HOME REMEDIES FOR DENGUE FEVER: CURE, NATURAL TREATMENT AND PREVENTION
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 400 million people are infected with dengue fever every year. As if that is not enough, there is an estimated 2.5 billion people in the world that are at risk of contracting dengue.
With the statistics above, it goes without saying that dengue fever is one of the leading endemic diseases in the world. Including the fact that there is currently no cure for dengue fever only increases the fear of contracting this disease.
Although there are no do-it-all treatments for dengue fever, several treatment combinations can be used to remedy the secondary symptoms. In this article, we shall take a look at natural ways of treating and preventing dengue fever.
What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever, which is also known by different names such as dandy fever or breakbone fever, or simply dengue, is a viral infectious disease that is transmitted by a particular species of mosquitoes and is characterized by rash and aching joints and headaches.
Dengue is common in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, such as tropical Africa, parts of Asia, Central and Southern America, Northern Australia, and the Caribbean.
Dengue fever can occur in rural areas as well as in urban areas, unlike malaria which mostly affects rural dwellers.
Causes of dengue fever
As already stated, dengue fever is a viral infection that is transmitted via the bite of mosquitoes. There are four dengue-causing viruses belonging to the Flaviviridae family and Flavivirus genus that also includes the yellow fever virus.
The specie of mosquitoes responsible for the transmission is the female Aedes aegypti. Another vector of dengue fever is Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito), which is native to Asia but has now spread to other parts of the world including Europe and North America.
Dengue fever is not a contagious disease. However, while it is not possible for dengue fever to be transmitted from human to human, the virus can be transmitted via an infected mosquito of any of the aforementioned species. The mosquito has to first bite an infected person to get the virus, and then when the mosquito bites another uninfected person, the virus is transmitted via the mosquito bite.
Signs and symptoms of dengue fever
According to report from the WHO (world health organization) website, dengue symptoms usually start after 4 to 10 days of the mosquito bite – the incubation period. The symptoms can last for between 2 and 7 days.
When a person has dengue fever, one of the first noticeable signs is the sudden onset of fever, which is followed by intense headache and aching in the joints or pain behind the eyes. In addition to these symptoms, other symptoms may be present, depending on the severity of the fever.
Some of the common symptoms of dengue fever are:
- Skin rash
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Fever (sometimes lasting up to a week)
- Bleeding in the nose or gums
- Small blisters under the skin
- Loss of appetite
Severe dengue fever is a life-threatening condition that comes with signs and symptoms including persistent vomiting, extreme fatigue, and severe pain in the abdomen.
Prevention of dengue fever
Perhaps, the best and most effective method of preventing dengue is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. No matter, there are other preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing dengue and include:
- Immunization: Dengue fever can be prevented by vaccination. A particular vaccine, Dengvaxia, has been approved by WHO as a part of dengue prevention and control strategies. Note, that, this vaccine is not able to completely prevent a person from contracting dengue.
- Prevent mosquito breeding: By reducing the breeding grounds of mosquitoes around your house, you can reduce the mosquito population there, and as a result, reduce the risk of contracting dengue fever.
- Use mosquito nets: Insecticide-treated nets can be used when sleeping to prevent mosquito bites in high risk areas. The use of such nets is beneficial to not only the prevention of mosquito bites, but also in preventing other insect bites.
- Use screened windows and doors: The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopicti species of mosquitoes are nocturnal mosquitoes, meaning that they are mainly active during the day than at night. People living in areas where dengue fever is endemic should ensure that their houses are well protected against mosquitoes.
- Wear long clothing: If you are living in tropical or sub-tropical areas where dengue fever is prevalent, you should make sure to wear long shirts and pants, especially when outdoor.
Natural home remedies for dengue fever
Although there is no cure for dengue fever, the following natural herbs and methods can be used to reduce the symptoms of the disease.
