In a survey conducted at Elsie Gaches Village in March, 1986, 106 of 234 (45 percent) residents examined were clinically diagnosed to have scabies. As a result of current interest in herbal medicine, an attempt was made to document the acaricidal property of Tinospora rumphii Boerl,. a local vine popularly known as "makabuhay". Lotion was prepared from macerated stem material and refined vegetable oil.
A total of 40 cases were selected at random for treatment as follows: 26, with Tinosphora lotion (experimental); 9, with sulfur ointment (conventional scabicide); and 5, with refined vegetable oil (placebo). The distribution of lesions among 12 predilection sites was noted and patients were assessed as to degree of infestation i.e., minimal, moderate, and generalized.
Patients were treated once a day for 3 to 5 days followed by a 7 to 14 day rest period when only placebo with no scabicide was applied to affected areas, and then a second cycle of treatment. Criteria for cure were based on complete or partial disappearance of lesions and pruritus.
All Tinospora-treated patients responded as follows: complete cure in 8 and partial cure in 18; with sulfur, complete cure in 2 and partial cure in 7; no response in the placebo group. Patients with moderate to severe disease were more predisposed to reinfestations and/or recurrence of symptoms than those with minimal lesions.
The study establishes the acaricidal property of Tinospora although a concomitant antimicrobial action can not be ruled out. It provides nonetheless an alternative to costly drugs and potentially toxic chemical pesticides. (Author)