Eczema

BIRCH leaves have always been used for treating skin complaints (Conway), and they can be treated with birch tar oil made up into a soothing ointment (Mitton) or can be used in medicated soaps (Gordon) to treat eczema. The complaint was treated in Dorset with NETTLE tea (Dacombe), which is a well-established East Anglian remedy for any skin complaint (Porter. 1974). The sap of the GRAPE VINE is collected in some country areas when growth starts in spring, to be used for eczema among other complaints (Shauenberg & Paris). Gypsies use an ointment made from the fresh leaves of FOXGLOVE to cure eczema (Vesey-Fitzgerald), and a compress made from MALLOW leaves or flowers is often used. A CHICKWEED poultice is used in Norfolk for quite severe dermatitis and eczema (V G Hatfield. 1994). A tea made from GROUND IVY used to be popular for this complaint in the north of Scotland. It was said that the fairies taught Donald Fraser, of Ross-shire, to use it (R M Robertson). A dozen or so BLACK WALNUT leaves, boiled in a quart of water, with a teaspoonful of sulphur added, is an Alabama eczema cure, and another from the same area is to use PUCCOON root tea for the complaint (R B Browne). The fresh tops of YARROW were used by some American Indian peoples, made into a poultice (Corlett). In Scotland, CABBAGE leaves were made into a cap to put on a child's head to deal with the complaint (Rorie), and the seeds of the LESSER EVENING PRIMROSE have also been used, with some success, it is claimed (T Walker). The infusion of chopped WHITE HOREHOUND has been used in Wales both externally and internally for eczema and shingles (Conway).

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