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St. Mary’s School hit by ‘cow itch’

St. Mary’s School hit by ‘cow itch’


Sixty students of the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School were taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital last Friday 12, after they suffered “cow itch” skin irritation.

An announcement issued by the school at midday asked parents to pick up their children as the school was being closed for the rest of the day.{{more}} Investigations reveal that the closure became necessary because of the infestation of the reddish- orange velvety stinging hairs from the Mucana plant which causes intense irritation to the skin.

School Principal Sis. Ivy Pacheco told SEARCHLIGHT that the students taken to the hospital were mainly those who have allergy problems. “The compound has to be washed out,” stated Principal Pacheco stressing that there was nothing to be worried about. The students affected were from grades three and four.

The Mucuna plant “cow itch tree” is a native of India, Africa, the Pacific islands along with the West Indies and is known to have a wide range of medicinal usage. For years it has been used in India to treat Parkinson’s disease as clinical studies confirmed the efficacy of the seeds in the management of spasms associated with the disease.

Toasted ground seeds are also used as a coffee substitute and it is also famed as being a powerful nervine tonic and aphrodisiac and can be used as a remedy for dropsy among other usages.

It is also being investigated as a possible remedy for AIDS.