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Alternative Remedy to Mosquito-Borne Menace

Prevention is better than cure: Giloy is believed to have antioxidant property, which boosts immunity

Mugdha Singh
Publish Date: Oct 24 2016 11:34AM | Updated Date: Oct 24 2016 11:34AM

Alternative Remedy to Mosquito-Borne Menace

Chikungunya’s main symptom is pain in the joints. And that is how it is called “Sandhi Jwara” or joint’s fever in Ayurveda. With hardly any  allopathic medication available for its cure as also for that of dengue (non-haemorrhoid) except paracetamol, alternative preventive home remedies and indigenous medicine systems like Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Homeopathy can well bring succouor, finds Mugdha Singh

 

With every other household in the national capital having at least one family member down with an identified or unidentified body-breaking ‘viral’ fever, the sweep of a viral epidemic cannot be underestimated. 

 

With allopathic doctors prescribing just a paracetamol to bring down the fever, lots of water and fluids, and a healthy diet, people are seeking natural and alternative remedies and immunity-boosting supplements.  

 

Naturopathy for chikungunya

 

Nature offers effective preventive and curative measures. Deepa, living in a slum in RK Puram is of the opinion that the reason her neighborhood has not borne the brunt of the chikunguniya fever is that most families there have been drinking giloy juice – a plant that grows wild in the area.

 

Giloy, or guduchi, is a leafy creeper that most Ayurvedic doctors (Vaids) recommend as a chikungunya treatment. Home remedies also suggest the boiling of the plant to make a Kadha or thick drink in times of chronic fever. 

 

India’s jet-age Yoga guru and Ayurveda expert Baba Ramdev has giloy juice tonic as one of his hottest selling Patanjali products this season. Giloy Gyan Vati, Arogya Vati and other similar products of Patanjali also have giloy in it.

 

Other pharma outlets, like Apollo, have been quick to respond to the demand and offer giloy juice too as a popular counter to chikunguniya.

 

 

Giloy is believed to have strong antioxidant property, which boosts immunity. It helps in reducing fever and increasing blood platelet count. It aids in digestion, highly alkaline and has anti-inflammatory effect, which aids in joint treatment of arthritis and asthma. It can also help reduce blood glucose levels for type-2 diabetics.

 

Another plant in high demand is the papaya leaf.  A naturalist enthusiast, Surendra Chaudhary said, “Papaya leaf juice is the most well-known treatment in nature for various ailments, including viral fever caused by dengue. Studies prove that the herbal remedies increase the immunity in the body and raise the platelets count in the body. The treatments can help the patient to regain his/her immunity to a considerable extent. Adding a small portion of raw papaya together with the leaves can increase the effect of the medicine. The juice should be taken at least two to three times a day along with the alternative treatments.”

 

“Juice made by India pennywort (Centella asiatica ) known as khulakudi in Hindi is also considered a good immunity booster, so is turmeric (haldi) powder with milk. Foods items such as flax seed, walnut, spinach, lettuce and parsley, basil leaves and cinnamon stick boiled in tea can increase the platelet count naturally,” said, Dr Meenakshi Sahai, botanist in Agra University.

 

Allopathic practitioners also agree that fresh fruits and vegetables anyway play an important role in providing nutrients and minerals to the body and improve platelet levels. Consumption of olive, kiwi fruit and juices of aloe vera, beetroot and carrots help during any vector borne disease.

 

Prevention is better than cure

 

A staunch advocate of the power of plants, Dr Sahai said she has never suffered from any vector borne diseases and she believes that this is largely due to her regular intake of herbs on the regular basis.

 

"My body fights it off," she said, “I follow a regular diet routine that begins with tea on an empty stomach. It contains Echinacea; it’s a type of flower which is known to boost the immune system and root of sunflower plant to purify the blood. Then there's neem, which is an antiseptic and cleanse the body. That should be sipped all day long instead of water,” she adds.

 

“Garlic paste application can relieve joint pain, grapes can relieve severe symptoms, raw carrots can boost immune system and coconut water is an effective remedy. These are easily available things and can help the patients,” Dr Sahai told Policy Pulse.

