12 July, 2011
Garlic & Scabies
Garlic is a common component of the herbal remedy armamentarium, which is often used for the non-pharmaceutical treatment of certain illnesses. While there's some evidence to suggest that garlic is also effective against parasites, scabies mites aren't among the parasites for which there is any scientific evidence of garlic's effectiveness.
The Sarcoptes scabiei mite, commonly called scabies, is spread through contact with an infected person or with clothing and bedding used by an infected person. If you're infected with scabies, the mites burrow under your skin to live and lay their eggs. This causes intense itching, not because of the burrowing activity of the mite, but because of your immune system's response to the mites' presence, explains PubMed Health.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are many uses for garlic as an alternative or herbal remedy. For instance, some research suggests that garlic helps maintain cardiovascular health and that it may shorten the duration of a cold. One of the reasons for garlic's utility as an herb is that it is rich in antioxidants, which help to fight damage to your cells and tissues from environmental toxins and sources of radiation.
Garlic and Scabies
The notion that garlic will help with scabies infestations probably comes from the fact that garlic is an alternative remedy for other parasites. Eating large amounts of raw garlic can help with Ascaris, or roundworm, infestation. However, despite the fact that scabies is a parasite, it's quite different from roundworm, and there's no evidence to suggest that garlic will help with scabies, which don't populate the digestive tract, as roundworms do.
If you think you have scabies, you should see your physician. Your doctor will likely give you at least two medications, one to kill the mites, and one to treat the itching. Mite-killing creams include ones with the ingredient Permethrin, explains MayoClinic.com, which also kills ticks and many other blood-feeding parasites. Dead mites under your skin can still cause you to itch, so you'll need an anti-itch cream for several weeks after you've been treated.
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