Malaria(Sheeta Jwara)
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Introduction - What is Malaria

 

What is Malaria

Malaria is the most common infectious disease of the world today, affecting anywhere between 300 and 500 million people every year, and killing about one to three million people. Almost everyone is well-acquainted with this killer disease. Malaria is one of the diseases that can quickly spread into an epidemic – outbreaks of malaria can be so serious that they can impair the economies of countries. Hence there have always been measures to control malarial outbreaks.

It is generally economically backward countries that are associated with malarial epidemics. Malaria is considered to be a disease caused due to poverty and unhygienic living conditions; but in truth it is malaria that makes the countries poor. This is hence a vicious circle, and several countries of the world are struggling to come out of it.

Even at a personal level, malaria is a very dreadful disease and can be fatal if adequate care is not taken. Hence, a person must take sufficient care to prevent malaria and to get him or herself treated if infected.

 

Definition of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

What is Malaria

Malaria is a jwara, i.e. a fever. It is an infectious condition caused due to the strains of protozoan strains of Plasmodium carried from person to person by the female Anopheles mosquito. The malarial fever is accompanied by chills, anemia and influenza-like symptoms. Malaria is a fatal disease if the treatment is neglected. It can complicate neurobiologically, causing coma and finally death of the person.

Since it is transmitted by mosquito bites, malaria can very rapidly spread and become epidemics. Malaria is found to be more rampant in warm places with more water accumulation in them.

In Sanskrit, the symptoms of malaria are very similar to those described as sheeta jwara. Hence, malaria is referred to as sheeta jwara.

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Causes and Transmission of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

Malaria is a disease caused due to infection with the protozoan Plasmodium. The malarial parasite is carried through the agency of the female Anopheles mosquito, and this is the way in which the disease is transmitted.

Four strains of Plasmodium are responsible for malaria. They are:-

  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Plasmodium ovale
  • Plasmodium malariae

Out of these, the first parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is the most dangerous. People infected with this microorganism need to be hospitalized immediately, and the mortality rate with this infection is also very high. Plasmodium vivax is the most common malarial parasite, but this infection can be easily treated. Both Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae are very rare malarial parasites. However, their infections can also be easily treated.

The Anopheles mosquito is responsible for the transmission of the malarial parasite. When the Anopheles mosquito bites a person with malaria, then the Plasmodium enters into the bloodstream of the mosquito. When this mosquito further bites a healthy person, then the Plasmodium is transferred into the bloodstream of the healthy person and he or she too gets infected with the malaria.

The Anopheles mosquito breeds in stagnant water, and is found generally in the tropical regions. They can thrive in conditions with poor sanitation and sewage facilities. For this reason, malarial outbreaks generally occur in unhygienic places, where there is no proper facility for the disposal of the waste and accumulated water.

There are some regions of the world where malaria is endemic (native). These places where malaria is localized are:-

  • Saharan regions of Africa
  • Major part of India excluding the north
  • Mexico
  • Northern part of Latin America
  • Most of the Gulf
  • Southeast parts of Asia
  • Indonesia
Since malaria is a condition of the blood, it can spread even if the blood of an infected person is transfused into the body of a healthy person, or if syringes and needles are used commonly.

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Symptoms of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

The following symptoms are quite generally observed in malaria:-

  • The first symptom is that of a high fever.
  • The fever is accompanied by chills that worsen at nighttime.
  • There is a general feeling of discomfort and malaise.
  • Nausea and vomiting are observed.
  • Diarrheas occur with bloody stools.
  • Sweating is too profuse due to the high fever.
  • Anemia is caused.

The symptoms do not take long to show up after the infection. In most people, the symptoms are felt between 10 days to about a month after the infection. However, the Plasmodium can remain alive in the person’s blood for up to a year, and hence the symptoms can also be observed about a year after the infection.

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Complications of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

The most complicated form of malaria is the one in which the person is affected by the Plasmodium falciparum. This type of malaria can affect vital organs of the person’s body such as the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys. People suffering from Plasmodium falciparum infections need to be hospitalized immediately, since most malarial deaths occur due to this infection, and that too within the first few hours of the appearance of the initial symptoms.

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People who are at Risk of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

No one is safe from malarial infections. Wherever there are mosquitoes, malaria can spread. However the following types of people are slightly more vulnerable:-

  • People living in the regions where malaria is endemic. However travelers to these regions are more prone to malaria since the locals develop an immunity to the malarial strands prevalent in their region.
  • People living in the regions where there are poor conditions of sanitation and hygiene.
  • People whose houses are near places of stagnating water bodies.

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Prevention and Basic Care during Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

Just as is the case in all infectious diseases, malaria also can be prevented by taking the proper care and measures. The following guidelines must be followed:-

Do not allow water to stagnate anywhere. This is the way in which the Anopheles mosquito spreads. Water bodies should be sprayed with allowable mosquito repellant sprays. Keep in mind that the chemicals used do not harm the environment in any adverse way.

Keep your home airy and brightly lit. This is one way by which the mosquitoes are discouraged from entering your house.

While traveling to a tropical region, ask your doctor about anti-malarial medicines. There are no vaccines developed for malaria yet.

