A couple of years ago, my (now former) girlfriend and I went to the Philippines for holiday. Everyday around 3 pm the snow white beaches turned into a haven of sandflies. It's a bit tricky if they bite you because you don't feel anything at the moment. Sandflies are just too small, they can even fly thru your mosquito net. Usually, the same day during the evening, you will see a huge red itching spot on your skin. After one or more days, tiny little blisters filled with yellow liquid appears on the spot of the bite. This is what is called „Cutaneous Leishmaniasis“, a milder form of Visceral Leishmaniasis. The later one is deadly if not properly treated, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is just „bothersome“ temporary problem for most of the people. If this happens to you, you have to pop the blisters using sterilized gauze and treat wounds with betadine. Doing this repeatedly for a couple of days, you can treat this starting infection in its primary stage and it will never develop further. But what to do if it does? There is not much information on this anywhere.
Because of the quick and severe development of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, an infected person can develop a psychological trouble because of the ugly symptoms and rapid development of the disease. In a few days, there is a ring of the very same blisters as during the primary infection. The ring is spreading over your skin day by day rapidly. In some cases, it can have up to 20 cm in radius.
Exactly this happened to my friend. When we returned home to Prague, we immediately went to the clinic of tropical diseases in hope for seeking the proper treatment. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a very well known disease of the Third World, so I was expecting that local doctors can offer some reasonable solutions. Doctors turned us down. He prescribed a common lotion with the high content of corticoids and told us, that „it will heal by itself.“ Of course, it didn't. Every day it got worse. Corticoids tends to heal just the result of most of the skin diseases (the substance basically whitens the surface and „pushes“ the disease „down“ into your skin, so it's not that visible, but of course it's still present), not the cause. What a clever way to keep patient sick long enough, while feeding the everytime-hungry pharmaceutical industry.
First I have to state, that I am not an „alternative medicine fanatic“. I do not deny so-called „western“ medicine. Many of diseases you just have to cure using antibiotics or some other wide-range killing chemicals. But in this case, western medicine along with western doctor failed, so it was time to seek for some other solutions.
I have read an article written by Roman Sindelar, M.D., a guy with a rich experience in the field of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, especially during his military duty in Afghanistan. In this article, I have found a remark saying, that „parasites causing Cutaneous Leishmaniasis are not resistant to higher temperatures“. On other websites, I have found another remark – „these parasites can be killed by artemisinin“ (e.g., extracts from Artemisia annua, which has proven to be a very effective parasite killer, it has long-term positive results in the fight against malaria). When we make a synthesis of this two information, what can we conclude? I was thinking about heating up a steel spoon, then hold it over the infected area and after doing this repeatedly for a couple of times treat the area with the extract from wormwood. But then a perfect combination of both struck my mind. We bought a wormwood moxa – an inseparable part of Chinese medicine since its very beginnings. Three times a day we were heating the spot for 10-15 minutes. Because of a very strong scent of moxa, we had to do this outside. One should be careful just not to be too enthusiastic about killing that alien microorganism invading your body – the skin shouldn't be irritated nor burned. After this, we treated heated skin with a dose of berberine oil. After a few days, the infection took a reverse direction – parasites started dying out. After two weeks the ring of yellow-liquid-filled blisters disappeared, leaving a few scabs which healed up quickly. After two months, there was only a white spot on the place where the infection was raging. After one year, this spot was barely visible, we can tell just because of a slight pigment coloring. We never experienced such a horror unlucky ones were describing over the internet – 20 cm in radius infectious cake-looking wounds, which were itching like crazy. A total success! The only thing you need is patience, dutifulness, and regularity.
This summer, one of my friends caught Cutaneous Leishmaniasis while traveling on one of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. I recommended her the same treatment, which I have experimentally applied to my friend four years ago. The result was the same. No further development, no scars, no nothing!
I decided to share this idea, as it can help a lot of people desperate for advice or consolation. Don't worry, it's not a big thing. It just looks awfully ugly. But when you start to treat it the proper way, parasites stands no chance!