Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection – common during childhood – which is caused by the herpes zoster virus. A fever develops and itchy spots appear in crops, progressing to blisters and then to crusts. Zona (shingles) is another condition caused by this virus.

Chickenpox can be accompanied by severe pain, usually before the rash appears, and there may be a fever. It is particularly dangerous for adults, as it is accompanied by a high temperature and pain.

Use lavender in vaporizers throughout the duration of the illness.

Soak frequently in tepid water for 10-15 minutes at a time, every few hours if possible. For babies dissolve 2 drops of tea tree and 1 drop of lavender (or chamomile) in 1 tsp of alcohol; for use in the bath for children dissolve 3 drops of tea tree and 2 drops of lavender (or chamomile) in 1 tsp alcohol; for adults dissolve 5 drops tea tree and 5 drops of lavender (or chamomile) in 1 tsp alcohol.

Dissolve 25 (15 for children) drops of tea tree and 10 (5 for children) drops each of lavender and chamomile in one dessertspoon of alcohol, then mix with 50 ml rosewater and 50 ml witchhazel. Shake well before using – apply frequently to spots using a cotton wool or gauze pad.

Note: this treatment is not suitable for young babies.

Other measures: a handful of colloidal oatmeal (available from most chemists) may also be added to the bath water to soothe itching and encourage healing. Tea tree is the most valuable oil for chickenpox, applied in the same fashion as lavender, or in combination.

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