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Herbal Remedies for Itchy Skin

Herbal Remedies for Itchy Skin Herbal Remedies for Itchy Skin

Everyone at some time or another experiences itchy skin. While usually not serious, itchy skin is nevertheless irritating. Most people with itch will scratch the affected skin to provide relief but this may damage the skin and lead to what is know as an "itch-scratch" cycle. There are a number of skin creams on the market which are designed to moisturize and soothe the skin. Bland creams based on petroleum oil are usually most effective. Some herbal preparations may soothe skin itch, though their efficacy remains somewhat unproven.

St. John's Wort

St John's Wort has been used in medicine since the times of ancient Greece and interest in its healing properties remains today. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), it is one of the most purchased herbal products in the United States. St. John's Wort has antibacterial properties and, when to applied to the skin as an oil-based lotion, may alleviate skin irritations such as itch.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera was a frequently prescribed medicine during the 18th century and is still a popular herbal remedy. The leaves of the aloe vera plant produce a gel-like substance which is the medicinal part of the plant. Aloe vera contains polysaccharides which moisturise and hydrating the skin. It has a variety of uses including treatment of constipation and burns, and is also used to treat skin irritations. According to UMCC, one study found that aloe vera gel displayed anti-inflammatory effects greater than 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.

Neem

The bark, leaves and oil of the neem tree, which many Indians refer to as "the village pharmacy," have been used in medicine for thousands of years, and are still used today. Neem oil is used for a number of skin conditions including eczema and scar healing. It may also provide relief for itchy irritated skin.

Jewelweed

Jewelweed is a tall flowering herb which is found throughout most parts the United States. According to the National Park Service, Native Americans use juices from the leaves of Jewelweed to relieve itching and irritation on the skin caused by stinging nettle and insect bites. Jewelweed is also used as a burn dressing and as a treatment for dermatitis.

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