Popularly known as the “breakbone fever,” dengue occurs due to a virus called DENV-1 and yes, they are from “mosquitoes.” Apart from DENV-1, It is caused by the four closely related dengue viruses. These take the responsibility for “West Nile infection and yellow fever“. Dengue is not a life-threatening disease at the initial stages, but if left untreated, it can develop into severe complications resulting in dengue hemorrhagic fever.
The last stage of this fever is death, as the patient suffers from two things:
- Low levels of blood platelets, and
- Leakage of blood plasma
In 2015, 2.35 million cases of dengue were reported in the Americas alone, of which 10 200 cases were diagnosed as severe dengue causing 1181 deaths.
The other complications of dengue hemorrhagic fever are:.
- Bleeding from gums and nose
- Liver enlargement
- Failure in the circulatory system, and
- Damage to blood and lymph vessels
Alternatively, dengue fever could also develop into dengue shock syndrome (DSS), where the patient will suffer from extremely low blood pressure, shock, and death. But, don’t be scared, as there are some amazing home remedies for dengue fever that can help. Before we list them to you; it is important for you to know a few things.
According to a survey conducted all over the globe, around 96 million dengue cases are reported every year. The affected people are mostly from tropical regions while the majority of risks occur in South East Asia, Taiwan, Southern China, The Pacific Islands, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Africa.
It has to be noted that most dengue infections in the United States (USA) happened to individuals when they travel abroad. However, the risk is more for people who live along the Texas-Mexico border and some parts of the South United States.
Mosquitoes (several species of the genus, Aedes) transmit dengue fever. The virus is divided into five types. If the mosquito has bitten a dengue-infected person and bites a new donor, he/she can be infected with the virus as well.
The mosquito is divided into multiple populations in the rainy seasons, but they can also dwell excellently in water-filled cans, plastic bags, and water-filled flower pots all around the year. You will be surprised to read that just one mosquito bite is enough to transmit this disease. However, it is non-contagious, meaning that it cannot spread from one person to the other.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
Sometimes dengue symptoms seems very mild and it can be mistaken to flu or other viral infections. Usually children of young age and adults who have never been affected by any fever tend to have a mild infections. Anyhow if not treated well, many serious problem including death will occur.
You can notice the Dengue fever symptoms in 3 – 6 or within 15 days after being infected. The symptoms can happen in stages. Usually, the symptom starts with a chill, then headache, pain in the movement of eyes, followed by a low backache and loss of appetite.
Sometimes dengue symptoms seems very mild. Usually children of younger age and adults who have never been affected by any fever tend to have a mild infections. Anyhow if not treated well, many serious problem including death will occur.
The body temperature can go very high — about 104° Fahrenheit or 40° Celsius. Also, you will have low heart rate (known as bradycardia) or low blood pressure (hypotension). The eyes can become red; other symptoms in the body include swollen lymph nodes in the groin and neck.
The duration of discomfort can last several days, and can include:
- You get extreme high fever suddenly
- Extreme headache
- You suffer from pain in the back of eyes
- Extreme muscle and joint pain
- Skin rashes (you can notice them two to five days after fever)
- Suffer from bleeding (easy bruises, bleeding gums or nosebleed).
Preventing The Dengue Fever
There is no vaccines are invented to prevent the dengue fever yet. One of the best ways to protect ourselves is to get an escape from the mosquito bite. Protect yourself from the infected from the infected mosquito especially if you are living or traveling to the tropical areas.
9 Herbal Home Remedies For Dengue Fever Treatment
Dengue Fever has created a big fear in humans. The tropical and subtropical areas, in particular, have been the main concern to WHO (World Health Organization) and governments. Consequently, the hunt for anti-dengue herbs and other medicinal plants have become necessary more than ever.
Talking about medicinal plants or herbs, they have always been used to treat multiple diseases. The demand for medicinal plants is growing for three simple reasons:
- 100% natural
- Free from non-toxic effects
Considering this, we have well researched and written some important remedies to cure dengue fever and control dengue fever symptoms. So, make a note of these herbs:
9. Papaya Leaf Juice
While some say that a remedy like this is just a hoax, but there may be some reality after all. A lot of research papers and studies have demonstrated that papaya leaf juice is extremely beneficial and is one of the best home remedies for dengue treatment. Hence, once you are sure about the signs, try this remedy immediately:
- Step 1: Take a fresh papaya leaf and cut it into slices. Ensure that you remove the veins.
