Sunday, June 9, 2013

Well Read Books: The Itch

"There are a thousand causes underlying a condition of itching. They can include anything from dandruff to diabetes.

"In medical discussion and articles the term pruritis is used to indicate itching. To show the low status of the word, a similar-sounding word, prurience, means lewdness in thought or desire. An "itch plant," which is found in tropical countries and which is used to make itching powder, is call mucuna pruriens.

Why do people scratch? Some believe that the pain produced by the scratching is a mean of stopping the itching. The physiological explanation is that itching stops when pain supervenes. But the explanation lies deeper...

The Itch and what to do besides scratching
by J. I. Rodale
Rodale Books, 1971

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