Wear full clothing while traveling in a tropical area. Long pants and full-sleeved shirts must be worn.

While sleeping, use mosquito repellants. But if you are allergic to the mosquito repellant, then you can use bed nets or mosquito nets.

Premethrin is an effective chemical in the removal of mosquitoes. This chemical is applied underneath the clothes. This helps in keeping mosquitoes away.

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Diet for People with Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

Malaria is a condition that requires extreme diet care. Since fever is one of the symptoms of the disease, it is absolutely vital to eat the right foods and avoid the wrong foods so as not to aggravate the fever.

The following is a list of dos and don’ts with respect to diet in malaria.

Do consume a light diet without much cooking and without much oil and spices.

Do include green leafy vegetables as a major part of your diet.

Do include protein foods as they provide the energy required for your body’s repair.

Do consume milk as it strengthens the body and provides a channel for the toxins to flush out of the body.

Do consume old rice instead of new rice.

Don’t consume a heavy meal that would take a long time to digest.

Don’t eat any lentils during malarial fevers. They take a long time to digest and also produce gas in the body; thus aggravating symptoms.

Don’t sleep immediately after consuming the food.

Don’t include any cold foods in the diet such as cucumber, orange, papaya, bananas, watermelons, etc.

Don’t consume any nuts during malarial fevers, especially groundnuts as they contain a lot of oil.

Don’t consume any spices or fatty foods.

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Ayurvedic Treatment of Malaria (Sheeta Jwara)

Malaria has been traditionally studied by Ayurveda since time immemorial. As a result, the proponents of Ayurveda have come up with a host of herbs that have amazing curative properties where malaria is concerned. The following is a list of these herbs with their actions on the human body.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Afsanthin

Artemisia absinthum

Wormwood

Wormwood is taken on a daily basis to reduce the symptoms of malarial fevers. But this herb should be prevented during pregnancy.

Amla or Amlaki

Emblica officinalis

Indian Gooseberry

Amla is an essential component of the Triphala Choorna, which is used for malaria patients. Amla is the richest source of vitamin C and so it helps to replenish the loss of this vitamin through the symptoms of malaria.

Kutki

Picrorrhiza kurroa

Picrorrhiza

The root of the picrorrhiza has beneficial effects in the treatment of malarial fevers.

Neem

Azadirachtha indica

Margosa Tree

The neem tree contains gedunin, which is as effective as the traditional cure of malaria, i.e. quinine. Neem is not only used in direct malarial treatment; it is also an ingredient of mosquito-repellant pills and other products which are quite effective.

Shikakai

Acacia concinna

Acacia

An infusion of the leaves of the shikakai tree is useful in reducing the fevers caused due to malaria.

The herbs mentioned above have been expertly mixed into preparations. These preparations contain just the right proportions of herbs so as not to produce major side effects. The following are some herbs that are effective in the treatment of malaria:-

Type of Preparation

Name of Preparation

Asava/Arishta

Rohitakarishta, Amrutharishta, Kutajarishta, Panchatiktarishta, Bhringaraaja Asava

Bhasma/Kashaya

Panchathikta, Bharangyadi Kashaya, Amla Tulsi Mooladi Kashaya, Vishmawarantaka, Swarna Bhasma, Rajata Bhasma, Abraka Bhasma

Choorna

Sudharshana Choorna, Amalakyadi Choorna, Rajanayadi Choorna

Ghrita

Dashamoola Shatpaala Ghrita, Indukanta Ghrita, Rohitakadi, Tikata Ghrita

Lehya

Vasava Lehya, Pancha Gavya, Pippaladi

Rasa

Rasa Praapti Rasa, Kumara Kalyana Rasa, Rajachandeshwara, Raambaana Rasa, Mruthyunjaya Rasa

Vati

Arogyavardhini, Aayush, Malleril, Jwarakusha, Sudarshana

It must be borne in mind that while taking any Ayurvedic preparation, the doctor must be consulted first. Most of the herbs do not have any side-effects (and are indeed a regular part of the diet), but some people may be allergic to certain herbs and may show adverse reactions.

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Comments

thanks for this much guidense
#1 - naveen - 09/01/2008 - 00:42
*really a nice article. thanks to gave a huge direction.*
#2 - PRIYANKA PATHAK - 06/23/2009 - 03:56
Thanks for educating. Most of the questions in mind are answered.
Datta
#3 - Datta - 09/07/2009 - 04:56
NICE INFORMATION FOR THE MALARIA EDUCTION
#4 - bhim - 01/27/2012 - 02:16
thanks alot...very informative
#5 - asif - 06/21/2012 - 11:11
Thank for vital information.
#6 - Abhinav - 07/09/2016 - 13:33
Good education. thank you
#7 - Manuel - 09/01/2017 - 22:41
Malaria is a serious and may be fatal in an ignored case.So be caustious if diagnosed malarial infection instantly with either with ayurvedic medicines or modern drugs.But according to my opinion, Allopathic drugs is far better than using any of Ayurvedic medicines.
www.allhealthclue.blogspot.com
#8 - RAJESH KUMAR - 10/05/2017 - 10:35
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