 

Clove oil massage with pepper wrapped on the painful joints for providing relief from pain is another remedy which brings warmth to the joints and eases the stiffness of joint tendons. Using epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) in lukewarm bathing water mixed with neem leaves can also help the patient.

 

BOX

 

Naturally Healthy 

 Grapes taken with cow’s milk give relief from some of the severe symptoms of chikungunya. Make sure that the grapes are seedless and dry

 

 Eating raw carrots as salad increase the immune resistance of people afflicted with chikungunya. It protects them from complications such as persistent joint pain

 

 Tulsi (Sacred Basil) leaves can reduce the fever of patients and have a positive impact on immunity

 

 Drinking a lot of coconut water can also give relief. Coconut water detoxifies the liver and that is helpful in faster recovery of patients

 

Ayurveda 

 

According to Hariram Vaid, Ayurvedic medicines can be helpful in managing muscle and joint pain in chikungunya. Talking to Policy Pulse, he took so many names of the ancient medicines that could cure the patient. 

 

“Nirgundi, Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Yograj-Guggulu, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Chitrak, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Dashmool and Triphala are medicinal herbs that have the power to give relief in case of joint pain and fever besides preventing the disease, if given on right time in right amount. These days there are many people who have turned to Ayurvedic treatment for chikungunya. They know that our sages had the cure but one needs to be careful and seek treatment only from genuine Ayurveda practitioners. Some people start taking medicine from quacks that can worsen the case,” he warns.

 

Homeopathy for chikungunya

 

Bryonia, a flowering Indian plant belonging to the gourd family is extensively used in homeopathic medicines for fevers and joint pains, including for chikungunya.

 

Dr Khemchand Khatri, a homeopath says that medicines like China, Arnica, Belladona are some common medicines that homeopaths give to the patients in case of fever, pain and uneasiness. 

 

“Eupatorium- Perfoliatum, Influenzinum, Pyroginum, Rhus-tox, Cedron, Bryonia, Arsenic-album are some other medicines that we give when patient is not on any other medicines. Many homeopaths consider Eupatorium perf as a preventive medicine for chikungunya, which according to me works for many people. The most commonly suggested potency which we give as prophylaxis is 200C.Eupatorium Perfoliatum Q (tincture, 3 to 5 drop dose) is said to remove the debilitating joint pains and cut short the intensity and duration of the disease. Other potencies may be used according to the intensity of the case,” remarked Dr Khatri.

 

He went on to say, “In case of severity, we give Arsenic-album and China. If there is severe headache, China, Cedron and Belladonna should be considered. If headache and prostration are both found together, China is the remedy that is likely to help. These are some common medicines but people should consult a professional homeopath to find the most suitable remedy for a given case. The amount and use of medicine should also be taken under expert’s instructions.”

 

Efficacy

 

Yet, Dr Tarun Singhal, an allopath said, “We are still not sure whether herbal medicines work or not. It is not proven so I can’t recommend it. But I don't see any harm in taking it as well. A person should be sure about his/her allergies and herb quantities,” he added.

 

The two major institutes in India, working to find more effective medical treatments for viral diseases, like the National Institute of Communicable disease (NICD) based in New Delhi and the National institute of Virology, Pune, are being joined by the Ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda and Siddha) also under the Health Ministry in popularising indigenous alternative treatments.

 

The Ministry of Ayush

 

The AYUSH Ministry was launched in November in 2014 amid much fanfare under the newly elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that has consistently shown a penchant for a Made in India label.

It is supposed to undertake research, study and promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The main objective was to make these ancient practices scientific and medically acceptable as alternatives to allopathy.

 

On September 16, a parliamentary panel, under the aegis of BJP veteran leader Murali Manohar Joshi met to discuss policies and work of the Ministry of Ayush and traditional healthcare systems. The panel members asked the ministry to explain how its role in tackling the growing cases of chikungunya and dengue can be strengthened.

 

Ayush secretary Ajit Sharan responded that they have launched various awareness campaigns, and are working in collaboration with the Medical Council of India (MCI) - the governing body for medical education. 

