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Larry Radice shared in EDN 39 his success in treating scabies with neem leaves. In response, Dr. S. X. Charles at the Medical and Cancer Research and Treatment Center in India sent us the results of a study of 814 people treated with neem and turmeric. Scabies is normally treated with a scrub bath, boiling the fomites (clothes and bed linens), and application of benzyl benzoate. “The drug caused skin reaction when rubbed on the face, and children accidentally rubbing it … in the eyes was common.” Where There is no Doctor recommends a homemade but dangerous alternative to those who cannot afford the benzyl benzoate. In this, the very toxic insecticide lindane is mixed with 15 parts of vaseline. The neem method is far less toxic and essentially free.

(Scabies, also called seven year itch, is especially common in children. It causes very itchy little bumps that can appear all over the body, but are most common between fingers, on wrists, the waist and genitals. It is caused by little animals similar to tiny ticks or chiggers, which tunnel under the skin.)

“Fresh neem leaves and turmeric are ground to a paste in the proportion of 4:1 by weight. The measurement that is taught to mothers is a handful of neem leaves and a piece of turmeric ½ the length of the index finger. This paste is rubbed all over the body and left to dry. The procedure is repeated daily until the patient is cured. (Boiling clothes and scrub bath is carried out daily before application of the paste.)

"Paste rubbed on the face has not caused any skin reaction or other toxic symptoms. Because of the bitter taste, chances of children swallowing it was remote, and even if swallowed [is not toxic].”

“Of the 824 cases, 98% showed complete cure within 3-15 days of treatment. Those cases (95.8%) with localized lesions showed cure in 3-5 days. When lesions were all over the body and there was secondary infection, treatment needed for a cure was 6-15 days. Failure of treatment was only 2%. The reasons for failure were irregular application of paste and not doing the preliminary treatment of scrub bath and boiling of fomites to prevent reinfection.”