommends internal herbal teas or alcoholic tinctures to support the lymph glands (cleavers, burdock), the liver (burdock, milk thistle, barberry), the blood (nettles) and the immune system (echinacea). Externally, he recommends application of St. John’s wort oil, castor oil, garlic oil, an anti-itch cream based on chickweed, soothing comfrey, marshmallow or slippery elm cream, or a few drops of tea tree essential oil diluted in a teaspoon of almond oil. Supplements recommended are vitamin A (7500 i.u), B-complex, B2, B3, B6, biotin and zinc.
Recent studies have found that topical application of capsaicin, a constituent of cayenne pepper, applied 4 to 6 times daily for 2 weeks up to 10 months, has had effective results. Capsaicin creams are generally available at pharmacies. Or, you can make your own oil by mixing 1/3 cup of good quality cayenne powder (available in health food stores) in 2 cups of olive oil in a glass jar. Stir or shake daily to ensure that the powder does not settle in the bottom of the jar. After two weeks, strain through a fine cloth, and store in a dark bottle. Be careful when working with or applying this oil, that you wash your hands well after using and avoid contact with your eyes.