Malaria is one of the most common diseases prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries. The word ‘malaria’ has been derived from the Italian word ‘mala aria’ which means ‘bad air’, as it was once believed to be caused by bad air. Basically, it is an infectious disease caused by a protozoan parasite called plasmodium. This parasite is carried by the female Anopheles mosquito. When it bites a person, the parasite enters his body and grows in the liver for a few days. Then it enters the bloodstream and attacks the red blood cells. When the same mosquito bites another person, the parasite is transmitted to his bloodstream as well. In this way, malaria parasites multiply and spread.
Malaria is common in persons with weak immune systems or those living in unhealthy surroundings. These mosquitoes are generally found in stagnant water. This disease is characterized by high fever accompanied by shivering, severe headaches and chills. On the basis of parasites causing it, there are three types of malarial fevers- tertian fever, quartan fever and malignant tertian malaria. The fever is of an intermittent nature and keeps coming every day, on alternate days and even on the fourth day. After intense sweating, the temperature comes back to normal.
This disease can also lead to several other complications like anaemia, dysentery and kidney failure. Unhealthy living style can also lead to malaria due to the accumulation of toxic wastes in the system which provides a breeding ground for malarial germs.
The sight of a malaria patient makes most of us panic. However, it is possible to cure this disease with home remedies. A healthy lifestyle and clean surroundings play an important role in preventing this disease. Given below are some common home remedies for malaria fever treatment.
Home Remedies for Malaria
1. Lemon Water:
In case of high fever, extract some fresh lemon juice and add it to a cup of lukewarm water. The patient should consume this lemon water by slow sipping. This will prevent the rise in temperature during the initial period of fever.
Raw grapefruit or grapefruit juice is also effective in controlling the intensity of malarial infection. It is a great herbal remedy for malaria. It contains a natural quinine-like substance whose benefits can be obtained by boiling a quarter of grapefruit and straining its pulp. Other fruits like oranges and apples can also help in recovery of malaria patients.
Cinnamon is also one of the effective home remedies to cure malaria. You can boil one teaspoon of coarse cinnamon powder in a glass of water along with a pinch of pepper powder and honey. This can be consumed as a medicine for malaria.
4. Basil Leaves:
Basil leaves are regarded as a herbal remedy for various diseases, and malaria is one of them. All you need to do is crush 12 to 15 basil leaves and press them on a sieve to extract their juice. Add ½ teaspoon black pepper powder to the juice and mix well. Drinking this juice thrice a day during initial stages of malaria can provide relief from this disease.
Datura is an Indian herb which is beneficial in treating malaria. The leaves of this plant are useful in the treatment of tertian type of malaria fever. You can take 2 ½ freshly sprouted leaves of this plant and make them into a pill by rubbing them with jaggery. This should be taken two hours before the onset of the paroxysm on a daily basis.
Add a small piece of ginger and 2 to 3 teaspoons raisins to a glass of water. Boil this decoction till it gets reduced to half. After cooling, consume it.
Alum is also quite useful in treating malaria. You can roast alum over a hot plate and powder it. The patient should take ½ teaspoon of this powder, four hours before the expected attack and ½ teaspoon every two hours after the attack for immediate relief.
Chirayta, botanically known as Swertia andrographis paniculata is another herb that is known for its health benefits. It is quite effective in treating intermittent malarial fevers. You can prepare an infusion of this herb by steeping 15 grams of chirayta in 250 ml of hot water along with 2 cloves and 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink 3 tablespoons of this mixture 4 to 5 times in a day. This will significantly lower the body temperature.
9. Fever Nut:
The seeds of the fever nut plant are considered an effective remedy for malaria. This is a rare plant but it can be obtained from any herbal store and preserved in a spiral for use. A dose of 3 grams of these seeds should be given with a cup of water two hours before the expected onset of fever and one hour after it. This will prevent the onset of paroxysm but if it occurs, the same procedure can be repeated to cut short the duration of fever.
10. Fenugreek Seeds:
Malaria patients often feel weak due to intermittent fever. Fenugreek seeds are the best natural remedy to combat this weakness. They help in quick recovery from malaria by boosting your immune system and fighting the parasites. Thus, it is advisable for malarial patients to increase their consumption of fenugreek seeds.
11. Herbal Tea:
A herbal tea boiled with tamarind helps in reducing the symptoms of malaria like fever and headache. Malaria patients can consume this tea regularly for relief.
12. Cold Packs:
The best natural way to reduce temperature during the course of fever is the application of cold pack to the whole body. This pack is prepared by wringing out a sheet or a large square piece of linen material in cold water. Wrap it tightly round the body and legs of the patient and cover it completely with a small blanket or other warm material. This pack should be kept for an hour and applied at a gap if every 2 to 3 hours during the day when the temperature is high. Hot water bottles can also be kept on the feet and against the sides of the body. Applying cold packs on the forehead when the temperature is high can significantly bring down the temperature.
13. Orange Juice Fast:
During the initial stages of malaria, the patient should fast on orange juice and water for a couple of days, to reduce the severity of fever.
14. Malaria Diet:
Diet plays a crucial role in the speedy treatment of malaria. After the malarial fever has subsided, it is advisable to maintain an exclusive fresh fruit diet for the first few days along with milk. Thereafter, the patient should follow a balanced diet comprising of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Form a habit of having a light diet without using much oil or butter. Oily, spicy and junk foods can only make situation worse. Fruits like apple, banana, grapes and guava help in quick recovery of patients of malaria.
Precautions to be Taken for Malaria Prevention:
Prevention is always better than cure. Unhygienic surroundings and unhealthy feeding habits act as trigger factors for this disease and so the following steps should be taken to prevent malaria.
1. Do not allow water to stagnate, as this serves as the breeding ground for Anopheles mosquitoes which reproduce and multiply, thus spreading the fever wherever they go. Water bodies should be sprayed with mosquito repellent or other effective chemicals in this regard.
2. Keep your surroundings clean. Keep the windows open and your home clean, dry and hygienic. This will prevent the entry of mosquitoes. Use disinfectants like dettol, phenyl etc for cleaning your house and toilets.
3. Use mosquito repellents or mosquito coils while sleeping. If you are allergic to them, you can use mosquito nets to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.