Pruritus is severe itching of the skin, as a symptom of various ailments. It is a frequent complaint heard by dermatologists and primary care physicians.
According to the statistics provided by Dr. Elke Weisshaar and Dr. Uwe Matterne, in children, pruritus is a cardinal symptom of atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis)associated with the prevalent risk between 6.1% and 22.3% in the Western countries.
There are many causes associated with the itching skin including aging that worsened dry skin condition, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, burns, scars, insect bites, and hives.and diseases associated with the liver and kidney
Most symptoms of pruritus are due to scratching, including skin redness, bumps, crack, and scaly skin, depending on the causes of the symptoms.
For some instances, an allergic reaction can induce pruritus involved in touching clothing, pets, chemicals, soaps, and cosmetics and foods caused by an overreaction of the immune system in the production of cytokines against allergens.
Some researchers suggested that some people may experience an itching feeling with no physical cause. And patients with depression anxiety obsessive-compulsive disorder have been found to have an urge to scratch.
Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe.
The plant berry has been used as herbs in traditional medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease, and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.
On finding a potential compound for the treatment of pruritus, researchers at the Chiba Univ examined the bilberry anthocyanins antipruritic effect in a mouse model of allergic contact dermatitis by comparing anthocyanin-rich quality-controlled bilberry extract and anthocyanidin-rich degraded extract.
The study included BALB/c mice with allergic contact dermatitis induced by 4 weeks of repeated application of 2,4,6-trinitro-1-chlorobenzene (TNCB) were administered Bilberon-25 orally for 4 weeks after sensitization with TNCB.
Treatment with non-heated Bilberon-25 significantly attenuated the TNCB-induced increased scratching behavior, whereas treatment with 2 h-heated Bilberon-25 did not.
300 μg/mL nonheated Bilberon-25 showed significant inhibition of degranulation in RBL-2H3 mast cells, whereas 2 h-heated Bilberon-25 had no effect at any concentration.
Further differentiation of the results, researchers found that the efficacy of nonheated Bilberon-25 was attributed to the inhibitory effect of bilberry anthocyanins on pruritus mediated, at least in part, on mast cell degranulation.
More precisely, Dr. Yamaura K, the lead scientist said, "the anthocyanin-rich but not anthocyanidin-rich bilberry extract may be a useful dietary supplement for skin diseases involving pruritic symptoms, such as chronic allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and rhinitis".
Furthermore, in a mouse model induced chronic allergic contact dermatitic researchers once against examined the bilberry extract (Bilberon-25) in the alleviation of pruritus.
The study included BALB/c mice with chronic allergic contact dermatitis induced by 3 weeks of repeated application of 2,4,6-trinitro-1-chlorobenzene (TNCB) were administered Bilberon-25 orally for 3 weeks after sensitization with TNCB.
During the study, treatment with Bilberon-25 significantly attenuated the TNCB-induced increased scratching behavior, but dexamethasone did not.
Both dexamethasone and Bilberon-25 showed a significant amelioration of ear swelling.
Base on these results, researchers wrote in the final report, "Anthocyanins from bilberry might be beneficial for the treatment of chronic pruritus which can occur in patients with inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis".
Taken altogether, bilberry processed a high amount of anthocyanins may be considered a functional food for the treatment of chronic pruritus with no side effects, pending to the confirmation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Anthocyanins, but not anthocyanidins, from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) alleviate pruritus via inhibition of mast cell degranulation by Yamaura K1, Ishiwatari M, Yamamoto M, Shimada M, Bi Y, Ueno K. (PubMed)
(2) Anthocyanins from bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) alleviate pruritus in a mouse model of chronic allergic contact dermatitis by Yamaura K1, Shimada M, Ueno K. (PubMed)
(3) Epidemiology of Itch by Elke Weisshaar and Uwe Matterne.(NCBI)
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