Definition: To feel a sensation that is usually on the skin that makes you want to scratch. Cause: Itch is caused by various germs or bacteria trying to clean the body through the pores of the skin (instead of through the kidneys and the bowels) resulting in formation of pustules or rashes accompanied by intense itching. [HHH p.99] Herbal Aids: General Instructions: For itch and other skin problems, use a fomentation over the irritated area made with chickweed tea and/or plantain, burdock root, Oregon grape root, and echinacea--covered with plastic. Or, bathe the area with the tea a number of times during the day. Chickweed or plantain ointment is an aid for small outbreaks. Drink a cup of the tea two or three times or more a day. To each cup of the tea you drink add three to six drops of tincture of lobelia.
A wonderful aid to help relieve cases of dermatitis is found in the walnut family, using black walnut hulls or leaves or bark (Juglans nigra), English walnut (Juglans regia), or butternut (Juglans cinerea). Treat the skin malfunctions the same as above.
Take one ounce of powdered golden seal root and mix thoroughly with nine ounces of linseed oil. Use the medicinal linseed oil from the health food store or drug store; DO NOT use linseed oil from the paint store or hardware store--apply freely, externally. Use as an oral aid white poplar bark (Populus tremutoides--also known as quaking aspen), one cup three times a day.
For the most severe cases of skin diseases in the advanced stage, use a combination we have called Bone, Flesh and Cartilage [Complete Tissue & Bone] combination, internally and externally. Repeat procedure. Make a tea of the following herbs: six parts oak bark, three parts marshmallow root, three parts mullein herb, two parts wormwood, one part lobelia, one part skullcap, six parts comfrey root, three parts walnut bark (or leaves) and three parts gravel root. Soak the combined herbs in distilled water (at the rate of one ounce of the combined herbs to the pint of distilled water) for four to six hours, simmer thirty minutes (do not boil), strain and then simmer the liquid down to one-half its volume. Example: One gallon of tea simmered down to two quarts of tea, which is called "concentrated" tea. Soak flannel, cotton, or any white material other than synthetic--never use synthetic--wrap fomentation (soaked cloth) around the malfunction area and cover with plastic or wax paper, leave on all night six days a week and for as many weeks as needed until relief appears. Then continue a week or two for severe cases. Drink one fourth cup of finished concentrated tea with three-fourths cup of distilled water three times or more each day. [HHH p.99]
Plantain and Yellow Dock: Make a strong tea of equal parts of plantain and yellow dock (Rumex corpus), and bathe the affected area frequently as a wash. [SNH p.54]
Itch Ointment: See formula using burdock root, olive oil and bee's wax. [SNH p.68]
Black Walnut: Black walnut tincture can be applied on itching skin. This works especially well if the irritation is due to a fungus or similar invasion. One ounce of powdered golden seal root mixed with nine ounces of pure, food-grade linseed oil (not paint store linseed oil) can be applied externally with good results. White poplar bark tea should be taken internally. [EWH p.163]
Poke: The skin is an indicator of toxicity in the body. Poke is a good aid for skin problems. It is also good for "the itch" in cases of scabies. Anytime you have skin which doesn't eliminate properly along with vitiated blood, you can well use Poke. It is said to be a great eliminator of toxins out of the system (Hut:36). Usually the glands are not performing properly in these conditions so the herb works on both areas. It is often used in chronic eczema, syphilitic eruptions, psoriasis, varicose veins and leg ulcers (Felk:1473). [UW-Poke]
Plantain: Plantain bruised, or juiced in a juicer, and placed over the sting or bite will generally bring relief within a short time. The pain and itch will cease and the swelling will leave. [NL 3-1]