Diet diary: Traditional help against dengue

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Written by Ishi Khosla | Published: September 15, 2018 12:10:11 am

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In Dengue it is essential to drink as much water as possible to keep the body hydrated.

Dengue is transmitted to humans by the mosquito Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, found throughout the world. Dengue can turn serious on account of its high fever and severe platelet drop. Several traditional remedies have been used for preventing and treating these complications among which include papaya leaf juice, giloe and even goat’s milk.

Papaya leaf: Anecdotal evidence suggests that the extract of raw papaya leaf helps to boost platelet, also known as thrombocyte, and relieve symptoms. A study done in Malaysia on mice in 2009 also reported significant improvement in thrombocyte count in the group which received papaya leaf formulations. Papaya leaf extract has been used in some parts of the world as a prophylactic to prevent malaria in endemic regions. A study by Purdue University showed that papaya leaf consists of over 50 active ingredients found to kill fungi, worms, parasites, bacteria, and many forms of cancer cells. In addition, papaya leaves also contain important nutrients that support the immune system. Papain is an important enzyme in papaya leaves that breaks down proteins naturally.

For dengue, it is suggested that the juice is extracted by crushing and sieving fresh papaya leaves. One leaf gives about one tablespoon of juice, which is quite bitter. Two tablespoons are given to dengue patient three times per day every six hours.

Giloe: Also known as Guduchi (plant which protects from diseases, in Sanskrit), it enjoys the reputation of being one of the most famous medicinal plants used in treatment of large number of human ailments as mentioned in Ayurveda. It too has been reported to help treat dengue in early stages without any side-effects. It has been reported to increase the platelet in a significant manner and lower the body temperature.

Goat’s milk: Besides being easier to digest goat’s milk has a higher selenium content compared to other dairy. Low Selenium levels have been reported to be associated with low platelet. A study published in Journal of Hospital Medicine in 2014 explores the association of selenium with blood platelet count and it was reported that high Selenium levels are independently associated with high platelet count. Its not surprising that traditional medicine modifies regular milk to selenium rich goat’s milk to treat dengue.

Most importantly, it is essential to drink as much water as possible to keep the body hydrated. This will also bring down the body temperature while easing symptom like headaches, muscle cramps and prevent complications.
Author is a clinical.

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