 

“At the end of the day, chikungunya is a virus and needs to run its course. With no antiviral medicines available yet to fight chikungunya, the only sure way to deal with it is not to get it. The onus lies with the Government to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and maintain cleanliness. This is not a medical problem but an environmental one and that is what needs to be addressed,” said Dr Singhal.

Chikungunya’s main symptom is pain in the joints. And that is how it is called “Sandhi Jwara” or joint’s fever in Ayurveda. With hardly any  allopathic medication available for its cure as also for that of dengue (non-haemorrhoid) except paracetamol, alternative preventive home remedies and indigenous medicine systems like Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Homeopathy can well bring succouor, finds Mugdha Singh
 
 
With every other household in the national capital having at least one family member down with an identified or unidentified body-breaking ‘viral’ fever, the sweep of a viral epidemic cannot be underestimated. 
 
With allopathic doctors prescribing just a paracetamol to bring down the fever, lots of water and fluids, and a healthy diet, people are seeking natural and alternative remedies and immunity-boosting supplements.  
 
Naturopathy for chikungunya
 
Nature offers effective preventive and curative measures. Deepa, living in a slum in RK Puram is of the opinion that the reason her neighborhood has not borne the brunt of the chikunguniya fever is that most families there have been drinking giloy juice – a plant that grows wild in the area.
 
Giloy, or guduchi, is a leafy creeper that most Ayurvedic doctors (Vaids) recommend as a chikungunya treatment. Home remedies also suggest the boiling of the plant to make a Kadha or thick drink in times of chronic fever. 
 
India’s jet-age Yoga guru and Ayurveda expert Baba Ramdev has giloy juice tonic as one of his hottest selling Patanjali products this season. Giloy Gyan Vati, Arogya Vati and other similar products of Patanjali also have giloy in it.
 
Other pharma outlets, like Apollo, have been quick to respond to the demand and offer giloy juice too as a popular counter to chikunguniya.
 
 
Giloy is believed to have strong antioxidant property, which boosts immunity. It helps in reducing fever and increasing blood platelet count. It aids in digestion, highly alkaline and has anti-inflammatory effect, which aids in joint treatment of arthritis and asthma. It can also help reduce blood glucose levels for type-2 diabetics.
 
Another plant in high demand is the papaya leaf.  A naturalist enthusiast, Surendra Chaudhary said, “Papaya leaf juice is the most well-known treatment in nature for various ailments, including viral fever caused by dengue. Studies prove that the herbal remedies increase the immunity in the body and raise the platelets count in the body. The treatments can help the patient to regain his/her immunity to a considerable extent. Adding a small portion of raw papaya together with the leaves can increase the effect of the medicine. The juice should be taken at least two to three times a day along with the alternative treatments.”
 
“Juice made by India pennywort (Centella asiatica ) known as khulakudi in Hindi is also considered a good immunity booster, so is turmeric (haldi) powder with milk. Foods items such as flax seed, walnut, spinach, lettuce and parsley, basil leaves and cinnamon stick boiled in tea can increase the platelet count naturally,” said, Dr Meenakshi Sahai, botanist in Agra University.
 
Allopathic practitioners also agree that fresh fruits and vegetables anyway play an important role in providing nutrients and minerals to the body and improve platelet levels. Consumption of olive, kiwi fruit and juices of aloe vera, beetroot and carrots help during any vector borne disease.
 
Prevention is better than cure
 
A staunch advocate of the power of plants, Dr Sahai said she has never suffered from any vector borne diseases and she believes that this is largely due to her regular intake of herbs on the regular basis.
 
"My body fights it off," she said, “I follow a regular diet routine that begins with tea on an empty stomach. It contains Echinacea; it’s a type of flower which is known to boost the immune system and root of sunflower plant to purify the blood. Then there's neem, which is an antiseptic and cleanse the body. That should be sipped all day long instead of water,” she adds.
 
“Garlic paste application can relieve joint pain, grapes can relieve severe symptoms, raw carrots can boost immune system and coconut water is an effective remedy. These are easily available things and can help the patients,” Dr Sahai told Policy Pulse.
 
Clove oil massage with pepper wrapped on the painful joints for providing relief from pain is another remedy which brings warmth to the joints and eases the stiffness of joint tendons. Using epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) in lukewarm bathing water mixed with neem leaves can also help the patient.
 
