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Chickenpox

General characteristics

General characteristics

Chickenpox is said to be caused by infection with the varicella zoster virus which most commonly affects children aged between about 3 and 10. It is assumed that after infection with the varicella virus immunity to chickenpox is developed. Some people do have chicken pox more than once however. The disease tends be very mild in children yet can be more troublesome in adults.
It is generally a mild disease lasting for up to a few weeks and symptoms include a blister like skin rash that becomes itchy, swollen neck and throat glands, earache, body aches and pains, fever, headache and loss of appetite.
It is suggested that once the chickenpox virus is in the body it migrates to the nerve tissues and lies dormant until reactivated for whatever reason and resurfaces as shingles in adulthood.
Natural healing and herbs aim to assist the body in dealing with the virus, ensure the rash is not suppressed and alleviate unpleasant symptoms.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Stick to light, watery foods and juices with plenty of water and herb teas.

Avoid the mucous forming foods (dairy, wheat, sugar, junk and processed foods) and heavy stodgy starches (pasta, potatoes and rice etc) as these can prolong the illness.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

A tea made from yarrow, elderflowers, peppermint and boneset will help to reduce the temperature and break a fever, ensure the pores of the skin are functioning well to enable the rash to come to the skin surface, aid the immune system and alleviate aches and pains. Use equal parts of the herbs and use a heaped teaspoon 3 times daily for older children (aged 9 and upwards) and adults or half that dose for children aged 6 and up and a quarter dose for those under 6.
Use echinacea tincture to boost the body's immunity. 1 teaspoon up to 5 times daily for adults and older children, 3 times daily for children aged 6 and up and half a teaspoon 3 times daily for the under 6's.
A relaxing herbal tea mix to soothe restlessness and distress, clear the swollen glands, alleviate itching and fight the virus could contain equal parts chamomile, lemon balmchickweed, st johns wort, cleavers and marigold flowers/petals.  Use a teaspoon per cup, 3 cups daily in children over 6 and half a teaspoon per cup for children under 6. This tea can also be made stronger (a handful of herbs to a pint of boiling water for example) and used as a wash for itchy and irritated skin.
If the skin is suffering particularly badly and is causing distress then a tea from dandelion root, burdock root and red clover flowers can help to 'flush' the rash out and resolve itself quicker. Put 3 teaspoons of dandelion and burdock in a pan with a pint of water. Simmer gently for 20 minutes and add 3 teaspoons of red clover flowers. Allow to steep for half an hour before using. Strain off the liquid and take 3 teaspoons 3 times daily for children over 12 and adults, 2 teaspoons 3 times daily for children over 6 and 1 teaspoon 3 times daily for children under 6.
If the spots form in the mouth or other sensitive areas rinse with a couple of drops each of goldenseal and myrrh tinctures in a little water.
 

Natural healing

Natural healing

Keep the body cool and avoid overheating as this lessens the itchiness of the skin.
To a warm bath add a few drops of lavender essential oil and a small fabric bag or tea-ball of oats to soothe inflamed and itchy skin.
When the spots start to dry up squirt a vitamin E capsule onto the skin and gently rub in. This can help prevent scarring and speed up the healing of the spots.
Coat any particularly nasty spots with honey.
Pure aloe vera gel applied to the skin can really cool and soothe itchy skin.

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