Typhoid fever is one of the leading causes of deaths in less-developed countries. This is exacerbated by the facts that the disease can be life-threatening and is communicable i.e. it is highly contagious and can be transmitted from person to person.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 11 to 20 million people in the world are affected by typhoid fever each year, with about 160,000 of them dying from the disease.
Presently, the only effective medical treatment for typhoid fever is the use of antibiotics. Examples of antibiotics for treating typhoid fever are ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. However, there is a growing concern about the resistance of the typhoid pathogen to certain antibiotics.
Apart from antibiotics, there are vaccines that can be taken for the prevention of typhoid fever. However, the efficacy of these vaccines is not guaranteed. This is where the purpose of this article fits in: to proffer alternative natural remedies for typhoid fever.
What is typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is bacterial infection that is characterized by inflammations in the intestines and ulceration.
Causes of typhoid fever
At the root, typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella Typhi, a bacterium. However, the bacterium does not just jump into the human body; the bacterium is gotten by eating food or water contaminated by it.
When a person gets infected by Salmonella Typhi, he/she still has the bacterium in his/her system, even after treatment. The pathogen is passed out through feces and from there can be transmitted to food or water.
Certain factors can also increase the risk of developing typhoid fever. Some of these risk factors are:
- Living in or traveling to an area where typhoid fever is endemic
- Physical contact with someone infected with the disease
- Drinking contaminated water
Signs and symptoms of typhoid fever
The symptoms of typhoid fever begin to manifest between 6 and 30 days after first contact with the bacterium. Since this is a fever, the major sign is the abnormally high body temperature.
Other common signs and symptoms of typhoid fever include the following:
- Skin rash (in some patients)
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
When the typhoid fever becomes severe, it can lead to complications such as pneumonia, intestinal bleeding, and kidney infection.
Natural Ways To Prevent typhoid fever
You can prevent the development of typhoid fever by doing the following:
- Regular hand washing: Washing your hands regularly is a simple way of preventing typhoid fever.
- Drink only bottled water or boil your water before drinking
- Avoid raw fruits: Raw fruits and vegetables may be infected with the typhoid bacterium; hence, staying away from raw produce or washing them before eating is an effective way of reducing the risk of contracting typhoid fever.
- Eat hot foods: Hot foods create an inviable environment for the typhoid bacterium to operate. So, if you have typhoid fever or are living in an area where the infection is prevalent, you should ensure to eat your foods when hot.
Natural remedies for treating typhoid fever at home
The following are methods of treating typhoid fever at home:
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a repertory of medicinal properties that makes it invaluable as a natural remedy for various ailments, including typhoid fever. In this case, apple cider vinegar is used for reducing the fever. All you have to do is to soak a washcloth in water-diluted vinegar, squeeze the cloth and place it on your forehead. You can also benefit from apple cider vinegar by drinking a mixture of the liquid with honey (one teaspoon) and water (one glass) before eating.
- Basil: Basil leaves or basil leaf extract can also be used for treating typhoid fever symptoms. Basil is known to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can help in treating typhoid. In addition, basil also plays a role in improving the immune system against infections. There are different ways of getting the best from basil leaves as a natural remedy for typhoid fever. You can either drink a mixture of basil leaf extract and black pepper, or a mixture of crushed ginger, basil leaves and water.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is an herb that is native to North America. This plant can help typhoid fever sufferers by boosting their immune system. Get some Echinacea roots and boil in water before drinking.
- Water: Drinking lots of water when you have typhoid fever is actually a no-brainer. Typhoid fever causes the sufferer to lose a lot of water, especially if the person is experiencing diarrhea. To make up for this loss, taking more liquids is recommended. And what liquid is better than water for the body? Moreover, drinking lots of water during the day helps to detoxify the body of toxins.
- Garlic: Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in the treatment of typhoid fever symptoms like intestinal inflammation. In addition, the antibacterial properties of garlic can also help in fighting off Salmonella typhi. You can use garlic for this purpose by either chewing a few cloves of the herb or by adding it to your meals. Another effective method is drinking a mixture of crushed garlic, milk and water (all boiled together).
- Honey: Like apple cider vinegar, honey is a common ingredient of many natural remedies for different illnesses. However, while apple cider vinegar helps to lower the high temperature, drinking honey helps to improve the digestive function. You can drink a teaspoon of honey or mix the honey with warm water before drinking.
- Orange: Fatigue associated with typhoid fever can be corrected by eating oranges or drinking orange juice. Moreover, orange is a rich source of important vitamins like vitamin C, which strengthens the body’s immunity against disease. If you don’t mind, you can add some lemon juice to the orange juice for increased effectiveness.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is another great natural remedy for typhoid fever. This is because buttermilk helps to strengthen the immune system and also promotes digestive health. Moreover, since buttermilk is a liquid, it can also help to prevent dehydration. Drink 2 glasses of buttermilk each day to improve the symptoms of typhoid fever. You can also add banana pulp to the drink to reduce the fever.
- Guava leaves: Guava leaves have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can help to relieve typhoid fever symptoms. This means that guava leaves can be used for relieving the symptoms of typhoid fever like fever, fatigue, and cough. To use the leaves for this purpose, crush the leaves to extract the juice. Drink the extracted juice thrice every day for seven days.
- Lemon: Like orange, lemon is another great fruit for treating typhoid fever. Lemon has antiseptic and immune-boosting properties. The antibacterial properties of lemon also help in combating the typhoid bacterium in the body. A word of caution though: lemon may be harmful to certain persons. This is because the acidic nature of lemon can cause sores or ulcers in the gut.
- Carrot: Carrot is rich in antioxidants that help in boosting the body’s immunity against infections. Typhoid fever symptoms like diarrhea can be treated by eating carrots or drinking carrot juice.
- ORS: WHO recommends the intake of ORS (oral rehydration solution) by typhoid fever patients in order to keep the body hydrated. You can prepare a homemade version of this solution by mixing sugar (4 teaspoons) and salt (half a teaspoon) in 4 cups of water. Drink the mixture 4 to 5 times daily.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is the water of the coconut fruit. Giving this water to someone suffering from typhoid fever is a natural way of treating the infection. This is so because coconut water contains several minerals including sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and carbohydrates.
- Bananas: One of the symptoms of typhoid fever is diarrhea, which causes a loss of electrolytes in the body. Eating bananas is a natural way of replacing the lost electrolytes. This is because banana contains many minerals, including potassium, which is an essential body mineral.
- Pomegranate: Pomegranate juice helps to replenish lost electrolytes in the body due to its rich nutrient base. If you prefer eating the fruit, you won’t lose anything. So, whichever way you decide to enjoy your pomegranates, you are assured of getting good nourishment for the body.
- Clove tea: According to studies, drinking clove tea has been found to be an effective remedy for typhoid fever. You can prepare clove tea by adding a tablespoon of cloves to boiled water and leaving it for about 10 minutes before straining.
- Barley: Barley helps in the treatment of typhoid fever by strengthening the body’s immune system. Get some dry barley grass and ground to powder. Pour two teaspoons of the barley grass powder into a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Afterward, filter the solution and drink two times every day. Alternatively, you can drink a mixture of ground barley and wheatgrass in honey.
- Raisins: Raisins have immune-boosting capabilities that are vital for typhoid fever patients. Get some raisins and soak in water before going to bed at night. Eat the raisins immediately after waking up the next morning.
- Cold compress: The major symptom of typhoid fever is an unusually high body temperature. This high temperature can be lowered by using a cold compress. This method involves soaking a cloth in cold water, slightly wringing, and then placing on the forehead and abdomen. Doing this should help to reduce the fever.