Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Natural Remedies for Intermittent Fevers (Malaria and Others)

Intermittent fever is a generic term for fevers like Malaria which have a tendency to recur. They continue for some time, subside completely and then strike the patient again. The most common among such fevers is, of course, malaria.

Malaria was at one time supposed to be caused by bad air as its name indicates (from the Italian mala aria-bad air) and is also known as Ague, Paludism, Jungle Fever, Marsh Fever and Periodic fever. In the beginning it may occur every day, every second or third day and if untreated assume a chronic form called Malarial cachexia with a tendency of frequent relapses. In the end of the nineteenth century it was conclusively proved to be caused by a variety of mosquitoes, the Anopheles. It is found throughout the world, but is endemic to hot, humid climates where there are marshes or long stretches of stagnant water. Malaria is generally of three types, depending upon the parasites which cause it. They are: (i) the tertian fever; (ii) the quarten fever; and (iii) the malignant tertian malaria.

The Malaria parasites lodge themselves into the liver of their victim wherefrom they are released into the blood stream causing all the havoc associated with the fever. Before the fever strikes, there are symptoms like headache, vague pains throughout the body, chilliness and a slight rise of temperature. Malaria has three stages: (i) the cold stage; (ii) the hot stage; and (iii) the sweating stage. At first the sufferer feels chilled to the bone and any number of blankets or quilts heaped over him give him no relief. As he feels .cold, his temperature continue to rise; it sometimes goes up to 106°F. This stage lasts for some hours after which the second stage and when the fever reaches its peak, the third stage of sweating begins: There is profuse perspiration and a gradual lowering of body temperature as the sweat cools it.

If Malaria is quartan, there is an intermission of two days before the next attack. In tertian fever, the attack comes on alternate days. But in aestivo­autumnal fever each attack may last more than one day and the next attack may come on the heels of the earlier one.
Malaria, sometimes continues for many hours in the second stage; the fever continues to rise even beyond 106°F. If hyperpyrexia develops the temperature may continue to increase till the death of the patient.

Preventive Steps for Intermittent Fevers:

The preventive aspect of Malaria is as important as the curative one. First of all one should protect oneself from mosquito bites. Public health measures like cleanliness, environmental hygiene and eradication of stretches of stagnant water should be undertaken. But in view of the fact that the Malaria-spreading mosquitoes have become immune to the chemicals used to destroy them, keeping one's body covered from mosquitoes is perhaps the best prophylactic. Another factor which plays an important part is the susceptibility to the disease: people with a strong vital force are better able to withstand the onslaught of the disease.

The virulence of Malarial fever can be reduced i~ the victim is given a mild laxative before an attack. When the attack comes, cool water should be given to the patient to drink and the moment the temperature goes beyond 103°F cold compresses to the head as described in case of general fevers should be applied. If the fever continues to rise and threatens to cross the 107°F mark, emergency procedures like wrapping his body in sheets dipped in cold water, should be started.

Another prophylactic against Malaria is the Tulsi (Holy Basil) which has been used in India for centuries. Some practitioners of the Indian systems of medicine recommend the infusion of some leaves of green Basil with daily tea. If 10 grams of the juice of the Tulsi plant mixed with 5 grams of powder of Black Pepper are given to the patient in the cold stage of the fever, the virulence of the malady is checked. The temperature in that case will not go beyond manageable limits. Alternatively, 10 grams of leaves of Fever Nut Tree (Karanjwa) should be ground in water with 1/2 gram of Pepper and the water drunk after straining. A few days' use gives protection against Malaria.

Natural Home Remedies for Intermittent Fevers:

Three grams of Lime should be dissolved in 50 grams of water and the juice of one Lemon added to it. The supernatant water should be taken before the attack of the fever; it is a specific for quartan fever.

Alum roasted over a .hot plate and powdered should be taken four hours before the expected attack of Malaria and every two hours after it to get relief.

The red shell of the Butter Seeds should be mixed with an equal weight of kernel of Fever Nut and ground fine with a little water; pills of the size of Gram should be made and four hours before the attack of fever-be it quartan, tertian or quotidian-one pill should be taken every two hours to reduce the virulence of the attack.

