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Malaria: Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies & Diet

Malaria Home Remedies: मलेरिया के लक्ष्ण, कारण, दूर करने के रामबाण नुस्खे | Precautions | Boldsky

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 [1] , [2] , [3] ,[4] .

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
  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Shaking chills
  • Anaemia
  • Bloody stools
  • Convulsions

Home Remedies For Malaria

Home remedies have been proven to be effective in the case of minor malaria [5] .

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 [6] .

  • 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.

2. Cinnamon

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 [7] .

  • 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 [8] , [9] .

  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, etc., every day.

4. Ginger

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 [10] .

  • Chop a 1-inch piece of ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water.
  • Strain it and drink it twice a day.

5. Turmeric

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 [11] , [12] .

  • 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 [13] .

  • Soak 5 g of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight.
  • Drink daily in the morning on an empty stomach.

7. Tulsi

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 [14] .

  • 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 [15] , [16] .

  • 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 [17] .

  • 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.

2. Protein

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.

3. Electrolytes

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.
View Article References
  1. [1] Singh, B., & Daneshvar, C. (2013). Human infections and detection of Plasmodium knowlesi.Clinical microbiology reviews,26(2), 165-184.
  2. [2] Phimpraphi, W., Paul, R. E., Yimsamran, S., Puangsa-art, S., Thanyavanich, N., Maneeboonyang, W., Prommongkol, S., Sornklom, S., Chaimungkun, W., Chavez, I. F., Blanc, H., Looareesuwan, S., Sakuntabhai, A., … Singhasivanon, P. (2008). Longitudinal study of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in a Karen population in Thailand.Malaria Journal,7, 99.
  3. [3] Collins, W. E., & Jeffery, G. M. (2007). Plasmodium malariae: parasite and disease.Clinical microbiology reviews,20(4), 579-592.
  4. [4] Fuehrer, H. P., & Noedl, H. (2014). Recent advances in detection of Plasmodium ovale: implications of separation into the two species Plasmodium ovale wallikeri and Plasmodium ovale curtisi.Journal of Clinical Microbiology,52(2), 387-391.
  5. [5] Ruebush, T. K., Kern, M. K., Campbell, C. C., & Oloo, A. J. (1995). Self-treatment of malaria in a rural area of western Kenya.Bulletin of the World Health Organization,73(2), 229-236.
  6. [6] Yagnik, D., Serafin, V., & J Shah, A. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression.Scientific reports,8(1), 1732.
  7. [7] Parvazi, S., Sadeghi, S., Azadi, M., Mohammadi, M., Arjmand, M., Vahabi, F., Sadeghzadeh, S., … Zamani, Z. (2016). The Effect of Aqueous Extract of Cinnamon on the Metabolome of Plasmodium falciparum Using (1)HNMR Spectroscopy.Journal of tropical medicine,2016, 3174841.
  8. [8] Marva, E., Golenser, J., Cohen, A., Kitrossky, N., Har-El, R., & Chevion, M. (1992). The effects of ascorbate-induced free radicals on Plasmodium falciparum.Tropical medicine and parasitology: official organ of Deutsche Tropenmedizinische Gesellschaft and of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ),43(1), 17-23.
  9. [9] Prasannachandra, D'Souza, V., & D'Souza, B. (2006). Comparative study on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant vitamins E and C inFalciparum andVivax malaria.Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry : IJCB,21(2), 103-6.
  10. [10] Mashhadi, N. S., Ghiasvand, R., Askari, G., Hariri, M., Darvishi, L., & Mofid, M. R. (2013). Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence.International Journal of Preventive Medicine,4(Suppl 1), S36-42.
  11. [11] Cui, L., Miao, J., & Cui, L. (2006). Cytotoxic effect of curcumin on malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: inhibition of histone acetylation and generation of reactive oxygen species.Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy,51(2), 488-494.
  12. [12] Nandakumar, D. N., Nagaraj, V. A., Vathsala, P. G., Rangarajan, P., & Padmanaban, G. (2006). Curcumin-artemisinin combination therapy for malaria.Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy,50(5), 1859-1860.
  13. [13] Palaniswamy, M., Pradeep, B. V., Sathya, R., & Angayarkanni, J. (2008). In Vitro Anti-plasmodial activity of Trigonella foenum-graecum L.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,7(4), 441-445.
  14. [14] Cohen M. M. (2014). Tulsi - Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine,5(4), 251-259.
  15. [15] Weathers, P. J., Towler, M., Hassanali, A., Lutgen, P., & Engeu, P. O. (2014). Dried-leafArtemisia annua:A practical malaria therapeutic for developing countries?.World Journal of Pharmacology,3(4), 39-55.
  16. [16] RITAM Artemisia annua Task Force, Willcox, M., Falquet, J., Ferreira, J. F., Gilbert, B., Hsu, E., de Magalhães, P. M., Plaizier-Vercammen, J., Sharma, V. P., Wright, C. W., … Yaode, W. (2006). Artemisia annua as a herbal tea for malaria.African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines : AJTCAM,4(1), 121-123.
  17. [17] Mishra, K., Dash, A. P., Swain, B. K., & Dey, N. (2009). Anti-malarial activities of Andrographis paniculata and Hedyotis corymbosa extracts and their combination with curcumin.Malaria Journal,8, 26.

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