“Papaw!” my daughter cries out. “Papaw!” When she has an itch, or an ‘ouchy ‘ the remedy my little girl asks for is our trusty red pot of Lucas’ Papaw ointment. It’s a miracle from Down Under.
When Poppet was about 18 months old we were hit with an outbreak of fleas in the apartment we had just move into in Sydney, thanks to the previous resident’s cat. Fleas thrive in the warm weather, her little chubby legs were covered in bites whose itch was only eased by a generous layer of the thick, soothing balm. Not nice. She used to run for the stuff every time she found a new bite, and so now it is to this versatile protecting and healing cream that she turns for every itch, scratch and bite.
Long before she came along I’d been using Lucas’ Papaw as a lip balm, hand cream, and to relieve the itching of insect bites. Aussies love the stuff, and so do I. Over there the iconic little red tubes and can be found in every home and handbag.
What makes it special is papaya grown in Queensland, the nutrient-rich fruit is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamins A. Mixed in a base of pharmaceutical grade petroleum jelly and a tiny amount of Gum Balsam Peru for perfume, the manufacturers haven’t changed the winning formula in 100 years.
When I learnt it contained petroleum jelly I was slightly disappointed as I’d always thought of it as a natural product and there’s nothing natural about petroleum jelly. I’d used Vaseline’s petroleum jelly for years and stopped because it didn’t seem to be a good idea to put it on my skin, but the papaya really does transform this product into something special. And it works, and at the end of the day that’s what matters.
Here are just a few of this versatile ointment’s uses:
- Lip balm: The biggy for me. I panic if it’s not in my handbag. I use it on almost a daily basis, and keep a tube in my handbag and by my bed.
- Nappy-rash: or sore ‘bits’ which any parent of little kids knows can be a frequent problem for littles who have only just learn to go to the toilet by themselves.
- Blisters: apply it generously to feet where shoes rub to ease blisters and stop the friction that causes them.
- Insect bites: It stops the itching almost instantly.
- Cuts, burns and grazes: to help aid healing and to soothe pain.
- Hands and feet: use to soften hard skin and cuticles.
- Dry skin: apply to knees and elbows for instance.
- Skin problems: it can also be used to ease eczema, dermatitis and fungal infections
Recently our supply of this life-saving balm was running on empty so I had to find out where to buy it in the UK. In Oz it’s in every chemist, but here I turned to the ever-reliable Amazon and found that The PawpawShop who are actually based pretty close by have been importing the red pots and tubes of soothing stuff since 2007. Phew. Check them out on Amazon here.
Now we are stocked up, which is just as well – only last night Poppet yelled out in the night because she had ‘an itchy’. So we have a pot in the bathroom, a tube in my handbag, a tube by my bed, and I’ll be taking it with us when we go to Italy in a couple of months time, armed and ready for the inevitable insect bites.
Have you discovered this product? Let me know what you think.
What’s your favourite health or beauty product at the moment? Follow me of Twitter @luluandpoppet and use the hashtag #myfavourite to join in the conversation.