Natural Herbal Treatment For Cholera & Prevention Measures, Home Remedies
Although cholera was once regarded as an epidemic in the U.S, its powers have now been abated. However, the disease continues to affect people in other parts of the world, especially in Third World countries.
Every year, about 3 million people are affected by cholera globally, with more than a hundred thousand dying in the same time frame.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), majority of people infected with cholera may not experience any symptoms. This majority can be treated effectively by using ORS (oral rehydration solution).
Besides the use of ORS for treating cholera, other conventional treatment methods include the use of antibiotics, zinc supplements, and intravenous fluid rehydration.
What is cholera?
Cholera is an acute bacterial infection of the intestines that is caused by ingestion of food or water, which has been contaminated. Cholera is marked by a severe case of diarrhea, with eventual dehydration.
Causes of cholera
As already mentioned, cholera is caused by consumption of contaminated food or drinking of contaminated water. The disease-causing organism of cholera is a bacterium known as Vibrio cholerae.
Risk factors of contracting cholera
Cholera is a virulent condition that can affect anyone. However, the degree of susceptibility or vulnerability of one person from another depends on some factors. Some of these risk factors include:
- People with O blood type
- Living in a place where cholera is endemic, or living with someone infected with the disease
- Living in an environment where the sanitation is poor
- Consuming raw or undercooked shellfish
- People with low levels of stomach acid
Signs and symptoms of cholera
Based on statistical reports, only about 5% of all cholera cases come with serious complications. For cases of cholera where there are symptoms, the symptoms only begin to show up after 12 hours to 5 days of infection.
That said, the major symptom of cholera infection is the watery diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms include the following:
- Leg cramps
- Vomiting and nausea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Sunken eyes
Children infected with cholera may also experience any of the following:
- Severe drowsiness
If left untreated, cholera can result in death of the infected person. Hence, it is important that you visit the clinic when you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Natural Home remedies for cholera
The use of antibiotics for treating cholera (and even vaccines for cholera prevention) always comes with adverse side effects. This has prompted many into research of alternative ways of treating the condition, which are effective, but come with no side effects.
The following are some natural remedies for cholera, which can be used at home:
- Onion: The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of onion are effective in the treatment of cholera. Cholera symptoms such as dehydration can be improved by consuming onions or adding it to your meals.
- Turmeric: Turmeric can help in reducing diarrhea associated with cholera. For this method, add a quarter spoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot water. Then, add some little honey and drink the mixture two times each day until the diarrhea stops. Be careful, though, not to take too much turmeric, as it can worsen the diarrhea.
- Lemon: Lemon is a storehouse of essential vitamins and minerals, which is a reason it is used as a remedy for many diseases, including cholera. You can alleviate some of the symptoms of cholera by drinking a glass of lemon juice twice each day. Furthermore, lemon juice is rich in acids, which can help to increase the stomach acid levels so as to help in combating the cholera bacterium.
- Drumstick leaves: The leaf of the drumstick plant can also be used for treating cholera. For this method, mix a teaspoon of honey and drumstick leaf extract with some coconut water and drink twice or three times every day until the cholera symptoms subside.
- Zinc supplement: Taking about 20mg of zinc supplement daily can help to reduce diarrhea in children with cholera. This is attributed to the fact that zinc contains more than 200 enzymes that are helpful in combating infections. Another way of getting zinc is by eating more foods containing the mineral, such as spinach, brown rice, and lentils.
- Bitter gourd: Also known as bitter melon, bitter gourd is a fruit native to tropical countries in South America, Asia and Africa. You can benefit from bitter gourd by mixing equal amounts of bitter melon juice and onion juice and drinking the mixture.
- Nutmeg: You can also use nutmeg to relieve cholera symptoms. This method involves steeping half a teaspoon of nutmeg in half a liter of water, and then, adding the mixture to half a liter of coconut water.
- Ginger: Ginger has natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties that can come in handy when treating cholera. Cholera symptoms like diarrhea and cramps can be reduced by drinking ginger tea, or by chewing on raw ginger. You should avoid this remedy, however, if you are on blood thinning medication.