Natural Treatment of Erysipelas

It is a disease characterized by a diffused inflammation of the skin. The subcutaneous cellular tissues may also become involved and there may be high fever. In a mild form there is only a redness of the skin which feels thickened on which small vesicles may appear.

Erysipelas of the face begins' with symptoms of general discomfort. The patient feels languid, drowsy and there is a feeling of chilliness which later develops into fever which may go upto 105°F. Inflammation may start with the tip of the nose; if it is not controlled in time, it may spread to the glottis leading to fatal results. If it attacks the membranes of the brain, the result is almost always fatal.

When the disease is in a severe form, vesicles appear on the reddened, inflamed skin and if care is not taken, they may burst and turn into sores. Among infants the causative factor is a sore in the navel and the infection is likely to spread to the mother.

Natural Home Remedies for Erysipelas:

The sufferer should be segregated to stop the infection from spreading to others. Twenty grams of extract of Rasaut should be steeped in one litre of water overnight and the supernatant water given to the child to drink every time he feels thirsty. In the case of a suckling infant, the mother should also drink the same water. For local application on the vesicles, a paste of Rasaut and white Sandalwood ground in juice of green Coriander is recommended. If green Coriander is not available water may be used in its place. The leaves of the Cypress tree (Saroo) should be ground in water to form paste to help relieve the condition.

The dietary regimen is the same as in the case of other fevers. The child must be protected against exposure; no cold bath should be given to him. Till the vesicles disappear, no bath should be given to the child: sponging his body should suffice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Remedies for Bulbous Eruptions

There is another fever which accompanies bulbous eruptions on the body. The eruptions are so like smallpox that even experienced physicians are sometimes misled into treating them as smallpox. These eruptions are the result of vitiation of the blood, and blood purifying remedies recommended elsewhere in this work should be administered.

Home Remedies for Bulbous Eruptions

The first step against Bulbous Eruptions is to segregate the victim. The best course is to keep the fever down to manageable limits and to take care of the pustules when they form. If after the fever has gone down (the temperature recedes only when. the pustules start forming), the pustules have not fully come out on the surface of the body, a Fig should be cut into pieces and cooked in a little water. One decigram Saffron should be mixed with it after straining it. The decoction helps shorten the course of the disease.

Care should be taken to deal with the eruptions which are usually the site of intense itching when they are in the process of recovery. Scratching is likely to lead to formation of wounds on the skin.

Natural Remedies & Cures for Measles Infection

Measles also is an infantile disorder like chicken-pox. The more tender the years the better is the patient able to bear the discomfort attendant upon measles. There is an old adage that the earlier one has love or measles in his life, the better he is able to weather the storm which the two afflictions bring. An attack of measles (if it is fully developed) generally leaves the victim immune from it~ virulence for the rest of his life. The second attack does come, however, if the first was mild. Like smallpox and chicken-pox it is also a contagious disorder and the sufferer should be segregated at the first sign of trouble.

In the beginning of the attack, there is acute catarrh of the nose; sneezing follows with a watery discharge and there may also be some bleeding from the nose. The temperature of the body goes upto 104°F and there is headache, thirst, restlessness, dry cough and hoarseness of voice. The fever goes back on the third day and the rash characteristic of measles appears on the fourth. It is first noticed on the forehead, cheeks, chin, behind the ears and also on the neck. It consists of small spots of dusky red or crimson colour, slightly elevated above the surface of the skin. The face is swollen and bloated. The rash is present in the mouth and throat at times. It starts receding after three to four days and a light peeling of the skin is noticed during convalescence. The fever starts going down with the coming of the rash and when the eruption appears fully, the fever recedes.

Measles is not a fatal disease unless of course, the bronchi or the lungs have become affected. The first thing when the rash is noticed is to clothe the child-in warm clothes; hot water and other hot liquids should be given to the patient to help the rash to appear. A few raisins should be given to the child to eat and powdered liquorice with honey should be given to relieve the cough typical of measles. A powder of equal parts of tamarind seeds and turmeric should be given in 4 to 5 decigrams doses thrice daily.

