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According to a 2017 WHO report, India ranks fourth in infections and deaths caused by malaria. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease and children, pregnant women and travellers are more prone to get malaria. In this article, we present you some effective home remedies for malaria.
What Causes Malaria?
The female Anopheles mosquito transfers Plasmodium parasites from its saliva into the person's blood. The parasites, then enter the bloodstream and move up to the liver and start reproducing itself. They invade the red blood cells and within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, which causes the infected cells to burst open.
There are different subspecies of Plasmodium, but out of them only five are dangerous - P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malarie, P. falciparum and P. knowlesi. All these parasites cause malaria  ,  ,  , .
As malaria is transmitted by blood, it can also be transmitted through a transfusion, an organ transplant, and the use of shared syringes.
Symptoms Of Malaria
- Kidney failure
- Body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking chills
- Bloody stools
Home Remedies For Malaria
Home remedies have been proven to be effective in the case of minor malaria  .
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy which is used to treat fever and bring down the body temperature. It helps in strengthening the immune system and aids the body in faster recovery. The antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar can help kill pathogens including bacteria  .
- In a bowl add water and dilute ½ cup apple cider vinegar.
- Soak a cloth in it and place it on your forehead for 10 minutes.
- Repeat this till the fever subsides.
Cinnamon consists of cinnamaldehyde compounds, volatile oils, tannins, mucilage, limonene, and safrole that possess antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. A study conducted in 2013 found that the bark of cinnamon has antiplasmodial activity which inhibited the effects of Plasmodium falciparum  .
- Boil a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a bowl of water for a few minutes.
- Strain it and drink it twice a day.
3. Vitamin C-rich foods
Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is an antioxidant which helps in eliminating free radicals. Since malaria infection inflicts tremendous oxidative stress on the host, vitamin C protects the cells from free radical damage and significantly decreases chronic and acute malaria infections  ,  .
- Eat vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc., every day.
Ginger contains an active compound gingerol, which possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help boost your immune system and speed up the recovery process after malaria infection  .
- Chop a 1-inch piece of ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water.
- Strain it and drink it twice a day.
Turmeric contains an active compound curcumin which possesses powerful medicinal properties. A study conducted in 2005 showed that curcumin, a polyphenolic organic molecule, inhibits the growth of Plasmodium falciparum that causes malaria  ,  .
- Heat a glass of milk and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- Drink it every night.
6. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are another natural remedy for treating malaria. It boosts the immunity and stops the growth of Plasmodium falciparum  .
- Soak 5 g of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight.
- Drink daily in the morning on an empty stomach.
Tulsi leaves have a unique combination of actions that include antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antimalarial, anthelmintic), mosquito repellent, antidiarrhoeal, antioxidant, anticataract, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, radioprotective, and other such properties  .
- Crush 12-15 tulsi leaves and extract the juice.
- Add a pinch of black pepper to the juice and have it thrice a day during the early stages of the disease.
8. Artemisia annua
Artemisia annua, most commonly known as wormwood, has therapeutic properties that aid in the treatment of malaria. The antiplasmodial activity of the herb has been shown to be effective for malaria  ,  .
- Add a teaspoon of dried Artemisia annua leaves to a cup of boiling water.
- Strain the water and add some honey to it.
- Drink it twice a day.
9. Hedyotis corymbosa & Andrographis paniculata
These two herbs possess powerful medicinal properties that have been proven effective in curing malaria. The antimalarial activity of the herbs inhibit the effects of Plasmodium falciparum  .
- Take 10 g each of the dried herbs and steep it in hot water for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and drink 2-3 tablespoons four times a day.
Foods To Eat When You Have Malaria
1. Foods for fever
When a person is suffering from high fever - a symptom of malaria, there is a decrease in appetite as well as decreased tolerance. Thus, calorie intake is a big challenge. During this time, it's important to consume foods that provide instant energy such as glucose water, fruit juice, sugarcane juice, coconut water, electrolyte drinks, and so on.
A malaria patient suffers from massive tissue loss and that is why protein is needed in a malaria diet. A high-protein and high-carbohydrate diet are helpful in protein utilization for anabolic and tissue-building purposes. Intake of protein-rich foods like milk, curd, buttermilk, fish stew, lassi, chicken soup, eggs, etc., are useful to fulfil the protein requirement.
Loss of electrolytes and water are common in a malaria patient which lead to dehydration. So, food preparations in the form of juices, soup, stew, rice water, coconut water, dal water, etc., are beneficial.
4. Healthy fats
Moderate amount of fatty foods should be taken. The uses of dairy fats like cream, butter, fats in milk products and so on are helpful in digestion, as they contain medium-chain triglycerides.
5. Vitamin A & C rich foods
Vitamin C- and vitamin A-rich foods such as beetroot, carrot, papaya, citrus fruits like orange, mosambi, grapes, pineapple, berries, lemon, etc., along with vitamin B complex are very useful for boosting immunity.
Foods To Avoid When You Have Malaria
1. High-fibre foods like whole grain cereals must be avoided by malaria patients.
2. Consumption of caffeine in the form of tea, and coffee must be avoided.
3. Eating fried and processed foods, oily and spicy foods can aggravate nausea and can disturb the digestion process in the body.
Tips To Prevent Malaria
- Do not allow the water to stagnate near your house as they serve as the breeding ground for Anopheles mosquitoes.
- Keep your house clean by using disinfectants.
- While sleeping or travelling, use mosquito repellents to prevent mosquito bites.
- Wear full-sleeve clothes to keep the mosquitoes away from biting you.
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