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General characteristics

General characteristics

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a type of dermatophyte (literally meaning 'skin fungus') fungus belonging to the Tinea family. It can affect the skin on the face, scalp, body, feet, groin and nails.

Once active on the skin it causes patches of an itchy, ring shaped, dry or flaky red rash to appear whilst the central area of the ring is often normal skin. It rash appears due to the organisms feeding action on the keratin present in the layers of dead skin. It does not usually affect internal areas of the body as they present no food source to the fungus.

Ringworm is usually contracted through contact with an infected person, animal or object (such as a farm gate, barn door, bedding or towels etc.) and it is possible to carry the fungus without being affected by it (due to acquired immunity) whilst still being capable of spreading it to others.

Ringworm often resolves itself within about 8 weeks but in many cases can prove very difficult to treat. Healing objectives are to raise the vitality/immunity of the individual affected through good foods and lifestyle and by using herbs and natural methods to help speed up resolution and ease symptoms.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Ringworm can often resolve itself within 8 weeks but occasionally it may be come difficult to eradicate so appropriate foods can be valuable in raising the vitality of the body and help speed up resolution.

Adopt a fresh whole food diet based around fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, avoiding processed foods wherever possible particularly those containing refined carbohydrates and sugar.

Include plenty of fresh garlic and turmeric in your cooking.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Increase the vitality of your immune system to help speed up resolution by using herbs with immune stimulating or antifungal actions such as reishi mushroom, siberian ginseng, echinacea, pau d'arco, marigold, thuja and walnut husk/leaves. Use equal parts of all, except thuja and walnut, in tincture form and take a teaspoon in water 3 times daily. Add a few drops each of thuja and black walnut tinctures to each dose taken.

Make a tea using equal parts of gotu kola, cleavers, chickweed, plantain leaf and red clover. Take 3 cups daily to cleanse the lymphatic system and cleanse the blood.

Make a lotion from marigold and chamomile flowers, plantain leaf, mullein leaf and a pinch of goldenseal powder to apply to the skin. Use a teaspoon of marigold, plantain and chamomile and steep in half a pint of boiling water for 10 minutes. Apply to the skin and allow to dry. If the skin becomes too dry, rub in some cold pressed coconut oil which is also antifungal.

An extract of gentian root, 'gentian violet' can be useful.

Neem leaf is a good remedy for ringworm when used as a wash or poultice.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Many people find quick relief from applying natural unsweetened yoghurt directly onto the affected areas.

Essential oils of tea tree, oregano and neem oil applied to the skin may help. Smear some good quality honey (from bees that have foraged from flowers, not fed white sugar) over the top of the area too.

Wash your clothes and bedding regularly and avoid sharing towels and such with others to prevent spread to other household members.

An old tried and tested remedy involves applying your own fresh urine to the rings regularly throughout the day. Many report positive results within hours! It's free and apparently works wonders for athletes foot and any other external fungal infections.

Try applying fresh lemon juice on the patches and covering this with olive oil, coconut oil or honey to keep it in place.

Child watering plants




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