Natural Remedies & Cures for Measles Infection:

Practitioners of Indian systems of medicine have depended on the calx of Stag's Horn to deal with Measles Infection. It is given in 120 grams doses thrice daily with honey. A decoction of Khub Kalan (Sismbrium Irio) (12 grams) and dried Grapes (10 grams) with one litre of water-to be boiled till one third of the original water remains­ should be given along with the Stag's Horn calx. This will help the rash disappear quickly.

The most important precaution to be taken in case of measles is to see that the fever is not suppressed. Its suppression is likely to lead to a fresh attack of the malady which will be more severe. The patient should be given a normal diet depending on his powers of digestion. He should rest in a soft bed in a darkened room to save his eyes from strain.

Natural Treatment for Chicken Pox

Chicken-pox is an acute contagious disease of children, characterized by fever and an eruption on the skin: children upto the age of ten are more prone to it. In spite of its superficial resemblance to smallpox, it is a different disease. It comes on with feverishness and pain in the back and legs. There may be a chill to but within 24 hours of the onset of the fever, small red pimples appear on the skin which turn into vesicles which suppurate or shrivel up with a brown crust on them. Unfike smallpox, the vesicles of chicken-pox appear simultaneously all over the body.

Natural Remedies for Chicken Pox:

No medication is recommended because the disease disappears when it has completed its course. The only thing that can be done is to stop any medication that might have been started for fever, the moment the eruption typical of chicken-pox begins to appear. It takes about a week to cl1re, but if it strikes adults (which it does infrequently) it may leave the patient in a state of prostration. There are no dietary restrictions to be recommended in the case of chicken-pox because it does not affect the digestive system. Care should, however, be taken to avoid purgatives in case of constipation and any hard to digest food should not be given to the patient.

What is the Natural Cure for Small Pox?

One of the highly infectious diseases, smallpox had troubled the world for many centuries before it was completely eradicated-at least that is the claim of the World Health Organization which has worked towards that end with the cooperation of the health authorities the world over. In spite of the fact that a vaccine had been developed about two centuries ago, people in our country could get over their superstitious antipathy towards the use of inoculation' only recently.

Smallpox is characterized by fever and the appearance on the surface of the body an eruption which after passing through various stages dries up, leaving more or less distinct and permanent scars. The fever continues for some days before the pustules appear on the body. Pus forms in the pustules which takes ten to twelve days to dry up

Natural Remedies for Small Pox:

The first step against smallpox is to segregate the victim. The best course is to keep the fever down to manageable limits and to take care of the pustules when they form. If after the fever has gone down (the temperature recedes only when. the pustules start forming), the pustules have not fully come out on the surface of the body, two Jejube (Unnab) fruits, three grams of Khaksi (Sisymbrium Irio) and six grams of Sugar should be boiled together and strained. The decoction should be given with three Raisins if the patient is constipated. Alternatively, a Fig should be cut into pieces and cooked in a little water. One decigram Saffron should be mixed with it after straining it. The decoction helps shorten the course of the disease.

If the pustules itch during drying up a salt free diet should be given to the patient. The body of the patient should be exposed to the smoke of Jhau (Tamarix Gallica) or Bhojpatra (Betula Bhojpatra) leaves. When the scabs start falling off, cow's ghee or sesame oil, slightly warmed, should be applied to the scars.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Natural Treatment for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke which is characterized by high fever, absence of perspiration, thirst, a rapid pulse, confusion and sometimes, loss of consciousness.

The fever of heat stroke comes on suddenly; the temperature rises up to 106°F and sometimes up to 108°F. At that moment, the anal temperature may be above 110°F a danger sign if immediate steps are not taken.

Natural Treatment for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke:

If the temperature goes beyond 104°F, cold compresses to the forehead is the obvious answer. If the fever shows signs of increasing in spite of the cold compresses, the clothes of the patient should be taken off and the body wrapped in a sheet dipped in ice-cold water. The sheet should be changed after every 15 minutes till the temperature comes down to 103°F.