- Step 2: Mix the leaves with 10 ml of cold water.
- Step 3: Ground the mixture and filter it.
- Step 4: Strain it and drink the juice four times a day.
How Does This Work?
The organic compounds and nutrients in papayas can enhance the blood cells in the body; huge resources of Vitamin C can assist in stimulating the immune system, and the antioxidants perform their part of eliminating of other toxins from the blood.
Although the exact pathway is unclear, papaya leaves are widely known as being a natural cure for dengue fever symptoms. The complex mix of nutrients and organic compounds in papayas can cause a rise in your platelet count, the high levels of vitamin C help stimulate the immune system, and the antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress and eliminate excess toxins in the blood.
Papaya Leaves Are Not Good, If:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You are allergic to a compound called papain.
- You are allergic to latex.
- You have undergone surgery or about to have one soon.
8. Green Chiretta Herbal Tea
According to a research paper, Green chiretta (or Andrographis paniculata) demonstrated the maximum antiviral inhibitory effects on DENV-1 (Dengue Virus). This erect, medicinal herb belongs to the family of Acanthaceae and is native to Sri Lanka and India.
- Green chiretta (or Andrographis paniculata)
- Chrysopogon zizanioides
- Coleus vettiveroides roots (or Plectranthus vettiveroides)
- Licorice (or Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Snake gourd (or Trichosanthes cucumerina)
- Nut grass (or Cyperus rotundus)
- Dried ginger
- Black pepper (or Piper nigrum)
- Indian sandalwood (Santalum album)
Method of Preparation:
- Step 1: Take ½ teaspoon of each herb.
- Step 2: Add 2 to 3 cups of water to it.
- Step 3: Boil it for 10 minutes.
- Step 4: Once warm, drink a cup of it.
- Step 5: Repeat the process two times in a day.
How Does This Work?
Andrographis paniculata contains a lot of medicinal components like diterpenoids, flavonoids, diterpene glycosides, flavonoid glycosides, and lactones. Also, it has methanolic extracts in large proportions, which is proven highly effective against dengue virus.
Chrysopogon zizanioides or vetiver (derived from the Tamil language: vettiver) is a perennial grass, which is commercially used for extracting fragrance oils. However, it holds a lot of medicinal values. Once consumed, it exhibits diaphoretic, febrifuge, cooling, stomachic, emmenagogue, and stimulant actions. Since it is refrigerant by nature, it can cure fever, swelling, shivering, and body pain.
Coleus vettiveroides (or vilamichu ver in Tamil) is another medicinal herb to bring the temperature down. These strong aromatic roots look much similar to Cuscus grass.
Traditionally used for GI (Gastrointestinal) problems, licorice is used as a savoring agent in candy and tobacco industries. The compounds triterpenoids, polysaccharides (mannose, sucrose, and starches), and polyphenols have many antiviral properties, which is why it is effective in the treatment of dengue fever.
Trichosanthes cucumerina or snake gourd is a natural blood purifier. Also, it is germicidal, hepatoprotective, laxative, and an appetizer. Its bioactive compounds (bryononic acid, chondrillasteryl glucoside, dihydro cucurbitacin B, bryonolic acid, and cucurbitacin B) exhibit antiviral and antimalarial properties.
Cyperus rotundus or nut grass is found in almost all temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions. In India, it is popularly known as Nagarmotha, which is claimed to contain essential oils, terpenoids, flavonoids, cyprotene, sesquiterpenes, aselinene, cyperene, valencene, rotundene, gurjunene, cyperol, cadalene, trans-calamenene, mustakone, cyperotundone, acyperone, isocyperol, etc.
Dried ginger is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Apart from helping the body temperature to drop down, it helps relieve migraine, diabetes, phlegm and intestinal worms.
Pepper is a bioavailability and carminative enhancer. This traditional herb has been widely used for fever, indigestion, dyspepsia, and flatulence. However, if you are expecting a baby, avoid this herb, as it can cause miscarriages and other serious complications.
