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Ringworm is one of the common skin diseases. The disease is caused by a fungus, a minute form of vegetable plant life that grows on the skin. The disease is more annoying than dangerous.
Ringworm infection occurs in the scalp, the body, the feet, and the nails. Ringworm of the scalp is common among children because of the lack of protective fatty acids in their scalp. The disease spreads on the skin and extends deeper into the hair roots, and also up along the hair. The affected hair becomes dull and breaks off near its root. This leaves bald spots on the scalp. The patches of ringworm on the body are usually round or oval, with raised pink and scaly rings which show a clean space in the centre. The itching in the infected parts helps to spread infection through the nails to other healthy parts of the body. If it is not treated for a long time, the infection becomes chronic and is then difficult to get rid of. Ringworm is passed from an infected person to a healthy person by contact. It can also spread by the use of articles such as the towel of an infected person.
Raw papaya is one of the most effective home remedies for ringworm. The slices of this fruit should be rubbed on the ringworm patches. A paste made from dried papaya seeds can also be applied beneficially on these ringworm patches.
Another effective home remedy for ringworm is mustard seeds. A paste should be prepared from these seeds and applied externally over the ringworm patches after thoroughly washing the skin with sufficient hot water.
The seeds of the herb butea are valuable in ringworm. The seeds should be ground to a paste and mixed with a little lime juice. This paste should be applied externally over the skin affected by ringworm.
The leaves of the cassia tree are useful in irritation of the skin and in alleviating swellings and pains. The juice of these leaves or a paste made from them can be applied to ringworm patches with gratifying results.
The leaves of holy basil are also useful in ringworm. The juice of these leaves should be extracted and applied over ringworm patches.
Turmeric is very effective in the treatment of ringworm. The juice of raw turmeric should be applied externally to the parts of the skin affected by ringworm. Simultaneously, one teaspoon of turmeric juice mixed with an equal quantity of honey should be taken orally.
Raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice in combination with spinach juice, have proved beneficial in the treatment of ringworm. The formula proportions considered helpful in this combination are 300 ml of carrot juice and 200 ml of spinach juice to make 500 ml or half a litre juice.
To begin with, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for about five days. He should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, oranges, papayas, pineapples, and pomegranates at five-hourly intervals. This will help eliminate morbid matter from the body and lead to substantial improvement.
Fruits and salt-free raw or steamed vegetables with whole wheat chapatis may be taken after the all-fruit diet. After a few days curd and milk may be added to the diet. The patient may, thereafter, gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet with emphasis on seeds, nuts, wholegrain cereals, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and fresh fruits.
The patient should avoid tea, coffee, all condiments and highly flavoured dishes, as well as sugar, white flour products, and tinned or bottled foods.
A warm-water enema may be administered to cleanse the bowels during the all-fruit diet. The patient should get as much fresh air as possible. He should drink plenty of water and bathe twice daily. The skin, with the exception of the part affected with ringworm, should be vigorously rubbed with the palms of the hands before taking a bath. Coconut oil may be applied to the parts with ringworm spots.
It will help the skin to stay soft. Sunbathing is also beneficial and should be resorted to early in the morning, at the first light of dawn. A light mudpack applied over the areas of the ringworm is also helpful. The pack should be applied for half an hour, twice daily.