The patient should be given plenty of liquid. During the mango season, a couple of raw Mangoes should be boiled and expressed; the resultant soup should be given with a little salt to the patient.

Preventive Steps for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke:

Prevention is always better than cure and it applies more to heat stroke than to any other malady. One must cover one's head and the nape of the neck during summer while going out in the sun. Plenty of water should be drunk even if one does not feel thirsty. Salt intake should be increased because body salts are constantly being depleted due to profuse sweating in summer. Juice of Lemon added to a glass of cold water with a pinch of Salt makes an excellent drink to ward off heat stroke.

Rheumatic Fever Natural Cures

Rheumatic fever is one of the more serious disorders which afflict mostly those under 18. It is a fever accompanied by pain in the joints and the malady is one of those which involve the smooth membranes of the body, particularly the heart.

Rheumatic fever begins with a chill, .followed by fever and a feeling of stiffness or pain in 'one or more joints, usually those of the knees, ankles, wrists or shoulders. The temperature does not usually go beyond 103°F but a peculiar complication which arises from the poisons released by the malady into the system is that the heart is involved when the inf1ammation reaches its membranes. It is difficult of diagnosis because the swelling in the joints of the children is not immediately noticeable.

Natural Cures and Home Remedies for Rheumatic Fever:

Asparagus Seeds, Black Cumin (Kalaunji), Fenugreek and Ajwain should be taken in equal quantities and ground into powder. Three grams of the powder swallowed with water every morning controls the swelling of rheumatism.

A useful prescription to help relieve the pain of rheumatic fever is: one decigram of White Arsenic, one dried Grape and four decigrams of Pepper ground fine and made into 24 pills. One pill should be taken after breakfast.

As for poultices and medications for local application, the following should be tried: Boil one kilo of root of Castor Oil tree in 8 kilos of water; when one fourth of the liquid is left, it should be strained. It is then boiled with 112 kg of Castor Oil till all the water has evaporated. This oil should be rubbed over the affected parts and bandaged with cotton wool.

Natural Cures for Typhoid Fever

Causes and Symptoms of Typhoid Fever:
Typhoid is the most serious fever because it affects the intestines and has a tendency towards frequent relapses. If it is not diagnosed and treated in time, the intestines may be ulcerated and, in the terminal stage, the peritoneum may be perforated which is almost always a fatal condition, unless of course, surgical help has been obtained in time.

A bacillus, Salmonella Typhi, is the cause of typhoid fever which overtakes the patient gradually. Its onset is so insidious that the victim may move about without realizing it: he only feels a little feverishness and a vague sense of unease. The most prominent' symptoms of typhoid are: headache, lassitude, insomnia and feverishness at night, till it reaches its peak on 8th day. It may continue for 21 days or even longer. A marked feature is that the pulse rate does not go up in proportion to the rise in temperature. Of course, in protracted cases, if there is ulceration of the intestines, the pulse may become weak and thready in addition to being slow. Since it involves the intestines, abdominal symptoms become apparent from the very beginning. The stomach may be distended and there' may be gurgling sounds when the abdomen is palpitated. Diarrhoea accompanies fever in many cases, but not always.

Natural Cures & Remedies for Typhoid Fever:

Practitioners of Indian systems of medicine have depended on the calx of Stag's Horn to deal with typhoid. It is given in 120 grams doses thrice daily with honey. A decoction of Khub Kalan (Sismbrium Irio) (12 grams) and dried Grapes (10 grams) with one litre of water-to be boiled till one third of the original water remains­ should be given along with the Stag's Horn calx.

Diet during typhoid is of the utmost importance since the fever is of intestinal origin. Keep the patient on fruit juices; alternatively, milk might be given. But no solids should be permitted to burden the digestive system. Nor should constipation be allowed to if it does, the best course to relieve the condit­ion is a glycerine suppository.

