Ayurvedic herbs and remedies to prevent and treat dengue
Ayurveda expert Dr Archana Sukumaran suggests a set of herbs that help improve the immunity, reduce high fever, and other symptoms like body ache, reduction of platelet count, and fatigue.
Rainy season raises risk of vector-borne diseases and dengue cases often see a peak between July and November. As many parts of the country are receiving heavy rains, the month of July has already seen a surge in the cases of this deadly mosquito-borne disease. Considering Ayurveda emphasises on prevention and holistic wellness, it has many herbs that help improve your immunity and aid in dosha balance to prevent against dengue. (Also read: Ayurveda expert on tips to manage monkeypox fever and rashes)
"According to Ayurveda, dengue fever may be understood as a variety of Vishama Jwara, where the fluctuation in temperature is the characteristic feature. It shows the predominance of Vata and Pitta aggravation and the methods that involve curbing these entities. Thus, it is vital to prevent this ever-spreading communicable disease by using the authentic methods mentioned in Ayurveda," says Dr Archana Sukumaran, Ayurveda doctor (BAMS) at Kerala Ayurveda.
Dengue: Herbal remedies for prevention and treatment
Dr Sukumaran suggests a set of herbs that help improve the immunity, reduce high fever, and associated symptoms of body ache, reduction of platelet count, and fatigue.
Guduchi: The common Giloy or Tinospora cordifolia is one perfect ayurvedic herb that helps to reduce both Vata and Pitta, the key causative factors of dengue fever. Guduchi helps with both the prevention and treatment of dengue-affected individuals.
How to have Guduchi: During the severe monsoon season, Guduchi-infused water may be consumed as a preventive method. The same can also help to reduce the symptoms during an episode of dengue fever. In Kerala, Guduchi is known as Amruth, because of its rejuvenating properties. Ayurveda has various formulations, such as Amrutharishta and Amruthotharam Kwath that are infused with the power of Guduchi.
Kalamegha: Andrographis paniculata is one herb in particular that helps balance all the three doshas. It has an astringent metabolic end effect with a hot potency that reduces the prevalence of Vata and Pitta in particular. It also can enhance the factor of Ojas or the quantum of immunity, preventing the disease.
Ayurveda remedies to prevent dengue
Fumigation: Herbal fumigation can be done using Neem (Azadirachta indica), Kalamegha (Andrographis paniculata), Haridra (Curcuma longa), and Ushira (Vettivera zeyzanoids) to prevent dengue. These help to create a perfectly neutral environment that resists the virus from propagation and repels mosquitoes. The indirect inhalation of these fumes is also a passive method of prevention, as it triggers immunity.
Shadanga Paniya: In this Ayurvedic treatment protocol for fever, the ancient text Sahasrayogam advocates the use of Shadanga paniya or Pathyashadangam, a combination of 7 herbs - Pathya (Terminalia chebula), Aksha (Terminalia belerica), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Kalamegha (Andrographis paniculata), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Neem (Azadirachta indica) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia). You can add 30 ml Pathyashadangam Kwath in 200ml boiled water and drink this from time to time to relieve fever.
Application of cooling pastes: A simple paste made with sandalwood and rosewater can be used to apply topically for temporary relief from dengue fever rashes. Although it is advised to consider the advice from your ayurvedic health care practitioner before considering this as a treatment method.
Dr Sukumaran says besides these therapies, one should take precautions such as:
- Hygienic water storage techniques and correct disposal of solid waste
- Consuming boiled water
- Putting a cover on the containers
- Removing old water from pots and balconies to prevent mosquito breeding
- Sleeping with a mosquito net
Tips for quick recovery
"The best advice for patients who are recovering from dengue is to take ample rest. Diet has a big role to play during dengue recovery. People are often advised to eat small and frequent meals. Fluid intake should be increased. Have coconut water and add a lot of fruits in your diet. Avoid spicy and fried food while you are recovering. Add Multivitamins, supplement to boost your energy levels. It will help to strengthen your immune system and stamina. We also advice to get a blood test done to make sure your platelet count is normal," says Dr Ashutosh Shukla, Medical Advisor & Senior Director –Internal Medicine, Max Hospital Gurugram.