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The rising temperature across the country has increased the number of heatstroke deaths in Kerala. Around 125 cases of heatstroke have been reported in the state.
Heatstroke or sunstroke is caused when the body starts overheating and the temperature rises to 104°F (40°C) or higher, due to the prolonged exposure to high temperatures during the summer months  .
The symptoms of heatstroke include high body temperature, alteration in sweating, change in mental state or behaviour, flushed skin, rapid breathing, nausea and vomiting, headache and rapid heartbeat.
Heatstroke requires immediate treatment because it can quickly damage the body's organs like the brain, kidneys, and heart.
Home Remedies To Treat Heatstroke (Sunstroke)
1. Onion juice
The juice of onion is considered one of the best remedies for treating a heatstroke. Applying onion juice on the chest and behind the ears can aid in bringing down your body temperature  .
- Eat raw onions or apply the paste of an onion on the feet to counteract the effects of heatstroke.
- You can also drink onion juice with a teaspoon of honey.
Note: Apply onion juice on the chest and ears during the heatstroke and drink the onion juice for a few days after the heatstroke.
Buttermilk is an excellent source of probiotics that replenish the body with nutrients lost due to sweating. It is a refreshing drink that will not only hydrate and cool down your body but also will treat or prevent heatstroke  .
- Take 2 tablespoons of yogurt and blend it with water.
- Add a pinch of salt and cumin powder.
- Mix well and drink it thrice a day.
3. Coconut water
Coconut water is an excellent electrolyte drink that helps replace the loss of fluids and balances the electrolytes in the body. The potassium and sodium in coconut water aid in the proper functioning of the heart and other muscles of the body, thus treating heatstroke  .
- Drink coconut water several times a day.
- You could also massage coconut oil on the scalp to regulate body temperature.
4. Raw mango
Raw mango is another effective home remedy used for the prevention or treatment of heatstroke. Raw mangoes are packed full of vitamin C and vitamin B which when eaten with salt can help overcome thirst and reduce the effect of heatstroke.
- You can roast raw mango or make aam panna, a refreshing drink made with raw mangoes that help cool your body. Consume the drink thrice a day  .
Tamarind is high in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes which aid in cooling down the body and replenish the lost electrolytes in the body. The presence of vitamin C, potassium and other essential nutrients help bring relief from heatstroke.
- Boil few tamarind pieces in 1½ bowl of water.
- Strain the liquid and add sugar for taste. Drink it at the onset of symptoms.
6. Mint and coriander juice
According to Ayurveda, coriander and mint have a cooling effect on the body when consumed. Coriander leaves cure thirst and reduces the symptoms of heatstroke. Mint contains a compound called menthol which has a cooling effect on the body  .
- Blend a bunch of coriander and mint leaves with a pinch of sugar and some water.
- Cool it in the fridge for a few minutes and drink it twice a day.
Plums are rich in vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, etc. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties that help in soothing internal inflammation which may be caused due to a heatstroke  .
- Soak some plums in a bowlful of water till they are soft.
- Mash them in the water and strain it.
- Drink this water daily.
8. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a well-known adaptogen which balances the body's system, makes your body adjust to different external conditions and stimulates the defence mechanism of the body. This helps in fighting heatstroke  .
- Drink a glass of aloe vera juice daily during the heatstroke.
9. Sandalwood paste
Sandalwood paste is made by mixing sandalwood powder with water. It has calming, cooling effects on the body and mind. It stops excessive sweating and helps balance the body after overexposure to the sun.
- Mix a small amount of sandalwood powder with water to form a thick paste. Apply it on the forehead and chest.
10. Watermelon juice
Watermelon contains a lot of water and having this fruit or its juice after being exposed to the sun for a long time can replenish the lost fluids lost during sweating. Drinking watermelon juice daily will lower the risk of having a heatstroke.
- Drink a glass of watermelon juice twice a day.
Ways To Prevent Heatstroke (Sunstroke)
- Avoid caffeine, aerated drinks and alcohol as they will cause dehydration.
- Don't overexert yourself.
- Drink water every 15 minutes.
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- When stepping out wear a hat and light-coloured clothing.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables that have high water content such as lettuce, apples, watermelon, broccoli, etc.
- Avoid the intake of excess salt.
-  Srinivasan, K., Maruthy, K. N., Venugopal, V., & Ramaswamy, P. (2016). Research in occupational heat stress in India: Challenges and opportunities.Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine,20(2), 73-78.
-  Sharma, R. (2006).Herbal home remedies. Lotus Press.
-  Lundgren-Kownacki, K., Dahl, M., Gao, C., Jakobsson, K., Linninge, C., Song, D., & Kuklane, K. (2017). Exploring how a traditional diluted yoghurt drink may mitigate heat strain during medium-intensity intermittent work: a multidisciplinary study of occupational heat strain.Industrial health,56(2), 106-121.
-  Garima Saini: Prevention And Management Of Heat Stroke (Anshughat) In Ayurveda: A Review. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal 2018
-  Miners A. L. (2010). The diagnosis and emergency care of heat related illness and sunburn in athletes: A retrospective case series.The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association,54(2), 107-17.