In some cases of typhoid, there is an eruption on the skin which is pearly white in color; sometimes there is a variety of pink spots on the skin. It is therefore known, as Motijhira or Motichoor. When the eruption begins to show, Khamira Marwarid (an electuary made of pearls) should be given to the patient. Alterna­tively, jejube Berries (Unnab) 2 in number, Raisins 3 in number, Khaksi (Sisym­brium Irio)-3 grams and Mishri (sugar candy) 12 grams should be boiled in about 100 ml. of water and strained. The decoction should be given in small doses. If the patient has cough along with the above symptoms, one gram of liquorice powder should be added to the decoction. If even after the administration of the above decoction the rash does not appear, three grams of Rice should be put in a small glass phial and 10 Cochinialinsects (Birbalwoti) should be introduced into it and allowed to remain there till they die. The phial should be shaken frequently till the dead insects give their colour to the rice. If the eruption shows signs of subsiding without fully coming out, one grain of rice from the phial should be ground in milk or water and given thrice a day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Natural Home Cures for Common Fever

Causes of Common Fever:
n the case of common fevers, where there are no complications or where the exact cause is not known, unless the temperature goes beyond tolerable limits no medication is necessary because such a fever might be the way of nature to get rid of the various poisons accumulated in the body. In the modern age, being used to an ease-loving life and habits, people rush to the doctors the moment they find that their temperature goes a little above the normal. But the Hakims and the Vaids in the past, when the modern system of medicine had not made inroads into our life, frowned on immediate medication for a fever. They merely advised the patient to fast and take nothing but water for a couple of days. The patient generally got rid of the malady in 48 to 72 hours and was none the worse for his trouble.

Treatment for Common Fever:
The commonsense exhibited by the Hakims and Vaids still holds good since it is in total conformity with the laws of nature. Fever, unless it is accompanied by dangerous symptoms, e.g., a closing glottis as in diptheria, should not be interfered with for the first three days. If it does not subside then or goes beyond manageable limits, for example, if the temperature threatens to rise above 106°F action should be taken to bring it back to normal. The very first thing (and completely safe too) to be undertaken in the case of rising fever is to wash the forehead of the patient with cold water in which rose water and little vinegar has been mixed. Cold compresses should be kept on his head if the temperature is above 103°F. If in spite of the cold compresses the fever continues to rise and reaches 106°F, immediate emergency procedures should be started. The clothes of the patient should be removed and he should be wrapped in a cotton sheet dipped in ice-cold water and a blanket wrapped over it. The temperature would start coming down. The sheet should be changed every fifteen minutes. Or, the body of the patient should be bathed in cold water while the fan is working at full speed. When the temperature has come down to 103"F, only a cold compress on the head would do. At the first sign of falling temperature, cold compresses should also be discontinued.

During fever, the patient should not be fed. Most people lose their appetite during fever and that should be taken' as a warning from the nature. It is not natural for a person to feel hungry when his system is fighting a fever and there is no earthly reason to forcefeed him under the mistaken notion that fever will weaken him if he is allowed to go hungry. Doctors do caution the patient not to eat any solids when he is in the grip of typhoid, but in other fevers this precaution is not, unfortunately, taken. The only thing that a patient suffering from fever should be allowed is fruit juices. Juice of lemon in a glass of water with a pinch of salt should be given to him. The patient must take as much water as he can drink, because the heat of the fever tends to dry up the humous of the body. Lack of liquids may lead to dehydration which is much more difficult to handle than an ordinary fever.

Natural Home Cures for Common Fever:
As for medication, the Holy Basil (Tulsi) plant and its tender leaves are a specific for many fevers. During the rainy season when malaria and dengue fever are common some tender leaves of Holy Basil (Tulsi) boiled with common afternoon tea act as a prophylactic. In the case of acute fevers of unknown origin, a decoction made of about 12 grams of Holy Basil (Tulsi) leaves boiled with powdered Cardamom in half a litre of water, mixed with sugar and milk, would bring down the temperature. Powder of the root of the Horse Radish (Shigru) is another remedy for common fevers in their preliminary stages.