Malaria is one of the intermittent fevers. It has a tendency to return again and again to haunt the sufferers. It is a parasitic illness which involves infection of the red blood cells.
The word malaria comes from the Indian mal’aia aria, meaning bad air. It is caused by bad air. It is one of the most widespread disease in the world, especially in tropical and subtropical regions.
There are three types of malaria, depend on the parasites which cause it. These are vivax, falciparum and malaria commonly called tertian fever, quarten fever and the malignant tertian malaria. The most common symptoms of all types of malaria is high fever, which may come every day, on alternate days or every fourth day.
The fever is accompanied by chill, headache, shivering and pain in the limbs. Temperature down after sweating. One of the main effects of malaria is anaemia. Other complications of the disease are dysentery and kidney failure.
Malaria is caused by a very tiny parasite called Plasmodium. The parasites grow in the liver of a person for a few days and enter to the bloodstream where they invade the red blood cells. The disease spreads from a sick person to a healthy one by the female anopheles mosquito. Mosquito draws a small amount of blood containing the parasite, when female mosquito bites a person who has malaria.
These parasites pass through some stages of development within the mosquito’s body, and finally find their way to its salivary glands. There they lie in wait for an opportunity to enter to the veins of the next person that the mosquito bites. The malaria-carrying mosquito breeds in water.
The real cause of malaria, however, as in case of other infectious diseases, is wrong feeding and faulty style of living. This gives in the system being clogged with accumulated systemic refuse and morbid matter. It is in the soil that the malaria germs breed.
The habitual use of denatured foods of today, such as white sugar, white flour and products made from them, as well as tinned foods, strong tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, lower the vitality of the system and paves the way for the develop of malaria.
The preventive aspect in malaria is as important as the curative one. The most important way to protect against malaria is to accept all important measures necessary for preventing mosquito bites.
For this purpose, it is important to maintain clean of surrounding, environmental hygiene and to eradicate stretches of water. As the mosquito generally perches itself on the walls of the house after biting a person, it would be advisable to spray the walls with insecticides.
The leaves of holy basil (tulsi) are considered beneficial in the prevention of malaria. An infusion of some leaves can be eaten daily for this purpose. The juice of about 11 grams of tulsi leaves, mixed with three grams of powder of black pepper, can be taken beneficially in the cold stage of the malaria fever. This will check the severity of the disease.
Other Measures for Malaria
The best way to comes down temperature naturally, during the course of the fever, is by means of the cold pack, which can be applies to the whole body.
The cold pack is made by wringing out a sheet or other large square piece of linen material in cold water, wrapped it right round the legs and body of the patient and then covering completely with a small blanket or similar warm material.
This pack should be applies every three hour during the day when temperature is high and kept on for an hour or so. Hot-water bottles may be applies to the feet and also against the sides of the body. A cold pack may also be applies to the throat.
Maintenance of cleaniness of surroundings, environmental hygiene and eradication of stretches of stagnant water to prevent mosquitoes.
Dietary treatment for malaria
Diet is the most importance in the treatment of malaria. To begin with, the patient should fast on orange juice and water for 5 to 10 days, depending on the severity of the fever.
After the fever has subside, the patient should be placed on an exclusive fruit diet for further four day in this regimen, he should take three to four meals a day, at five-hourly intervals of fresh, juicy fruits like orange, apple, grape-fruit, grapes, pineapple, papaya and mangos.
Milk may be added to the fruit-diet after this period and this dietary may be continued for further few days. Thereafter, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet of natural foods, consisting of nuts, seeds and grains, fruits and vegetables, with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables.
The patient should avoid coffee, strong tea, refined and processed foods, fried foods, condiments, pickles, sauces, white flour, white sugar, and all products made from them. He should also avoid all meats, smoking and alcoholic drinks.
Some home remedies have been found important in the treatment of malaria. One such remedy is the use of grapefruits (chakotra). This fruit contains natural quinine. This substance can be removed from the fruits by boiling a quarter of the grapefruit and straining its pulp.
Lemon and lime are important in the treatment of quarten type of malaria fever. About three grams of lime should be dissolved in about 50 ml. of juice and water of one lemon added in it. This water should be drink before the onset of the fever.
Cinnamon (Dalchini) is essential as an effective cure for all types of colds, including malaria. It should be coarsely powdered and boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of honey and pepper powder. This can be used beneficially as a medicine in malaria.
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