Sandalwood, on the other hand, has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifebrile, hypotensive, antibacterial, and cooling properties. It has been traditionally used to treat fever. Despite this, it also cures low immunity, urinary tract infections, liver disorders, gallbladder problems, and inflammation.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
Drink as much as water as you can during fever or cold to replace the fluid loss. In dengue, due to extreme fever and body pain, the circulation of blood can be affected along with dehydration. It is mandatory to consume water (hot water will be preferable) in more amounts so that the body stays hydrated. This will ease the dengue fever symptoms like muscle cramps and headaches. Also, water can flush and eliminate the toxins that can act as a contributor to the detrimental effects of the pathogen.
6. Neem Leaves’ Juice
Neem leaves are considered useful for many ailments and dengue is just one of them. To try a remedy using neem leaves, follow the steps given below:
- Step 1: Take a small bowl of fresh neem leaves and a bowl of cold water.
- Step 2: Ground the leaves and filter them.
- Step 3: Consume around 10 ml of this mixture three to four times a day.
Fever will gradually subside and control the dengue fever symptoms. The intake of the mixture has to be followed even after the symptoms recede, for the next two days. Most known natural home remedies for dengue fever illness.
How Does This Work?
The neem leaves help in increasing the blood platelet count as well as the white blood cells. It also improves the immune system, and you can return to the normal stages. One of the most popular insecticidal components of neem leaves is azadirachtin. Other compounds are salannin, deactyl-azadirachtinol, etc. The components that assist in controlling inflammation are Nimbin, nimbidin, and quercetin.
Nimbidol and gedunin can be defined as anti-fungal agents that can destroy fungi. Neem leaves are also known as analgesics, as they provide relief in times of pain. The components of neem leaves stimulate the immune system of the body; detoxification occurs, and a healthy digestive and respiratory system come to the core.
Neem Leaves Are Not Good, If:
- You are pregnant or seeking pregnancy. Consumption is restricted to both males and females.
- Refrain from giving the dose to children. Severe side effects can occur such as diarrhea, seizures, brain disorders, etc.
- You are diabetic. The components of neem leaves interact with antidiabetes drugs.
5. Basil Leaves Tea
As per the traditional belief in tropical countries, drinking boiled basil (tulsi) water can not only reduce the symptoms of dengue but also prevent the outbreak of this fever. Just follow the instructions given below:
- Step 1: Take fifteen basil leaves and boil them in water.
- Step 2: Let the mixture come back to normal temperature.
- Step 3: Drink this mixture four to five times a day depending on the severity.
- You can also chew fifteen basil leaves three times a day.
How Does This Work?
Drinking this water causes the body to perspire, releasing sweat. Mosquitoes will rarely bite a person whose skin has perspired. On the other hand, basil leaves are rich in Cinnamic acid, which has been found to promote circulation of blood, improve breathing problems, etc.
The flavonoids providing protection to cells are known as vicenin and orientin. The volatile oils having anti-bacterial properties are myrcene, limonene, cineole, sabinene, linalool and estragole. Magnesium in basil leaves assists in promoting the cardiovascular health by causing blood vessels to relax and regulate the risk of irregular heartbeats.
Basil Leaves Are Not Good, If:
- You have a bleeding disorder. Blood clotting might go slow, and bleeding can increase.
- You have low blood pressure. The blood pressure might become too low.
4. Use Guppy Fish in Swimming Pools
If there is an unused swimming pool or well or you have a lake in the area and if there is an outbreak of dengue fever, you can opt for an easy solution by releasing some guppy fishes in the water source. The freshwater fish is known for its diet (mosquito eggs and larvae), which assist in curbing the population of mosquitoes. You can easily get them from any aquarium store.
3. Juice of Coriander Leaves
Coriander leaves are one of the best home remedies for dengue too. They help in reducing the body temperature during the infection. You can include these leaves as part of the regular diet or just follow the steps given below.
- Step 1: Take a bowl of coriander leaves and wash them thoroughly.
- Step 2: Take a bowl of water and mix the coriander leaves.
- Step 3: Put the mixture in a blender.
- Step 4: Drink the juice as many times as possible.
How Does This Work?
Cineole and linoleic acid, two of the eleven components in coriander leaves possess antiarthritic and antirheumatic properties. The leaves also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, and they help in increasing the immunity and control the dengue fever symptoms.
Other medicinal components include linalool & borneol, which assist in digestion and enhance the regular functioning of the liver. Also, alpha-pinene, beta-phellandrene, dodecenal (powerful antibiotic), limonene are present that have antibacterial effects. It also contains rich sources of vitamins such as niacin, beta-carotene, folic acid, riboflavin essential for good health. Which is a perfect home remedies for dengue fever treatment.
