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Chechem and Chacah

The tree on the right is Chechem … the bark exudes a sap which is highly irritant to the skin, and which will remain in your system for some weeks, like poison ivy. The tree on the left is Chacah, and it is said to be an antidote to the toxins of the Chechem. They are often found growing together.

From the web page Cures for Chechem Skin Rashes | eHow.com -

Chechem is the Mayan name for the black poisonwood tree (Metopium brownei or Metopium toxiferum). These trees are indigenous to Central America, the Caribbean and West Indies. They produce a poisonous, black sap that’s highly irritating to human skin. If you come in contact with the black sap, you’ll develop a red, itchy, burning rash on your skin. Based on the amount of sap you get on your skin and how quickly you treat it, the rash can linger for days or develop into first- to second-degree burns. It is also highly contagious, able to spread by touch.

Gumbo-Limbo Tree (Chacah)
The natural antidote or cure for a chechem rash is the sap from the gumbo-limbo tree (Bursera simaruba). Luckily, these trees grow in the same area as the chechem, so chances are, if you brush against a chechem tree there’s a gumbo-limbo tree nearby. Wash the affected area with water and dishwashing liquid that cuts through oil and grease. Cut a piece of the gumbo-limbo bark and rub its sap/inside part of the bark on the affected area. Reapply the bark several times. You can also boil the bark, add powdered vitamin C and create a paste to apply to the burn.

If you aren’t able to apply gumbo-limbo sap to the rash right away, the chechem rash will develop into first- and second-degree burns. To these, apply medicated, anti-itch creams designed to relieve burning and itching. Sunburn relief gels with lidocaine, aloe vera and tea tree oil can also bring down the swelling and soothe the area. If the rashes/burns are severe enough, seek a medical professional, who will most likely prescribe antibiotics and steroid medication.

Acupuncture and Herbs
Another cure for chechem rashes is acupuncture, combined with herbal remedies. Seek a professional acupuncturist to perform the acupuncture procedure. They will most likely write an herbal prescription specifically for your body. Some herbs that have worked to cure chechem rashes include xantium, coptis purge fire, huang lian, huang bai and huang quin. A paste made from pearl powder can prevent scarring after treatment.

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