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Meningitis is an infection causing the inflammation of membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. Infants, children, teens and adults can all develop meningitis, although the type of meningitis tends to vary according to the age group. The condition causes the dysfunction of the meninges, along with cerebrospinal fluid which protects the structures of the central nervous system. The meninges are basically the protectors of the brain, that is, they prevent the brain from being affected by germs or any trauma  .
24th April of every year is viewed as World Meningitis Day, and the theme for World Meningitis Day 2019 is Life After Meningitis . This year's campaign will focus on the after-effects of meningitis, which is promoted using #AfterMeningitis.
Each type of meningitis is caused by different types of agents. Bacterial meningitis is caused by the bacteria that enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain and spinal cord. Viral meningitis is caused by a group of viruses known as enteroviruses. Chronic meningitis is caused by slow-growing organisms such as fungi and Mycobacterium tuberculosis  . Meningitis can also result from noninfectious causes, such as chemical reactions, drug allergies etc.
Statistics reveal that up to 75 per cent of all life-threatening cases occur in children under the age of 5. And, it has become one of the most common problems reported in teens and young adults between the ages of 15 to 24. Severe cases of meningitis can result in seizures and coma   .
Symptoms Of Meningitis
The signs of the infection are similar to the symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis develop more quickly, in comparison to the other types. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of meningitis and develop over several hours or a few days.
Symptoms in individuals older than the age of 2 are as follows :
- Headache with nausea or vomiting
- Sudden high fever
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
- Muscle pain
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or difficulty waking
- Skin rash
- No appetite or thirst
- Severe headache
- Stomach cramps
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Extremely cold hands and feet
- Rapid breathing and chills
Symptoms in infants are as follows  :
- Constant crying
- High fever
- Stiffness in a baby's body and neck
- Excessive sleepiness or irritability
- Poor feeding
- Inactivity or sluggishness
- A bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby's head
Home Remedies For Meningitis
Although there are various treatment methods for the infection, the following home remedies are effective in curing meningitis. Many people tend to opt the home remedies over the conventional treatment methods due to the possible complications that may affect one's overall health   . The most common and effective home remedies for meningitis are as follows:
One of the most effective home remedies for meningitis is garlic. Known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic helps cure the symptoms of meningitis. The active ingredient allicin present in garlic act as powerful antioxidants to treat and cure the infection. The antioxidants help improve your immune system by increasing the T cells in the process, thereby eliminating the bacteria causing the infection  .
Take 3-4 cloves of garlic each day or you can extract the garlic juice and consume it with any fruit or vegetable juice.
Pregnant women should refrain from consuming raw garlic or garlic supplements.
2. Olive leaf
The substance oleuropein present in the leaves of olive has amazing antioxidant property, which plays a major role in eliminating free radicals and preventing any damages  . The extract from olive leaves has antiviral and antioxidant properties due to the presence of elenoic acid that helps in preventing the growth of bacteria.
Olive leaf extract is safe to be consumed with other medications and can either be used in the form of a capsule or liquid. The standard dose of olive leaf extract per day is 250-500 mg, 1-3 times a day.
3. Cat's claw
It is an ancient herb used as a home remedy against meningitis. The anti-inflammatory components present in cat's claw help in curing the infection effectively. The herb has immunity-boosting property as well, which will further strengthen your body against the attack from infection-causing bacteria  .
The standard dosage of cat's claw per day is 20 mg thrice a day.
Note: Consult a doctor before taking the herb.
4. Reishi mushroom
Dubbed as being 'medicinal mushrooms', these have been used for natural healing since a very long time. The mushroom is widely used for medicinal purpose and can help in boosting your immunity. The extract derived from the cap and stem of the mushrooms has triterpenes and polysaccharides which help reduce the inflammation caused by meningitis  .
Note: Consult a doctor before taking the mushroom.
Rich in chlorophyll, the alga chlorella is one of the most effective home remedies for meningitis. Chlorophyll contains around twenty different types of minerals and vitamins that help cure meningitis. It helps boost red blood cell production which in turn elevate oxygenation and purifies your blood, thereby speeding up the recovery and repair caused by meningitis .
6. Astragalus herb
The herb helps improve your immune system and thus can manage the symptoms of meningitis. The root extract of astragalus herb can be used directly or can be infused into tea for curing the infection  .
7. Ginseng herb
Like garlic and chlorella, this herb is also an effective cure for managing and treating the symptoms of meningitis. The active ingredient ginsenosides present in the herb acts on the affected membrane and eliminates the infection. The ancient Chinese herbal remedy is effective in speeding up the healing process as well  .
You can either eat ginseng directly or boil it in tea.
8. Soybean milk
Consuming soybean milk can help improve your immune system and speed up the healing process of meningitis. The active constituents in soybean are responsible for the healing process and can be included in the list of home remedies for meningitis .
You can mix honey to soybean milk for taste and drink it before going to bed. Continue for 3-4 months to cure meningitis naturally.
An ancient herb, goldenseal is effective in the treatment against meningitis. The roots of the herb possess medicinal properties and are antibacterial and antifungal agents  . A herbal blend of goldenseal and Echinacea help strengthen your immune system as well.
10. Coconut oil
Meningitis caused by fungi can be cured with the help of coconut oil because it is asserted to be an effective alternative to antifungal drugs. The antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties of coconut oil play a significant role in managing the symptoms of meningitis  .
Lifestyle Tips To Cure Meningitis
1. Maintain a healthy diet
One of the most important things to consider while fighting meningitis is to follow a healthy diet. Encompassing large amounts of organic vegetables, substantial quantities of healthy fats and moderate portions of grass-fed meats will improve your immunity too.
2. Get plenty of rest
Refrain from your busy lifestyle filled with activities and take rest as often as you can. Getting proper rest will help recuperate your immune system from the damage caused by the illness and reduce your exposure to viruses and bacteria.
3. Use cold packs
This is not necessarily a remedy but a lifestyle tweak which can help manage your fever. Cold packs will help in providing relief as it keeps the fever down and aids your immune system to fight better against the infection and inflammation.
4. Try a neutral bath
A neutral bath is the immersion of body in a tub of water at a neutral temperature (34 - 37°C). It is used for sedative purposes and help your body relax.
A person suffering from meningitis will have different body temperatures throughout their body. While taking a neutral bath, your blood will respond accordingly and get redistributed throughout your body. Thus, easing the inflammation and discomfort in the brain and spinal cord, and providing overall relief.
5. Hydrate yourself
It is important to keep yourself hydrated if you are suffering from meningitis. Drinking plenty of water will help in flushing out the excess waste and infection-causing bacteria from your body. If you find it difficult to drink plain water for a long period of time, take up fruit juices. Consume fresh and moderate quantities and it is optimum to make fruit juices at your own home, so as to avoid any contamination.
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