Ringworm, or tineacorporis, is a fungal infection that affects the skin of both humans and animals alike. Its name was derived from an old belief that the ring was caused by a worm. However, recent studies show that dermatophytes, or skin fungi, cause the signs and symptoms of the illness. Many modes of treatment have been discovered in order to cure ringworm. However, our ancestors used different techniques and ways in order to eradicate this kind of infection. Let us discover some of them:
In Ancient India, Turmeric, an herbal plant, was commonly used to treat ringworm. This plant has been used for over 4,000 years to cure different kinds of ailments and illnesses. In the Vedic period in India, Honey was mixed with 15mL of Turmeric and was consumed by the inflicted person. In addition, the Turmeric juice was applied directly on the site of infection.
The Neem tree has been considered a “wonder tree” for hundreds of years in India. It has been used as an antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-diarrheal and antifungal. Aside from these medical uses, it has also been utilized as an ingredient in cosmetics. As treatment for bacterial, fungal and other kinds of infections, the ancient people used its seeds, oil, leaves and bark in many different ways in order to turn it into a high-spectrum treatment for many conditions.
The use of Henna is well-documented in the Ancient Egypt Pharmacopoeia, ” TheEbers Papyrus”, a compilation of about 876 remedies and sets of formula made by the ancient doctors in the early 1550 B.C. The Ebers Papyrus was discovered in 1862 by Edwin Smith in Thebes, Egypt. According to the collected artifacts, the remedy for ” the scabs in every limb” ( which could be Ringworm or other fungal disease), was Henna from the marshes, Henna from the fields and Henna knots. With these Henna components, red grain crushed in oil, goose oil and semen were incorporated. If body quality Henna was applied on the broken skin, this usually produced a permanent staining on the affected area.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine considers Walnut as an herbal treatment for many conditions. It has been cultivated in Europe since Roman times and was introduced to China after 206 BC. The outer casing, bark, leaves and nuts were used as treatments for different forms of diseases. External application of Walnut was proven to have treated Ringworm and other forms of fungal infections.
These ancient methods of treating ringworm were used by early people in very convenient ways. Advances in Science and Medicine may make these very obsolete. However, the way diseases are being treated now may also become outdated centuries from now. It is always good to look back and to rediscover what our ancestors have made in order to pave the way for greater discoveries. The thought that someday, somehow, our treatments and latest innovations will no longer be as effective as they are now, is very humbling. Indeed, the world changes and evolves and as the saying goes, “there will always be a higher mountain”.