Coriander Leaves Are Not Good, If:
- You are allergic to aniseed, fennel, caraway, mugwort. You can suffer from allergic reactions.
- You are diabetic. Intake of coriander juice may lower blood sugar levels.
2. Pomegranate Juice
Blood platelet counts can be given a boost if you consume pomegranate juice. If you are someone, who dislikes the bitter taste in papaya leaves, you can opt for pomegranate juice.
How Does This Work?
The magic compound is known as punicalagin; the second important compound is punicalins. They are known for their health benefits to the heart and antioxidant properties. It can lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, etc.
Pomegranate Juice Is Not Good, If:
You have high blood pressure. The medication for high BP could interact with pomegranate juice. Some of the drugs are Lisinopril (Zestril), Enalapril (Vasotec) and captopril (Capoten).
Note: This fever is not life threatening, but can progress rapidly in case of low immunity individuals. The home remedies should be used as only alternative treatments in extreme conditions.
1. Barley Grass (or Wheatgrass) Juice
Barley grass juice or barley tea is highly effective in increasing the blood platelet count and that too in seconds. It fights dengue infection and stimulates the patient’s bone marrow to generate healthy platelets. Also, the chlorophyll content in barley grass increases the red blood cells (an important factor to cure dengue). Apart from these, it also treats vitamin deficiency and prolonged weakness. You can either consume barley grass as such or make juice out of it. This is one of the best home remedies for dengue fever treatment. Follow the steps given below:
- Step 1: Buy some wheatgrass or barley grass.
- Step 2: Cut them into small pieces.
- Step 3: Blend the pieces with some water in a mixer.
- Step 4: Strain and drink it twice in a day.
The juice might be bitter, and you might not like its taste. Hence, for a yummy smoothie, follow this recipe.
How Does This Work?
Barley grass is rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. Also, it has minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Which is one of the best herb mix to control dengue fever symptoms.
Barley Grass Is Not Good, If:
- You are suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac diseases.
- You are allergic to cereals.
- You are diabetic. It might lower your sugar levels.
- You have undergone surgery or about to have one.
How To Prevent Dengue?
Safety Method During Travel
If you are visiting a dengue-infected area, take suitable precaution and learn to identify the dengue fever symptoms.
- You can stay in a resort or hotel having air conditioned facility. Ensure that the windows have intact, secure screens.
- In the case of non-availability of air conditioners, enquire if the management can give plug-in devices or mosquito nets.
- You can also buy a good mosquito repellent to apply on your clothing and exposed skin.
- Wear proper full-sleeved clothes during travel.
In case of an outbreak of dengue fever in the locality, ensure:
- You keep a distance from heavy populated residential areas
- Make use of mosquito repellants indoors, even if the house is secure (or use air-conditioner). In the case of non-availability, use mosquito nets.
- For a walk or other activity outdoors, wear long pants (tucked into the socks) or long-sleeved shirts. Be careful during outside activity in dawn or dusk – the time where mosquitoes roam around. Refrain from wearing strong perfumes, as they can attract mosquitoes. Also, avoid dark colored clothes and prefer light or bright colored clothes.
- Pay a visit to the doctor if you have doubts about infection from dengue fever.
If you are suffering from pain in the joints or fever occurs after visiting a dengue-infected area, consult a doctor. Do not postpone the appointment. Visit the doctor immediately if you get the symptoms below:
- Extreme abdominal pain
- Consistent vomiting
- Bleeding from the mouth and nose
- Bleeding beneath the skin (have signs of bruises)
- Problems in the heart (low beat), liver and lungs
If after taking medicine, the fever goes down, and the situation turns to worse, it is mandatory to pay a visit to the doctor for complications.
Natural Remedy vs. Pharmacy
On a visit to the physician, you may be recommended to drink more fluid, avoid dehydration from high fever and vomiting. You can be given medicines such as acetaminophen (like Tylenol) for reducing pain and fever. In any condition, do not take pain killers or relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen (names – Advil or Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) as they might cause bleeding complications.
In case of extreme condition, you may require:
- Admission to a hospital for support
- Electrolyte replacement and intravenous fluid (IV)
- Monitoring of blood pressure
- Transfusion for replacing blood loss