BOX
 
Naturally Healthy 
 Grapes taken with cow’s milk give relief from some of the severe symptoms of chikungunya. Make sure that the grapes are seedless and dry
 
 Eating raw carrots as salad increase the immune resistance of people afflicted with chikungunya. It protects them from complications such as persistent joint pain
 
 Tulsi (Sacred Basil) leaves can reduce the fever of patients and have a positive impact on immunity
 
 Drinking a lot of coconut water can also give relief. Coconut water detoxifies the liver and that is helpful in faster recovery of patients
 
Ayurveda 
 
According to Hariram Vaid, Ayurvedic medicines can be helpful in managing muscle and joint pain in chikungunya. Talking to Policy Pulse, he took so many names of the ancient medicines that could cure the patient. 
 
“Nirgundi, Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Yograj-Guggulu, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Chitrak, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Dashmool and Triphala are medicinal herbs that have the power to give relief in case of joint pain and fever besides preventing the disease, if given on right time in right amount. These days there are many people who have turned to Ayurvedic treatment for chikungunya. They know that our sages had the cure but one needs to be careful and seek treatment only from genuine Ayurveda practitioners. Some people start taking medicine from quacks that can worsen the case,” he warns.
 
Homeopathy for chikungunya
 
Bryonia, a flowering Indian plant belonging to the gourd family is extensively used in homeopathic medicines for fevers and joint pains, including for chikungunya.
 
Dr Khemchand Khatri, a homeopath says that medicines like China, Arnica, Belladona are some common medicines that homeopaths give to the patients in case of fever, pain and uneasiness. 
 
“Eupatorium- Perfoliatum, Influenzinum, Pyroginum, Rhus-tox, Cedron, Bryonia, Arsenic-album are some other medicines that we give when patient is not on any other medicines. Many homeopaths consider Eupatorium perf as a preventive medicine for chikungunya, which according to me works for many people. The most commonly suggested potency which we give as prophylaxis is 200C.Eupatorium Perfoliatum Q (tincture, 3 to 5 drop dose) is said to remove the debilitating joint pains and cut short the intensity and duration of the disease. Other potencies may be used according to the intensity of the case,” remarked Dr Khatri.
 
He went on to say, “In case of severity, we give Arsenic-album and China. If there is severe headache, China, Cedron and Belladonna should be considered. If headache and prostration are both found together, China is the remedy that is likely to help. These are some common medicines but people should consult a professional homeopath to find the most suitable remedy for a given case. The amount and use of medicine should also be taken under expert’s instructions.”
 
Efficacy
 
Yet, Dr Tarun Singhal, an allopath said, “We are still not sure whether herbal medicines work or not. It is not proven so I can’t recommend it. But I don't see any harm in taking it as well. A person should be sure about his/her allergies and herb quantities,” he added.
 
The two major institutes in India, working to find more effective medical treatments for viral diseases, like the National Institute of Communicable disease (NICD) based in New Delhi and the National institute of Virology, Pune, are being joined by the Ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda and Siddha) also under the Health Ministry in popularising indigenous alternative treatments.
 
The Ministry of Ayush
 
The AYUSH Ministry was launched in November in 2014 amid much fanfare under the newly elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that has consistently shown a penchant for a Made in India label.
It is supposed to undertake research, study and promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The main objective was to make these ancient practices scientific and medically acceptable as alternatives to allopathy.
 
On September 16, a parliamentary panel, under the aegis of BJP veteran leader Murali Manohar Joshi met to discuss policies and work of the Ministry of Ayush and traditional healthcare systems. The panel members asked the ministry to explain how its role in tackling the growing cases of chikungunya and dengue can be strengthened.
 
Ayush secretary Ajit Sharan responded that they have launched various awareness campaigns, and are working in collaboration with the Medical Council of India (MCI) - the governing body for medical education. 
 
“At the end of the day, chikungunya is a virus and needs to run its course. With no antiviral medicines available yet to fight chikungunya, the only sure way to deal with it is not to get it. The onus lies with the Government to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and maintain cleanliness. This is not a medical problem but an environmental one and that is what needs to be addressed,” said Dr Singhal.