- Papaya leaves: The leaves of the papaya tree can be used in the natural treatment of dengue fever symptoms. This is due to the presence of antioxidants in the leaves that help in reducing stress and in flushing out toxins from the body. Apart from these, papaya leaves are also rich in vitamin C, which has immune-boosting capabilities. You can benefit from papaya leaves by either chewing the leaves or by drinking its juice.
- Basil leaves: Basil leaves have natural insecticidal properties that will help in the treatment of dengue fever caused by mosquito bites. You can either drink basil tea by boiling the leaves in water, or you can chew fresh basil leaves two times each day when you have dengue fever.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is used in the treatment of several health problems with dengue fever inclusive. Turmeric contains curcumin – its main ingredient, which has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that should benefit dengue sufferers. To benefit from turmeric, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with honey in a cup of hot milk and drink before bedtime.
- Neem leaves: You can drink neem leaf tea to reduce dengue fever symptoms. To make this tea, soak some neem leaves in water and strain the liquid. The action of neem leaves on dengue is seen in the ability of the leaves to increase the blood platelet and white blood cell counts, which are reduced by the dengue virus.
- Fenugreek leaves: Fenugreek leaf is a popular natural remedy for dengue fever symptoms in many parts of the world. The leaves have sedative and pain-relieving properties that can benefit people suffering from dengue fever.
- Drink plenty water: Dengue fever can cause severe dehydration, which leads to other problems. Keeping the body hydrated by drinking lots of water during the day is a simple way of solving this problem. Hydrating the body will help to relieve other dengue symptoms like headaches and abdominal pain.
- Orange juice: Orange is rich in minerals and vitamins like vitamin C. Dengue symptoms can be treated by drinking orange juice. The antioxidant properties of orange also help in boosting the immune system by promoting the production of antibodies to fight the dengue virus.
- Apple juice: Apple juice is rich in antioxidants that help in combating free radicals in the body. Hence, drinking apple juice is a natural and effective way of strengthening the weakened immune system. For this remedy, you will need to get one teaspoon of lemon juice and mix a cup of fresh apple juice.
- Guava juice: Moving on, guavas can also be given to people suffering from dengue fever to alleviate the symptoms. This basically because guava is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like tannins which help in protecting the body from infection. Moreover, guavas are uncelebrated kings of vitamin C – they are second only to orange. This concentration of vitamin C in guavas means that consuming the fruit will help to boost the immunity.
- Goldenseal: The root of the goldenseal plant can be used to cure dengue fever symptoms. Like papaya leaves, you can use goldenseal for dengue by juicing it or chewing it raw. This herb is particularly helpful due to its antiviral properties.
- Aloe vera juice: Drinking aloe vera juice helps to increase platelet count in dengue sufferers. Since one of the effects of the dengue fever virus on the body is to weaken the body’s immune system by lowering the platelet and white blood cell counts, reversing this effect is a good way of controlling the disease.
- Goat milk: Drinking a cup of goat’s milk is another natural and simple way of treating some dengue symptoms. Goat’s milk is a rich source of many minerals including selenium, which is lacking in dengue patients. This deficiency is responsible for the weakness associated with dengue. Thus, drinking goat’s milk daily will help to remedy this condition. Make sure to boil the milk before consuming.
- Banana: Banana is packed with various vitamins and minerals like potassium, which is essential for electrolyte balance in the body. The high fiber and carbohydrate contents of banana also help in restoring lost energy.
- Coriander leaves: Coriander leaves have many antioxidant compounds such as linoleic acid and cineole, which have therapeutic properties. Furthermore, the presence of vitamin C in coriander also helps in strengthening the body’s immune system.
- Pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice has antioxidant properties that help in boosting the immune system. People who have dengue fever are advised to include pomegranate juice in their natural treatment regimen. Pomegranate juice should not be given to hypertensive people or those on medication to reduce blood pressure.
- Barley grass: Another natural remedy for dengue symptoms is drinking barley tea or chewing barley grass. Like neem leaves, consuming barley grass helps to boost the immune system by increasing the platelet count.