Itch Remedy ?

A hiker in an Oregon forest wrote to the People’s Pharmacy about the use of the juice of crushed bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) to ease the itch of ant and mosquito bites. The People’s Pharmacy referenced the use of this plant by the aboriginal people of Australia for ‘mozzie bites’. Please note that the fern pictured on the People’s Pharmacy website is NOT bracken fern.
Braken fern is the only species in this genus, though dozens of varieties are found throughout the world, including north America, tropical America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Our variety is caudatum: Pteridium aquilinum var. caudatum. Bracken fern grows in a variety of conditions and is pictured above at Cypress Bend Community Preserve.

This fern can be somewhat ‘weedy’, as shown in the picture below taken in 2010 on the hammock trail at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area by Nancy Soucy (Class of 2010) …
This fern can grow to be quite large, as you can see from Nancy Soucy’s photo of Judy Avril (Class of Fall of 1999) …
Braken fern grows in far sunnier and drier locations than most ferns and is shown here in the sandy scrub at the North Sebastian Conservation Area …
The recent arrival of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus, is one more recent to protect yourself from mosquito bites (in addition to St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis, and dengue fever).

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