How to treat and successfully cure Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

A couple of years ago, my (now former) girlfriend and I went to the Philippines for holiday. Everyday around 3 pm the snow white beaches turned into a haven of sandflies. It's a bit tricky if they bite you because you don't feel anything at the moment. Sandflies are just too small, they can even fly thru your mosquito net. Usually, the same day during the evening, you will see a huge red itching spot on your skin. After one or more days, tiny little blisters filled with yellow liquid appears on the spot of the bite. This is what is called „Cutaneous Leishmaniasis“, a milder form of Visceral Leishmaniasis. The later one is deadly if not properly treated, Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is just „bothersome“ temporary problem for most of the people. If this happens to you, you have to pop the blisters using sterilized gauze and treat wounds with betadine. Doing this repeatedly for a couple of days, you can treat this starting infection in its primary stage and it will never develop further. But what to do if it does? There is not much information on this anywhere.

Because of the quick and severe development of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, an infected person can develop a psychological trouble because of the ugly symptoms and rapid development of the disease. In a few days, there is a ring of the very same blisters as during the primary infection. The ring is spreading over your skin day by day rapidly. In some cases, it can have up to 20 cm in radius.

Exactly this happened to my friend. When we returned home to Prague, we immediately went to the clinic of tropical diseases in hope for seeking the proper treatment. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a very well known disease of the Third World, so I was expecting that local doctors can offer some reasonable solutions. Doctors turned us down. He prescribed a common lotion with the high content of corticoids and told us, that „it will heal by itself.“ Of course, it didn't. Every day it got worse. Corticoids tends to heal just the result of most of the skin diseases (the substance basically whitens the surface and „pushes“ the disease „down“ into your skin, so it's not that visible, but of course it's still present), not the cause. What a clever way to keep patient sick long enough, while feeding the everytime-hungry pharmaceutical industry.
First I have to state, that I am not an „alternative medicine fanatic“. I do not deny so-called „western“ medicine. Many of diseases you just have to cure using antibiotics or some other wide-range killing chemicals. But in this case, western medicine along with western doctor failed, so it was time to seek for some other solutions.

I have read an article written by Roman Sindelar, M.D., a guy with a rich experience in the field of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, especially during his military duty in Afghanistan. In this article, I have found a remark saying, that „parasites causing Cutaneous Leishmaniasis are not resistant to higher temperatures“. On other websites, I have found another remark – „these parasites can be killed by artemisinin“ (e.g., extracts from Artemisia annua, which has proven to be a very effective parasite killer, it has long-term positive results in the fight against malaria). When we make a synthesis of this two information, what can we conclude? I was thinking about heating up a steel spoon, then hold it over the infected area and after doing this repeatedly for a couple of times treat the area with the extract from wormwood. But then a perfect combination of both struck my mind. We bought a wormwood moxa – an inseparable part of Chinese medicine since its very beginnings. Three times a day we were heating the spot for 10-15 minutes. Because of a very strong scent of moxa, we had to do this outside. One should be careful just not to be too enthusiastic about killing that alien microorganism invading your body – the skin shouldn't be irritated nor burned. After this, we treated heated skin with a dose of berberine oil. After a few days, the infection took a reverse direction – parasites started dying out. After two weeks the ring of yellow-liquid-filled blisters disappeared, leaving a few scabs which healed up quickly. After two months, there was only a white spot on the place where the infection was raging. After one year, this spot was barely visible, we can tell just because of a slight pigment coloring. We never experienced such a horror unlucky ones were describing over the internet – 20 cm in radius infectious cake-looking wounds, which were itching like crazy. A total success! The only thing you need is patience, dutifulness, and regularity.

This summer, one of my friends caught Cutaneous Leishmaniasis while traveling on one of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. I recommended her the same treatment, which I have experimentally applied to my friend four years ago. The result was the same. No further development, no scars, no nothing!

I decided to share this idea, as it can help a lot of people desperate for advice or consolation. Don't worry, it's not a big thing. It just looks awfully ugly. But when you start to treat it the proper way, parasites stands no chance!


  1. Marina

    15.12.2023, 03:20

    Hello! Just brought this bites from Chiapas. The worst is gone by itself (the ring was around just one of the bites, the rest are simply red, swallen and still itchy, bleeding after 3 weeks). Please explain about the chinese herb and how to use it? Also the berberine oil… so far cant get it from amazon. Im in Dominican republic. Can maybe order some stuff from internet and get it delivered here. Thanks in advance.

  2. karosh

    14.09.2018, 14:32

    linds + Max: Hey guys, I am really glad that my described experience helped you. Would not call it "wisdom," that is perhaps too flattering, it is just a DYI solution, because obviously, that one you receive in the hospitals around the world are only paper-based (and not common-sense-based). Hope you are all doing well!

  3. Max

    10.08.2018, 19:42

    Hello. Thank you very much for this post, you saved me of a lot of pain, itching and wounded skin. We went to play beach volley ball just after a storm and I got bit by something about 8 times. Most of bytes were on feet and lower leg, one on shoulder. I did not know and did not pay attention till I got home next day and saw these horrible broken skin bytes oozing yellowish transparent liquid. My friend got that few years ago in Vietnam and now he has a hole in his muscle. I was very worried because I did not know how to treat this. I found your post among first ones and saw pictures that were same as my bytes. I did the spoon thing on my shoulder to heat it up and used tea tree oil and wormwood on it. I immediately stopped oozing because I believe the parasite died. I have put oil on a make up cotton and hoot spoon over it. On other places on feet and leg I have used a blow drier because I got burned by spoon and did not want to do it like that. It worked like a charm. Oozing stopped on every byte and redness is going away too. Little scab has formed on tip and it looks like it is healing nicely. I will persist with oil treatment and heating up for few more days just to be sure. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom with us.

  4. linds

    26.06.2018, 03:54

    Currently in Roatan. Having some severe reactions to sand fly bites. Thank you for the details and photos. will be keeping an eye out for any further symptoms if they occur. Will let you know if I have to try your method!

  5. karosh

    27.02.2016, 15:56

    Taylor: Thank you for telling me! My friend lived on NZ, but she probably contracted this parasite somewhere else in the Pacific Ocean. I corrected my statement. Feedback appreciated!

  6. Taylor

    08.11.2015, 04:24

    New Zealand doesn't have this parasite. I think you must've been mistaken as to what country your friend contracted leishminiasis.

  7. Michael Forrest

    26.11.2012, 16:14

    Here's my page about leishmaniasis and my efforts to cure it:

  8. karosh

    06.09.2012, 22:20

    Well, it's a big mistake to miss El Nido just because of sandflies. There is also a risk of malaria, although it's kind of low. If the disease is not deadly, then it's treatable! :) Dunno about the medication. There are also two types of Leishmaniasis. Visceral is much more severe and if untreated, it can be fatal... This skin form should be treated locally, not by swallowing by some wide-range effecting pills, that's my opinion...

  9. Vlado

    06.09.2012, 15:28

    You know, these damn sandflies and similar pictures made me decide not to go to El Nido in Palawan.. Good thing to know that in a worst case scenario, you can treat these bites with some on-the-spot woodoo. I read somewhere, that there is a western style medication for these bites and if you apply it in the erarly stages, the symptoms should ease off very soon with no scars or marks at all.




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