- Cloves: Dehydration, which is a major symptom of cholera, can be improved by mixing cloves with water, and then, boiling. After boiling, allow the mixture to cool before drinking. Even more, the presence of eugenol in cloves means that diarrhea-causing bacteria in the intestines will be reduced.
- Hot pack: Cholera can cause abdominal pain. You can use a hot pack to quickly relieve this pain. To do this, place a hot pack on your belly, with a cloth between your belly and the pack to prevent skin burn.
- Guava tree bark: Cholera symptoms such as nausea and vomiting can be reduced by making a decoction of guava tree bark and boiled water.
- Black tamarind: According to research, black tamarind can be used in treating water-borne diseases like cholera and diarrhea. This herbal plant has antimicrobial properties that have been shown to be effective in combating the strain of bacteria responsible for cholera.
- Homemade ORS: Cholera is marked by severe dehydration, which leads to other complications. To make up for the lost fluids and electrolytes due to dehydration, you can prepare an oral rehydration solution (ORS), which is one of the methods of treating cholera. Since this is a list of natural remedies, you can prepare a natural ORS by mixing half a teaspoon of table salt with 6 teaspoons of sugar in one liter of clean water.
- Drink more fluids: A simple method of rehydrating the body is by drinking plenty of water or other fluids during the day. A word of caution, though, make sure the water is safe for drinking so as to avoid worsening the condition. Other fluids that you can take are coconut water, fruit juices, buttermilk, and herbal tea.
- Avoid caffeine: While it is recommended that you drink up more fluids when you have cholera, you need to stay away from drinks with caffeine. This is because drinking caffeinated beverages can worsen cholera symptoms like vomiting and dehydration.
- Peach flowers: Drinking a mixture of fresh peach leaf extract and honey is another natural way of dealing with cholera. You can dilute the mixture in half a glass of coconut water before drinking. Repeat the procedure two more times daily to effectively reduce cholera symptoms.
- Rough chaff: Rough chaff, or Achyranthes aspera, is another herbal plant that can be used for treating cholera. To reap the benefits of this herb, pour some rough chaff powder into a cup of water and drink.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy beneficial bacteria that are present in the gut and promote digestion. Apart from promoting digestion, probiotics also help to combat cholera-causing bacteria, as well as in improving immunity. You can consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or kimchi to improve cholera symptoms.
- Coconut water and cucumber leaves: This combination is a potent one as it integrates the refreshing and nourishing effects of coconut water with the anti-diarrhea properties of cucumber leaf extract. To make this remedy, obtain the extract of cucumber leaves and mix with coconut water in equal amounts. Then, drink the resulting mixture two times every day.
- Get some rest: Cholera can be exhausting on the body, thereby weakening the immune system. Hence, a good way of enhancing the body’s immunity is by getting enough rest. Like any other treatment method, rest is important for full recovery. So, if you have not been relaxing, get some rest!
- Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek seeds can also help to reduce diarrhea due to their high mucilage content. You can prepare this remedy by mixing a teaspoon of ground fenugreek seeds with two tablespoons of plain yogurt and some roasted cumin seed powder. Alternatively, you can pour a teaspoon of the ground fenugreek seeds into a glass of warm water and drink.
Natural prevention measures for cholera
Natural prevention measures for cholera include a combination of proper food hygiene, sanitation, and water treatment.
The following are some of the effective ways of preventing cholera:
- Drink only bottled or treated water
- Use clean water for cooking and other personal uses
- Wash your hands with soap and water as often as you can
- Prepare your foods properly and keep them covered when you are not ready to eat
- Do not defecate in open water bodies, use a toilet instead
- Avoid eating uncooked foods, especially vegetables and salads
- Avoid eating street foods and fruits
- Do not drink unpasteurized milk and other dairy products
All being said, you need to make sure to start treatment for cholera as soon as you notice the symptoms and have consulted with your doctor.