It is also known as breakbone fever – with typical symptoms being fever, headache, rashes, and muscle and joint pains, a healthy person’s immune system usually has no problems fighting the virus off.
The problem comes when dengue haemorrhagic fever develops.
This extreme form of the illness causes severe bleeding due to “leaky” blood vessels and delay in blood-clotting caused by low levels of platelets, which are essential in forming blood clots.
According to the WHO, an average of about 2.5% of those who develop dengue haemorrhagic fever die.
This number can exceed 20% in cases with no proper treatment, while the risk of death in those who receive the proper supportive treatment is less than 1%.
There is no cure for dengue, nor is there any vaccine for it, although there are several research teams currently working on one.
The main method of controlling this disease is via prevention; for example, ensuring that there is no stagnant water or any container where water can pool in around, fogging, using mosquito nets and repellent, and covering up or staying indoors at dawn and dusk when the Aedes mosquitoes are most active.
Medical management of dengue is purely supportive, with maintenance of the body’s fluid balance being the key objective, whether via oral rehydration therapy, intravenous fluid replacement, or in the worst-case scenario, blood transfusion.
With no definitive treatment from modern medicine available, it is not surprising that many have turned to alternative therapies for relief.
Papaya leaf juice
This is probably the most well-known alternative treatment for dengue.
Several small scientific studies have been carried out in dengue-endemic countries like India and Malaysia, looking into the efficacy of this herbal remedy.
While the results cannot be said to be definitive, due to their small study size, they are certainly promising.
The main effect of this juice lies in raising the level of platelets in dengue patients – a critical aspect of this viral infection.
One study, conducted by the Institute for Medical Research and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang, Selangor, reported that patients given papaya leaf juice showed a significant rise in their platelet levels 40 hours after first receiving the juice, compared to patients in the control group who were only on standard supportive therapy.
The open-label randomised controlled trial, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine last year, had a total of 228 participants recruited from the hospital’s dengue ward, divided almost equally between the control group and the juice group.
The patients in the juice group took the pure fresh juice extracted from 50gm of clean papaya leaves of the sekaki variety once daily for three consecutive days.
Pharmacist and holistic medicine practitioner Datuk Dr Rajen M adds that a blend of raw young papaya and papaya leaves made into a juice, taken two to three times a day, is one of the alternative therapies for dengue in Ayurvedic medicine.
He notes that consuming papaya in general is safe, and taking it does not contradict medical advice.
This hairy herb is commonly used in the Philippines as an alternative treatment for dengue fever.
Also known as gatas-gatas or by its scientific name Euphorbia hirta, it is said to increase the platelet levels in dengue patients.
A 2012 animal study conducted by pharmacy students from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, showed that a decoction of tawa-tawa did indeed increase platelet levels and decrease bleeding time in rats with induced thrombocytopenia (i.e. an abnormally low platelet level).
The Philippine’s Department of Science and Technology is currently researching the effect of this plant on dengue fever, and have stated their concern over possible toxicity resulting from overdosing on tawa-tawa.
Meanwhile, Philippine Star columnist Dr Willie T Ong said in a 2009 article that Filipino doctors in general allow dengue patients to take tawa-tawa as long as they clear it with them first.
He also explained how to prepare the herb: “Take five whole tawa-tawa plants. Cut off the roots, then wash and clean.
“Boil tawa-tawa in a pot of clean water. Pour the liquid and then let cool. Sip one glass three to four times a day.”
Traditional Chinese medicine
Inti International University Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine director and head of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) programme Dr Yong Kian Fui says that there is no cure for dengue fever in TCM either, and treatment is usually supportive based on the stage of the disease.
The acupuncturist and Chinese physician notes that because of the vague symptoms of dengue fever, most people are only diagnosed with the disease about four days after their fever starts.
TCM therapy at that stage consists of a herbal concoction based on the formulation called qin wen bai tu san.
“This helps to clear the plaque and detox the body,” he says.
Patients have to take one dose daily for three days. If their platelet levels are still low by the end of that period, Dr Yong says they would be referred to the hospital for further management.
He adds that he personally also prescribes a bitter gourd and meat soup, which should be double-boiled for two hours.
While the meat can be from any animal, including fish, it is crucial that the seeds in the bitter gourd must be included in the soup.
“According to TCM theory, bitter gourd is used to clear ‘fire’ and to detox the body.
“The meat neutralises the bitter gourd, so that it doesn’t become too ‘cooling’.”
Dr Rajen explains that there are four ways to treat dengue patients according to Ayuverdic medicine.
Two methods are targeted at boosting the patient’s blood production and providing an antiviral effect: the papaya fruit and leaf juice mix mentioned earlier, and juice made from pegaga leaves, also known as India pennywort or Centella asiatica.
According to Dr Rajen, one dose of the pegaga juice is the amount obtained from juicing one handful of leaves.
The other two treatments are mainly applied for their general antiviral properties.
One is cow or goat colostrum, which can be drunk as often as desired. Colostrum is the first secretion from the animal’s mammary glands before the milk comes out.
What are the Ayurvedic, Natural, Home remedies for dengue?
Neem leaves, Neem Oil are a great purifying agent and should be applied on a damp warm cloth in dosages of between 15 to 60 grammes 2-3 times daily. It should be noted that usage should be restricted in both males and females seeking pregnancy.
Drink as much water as you can in order to replace fluid loss. It will also help to bring down body temperature.
Avoid eating solid foods until the fever is gone. You can replace the foods by drinking plenty of distilled water and/or juices.
The leaves of the coriander can be taken in the form of a tonic to reduce the fevers in dengue.
Kakamachi is syrup like product that can be consumed as a soothing, cooling drink that can expel negative toxins such as those that build up during an attack of dengue from the digestive system and ultimately purify it. A cup twice daily is the recommended dosage.
Fruits rich in vitamin C like amla (embellica officinalis) are advised as vitamin C helps in better absorption of iron.
Chyavanprash can be taken as it is an immunobooster, blood purifier and increases blood count.
Hogweed is used to bring down temperatures. Hogweed produces plenty of perspiration which flushes the toxins and brings the fever down.
The seeds of hermal are powdered and taken as either an infusion or as a decoctin to treat intermittent and recurrent fevers that are observed in dengue.
Boiled tulsi that is basil leaves served in a warm drink like tea can help prevent an outbreak of dengue. This bitter and pungent herb has all the properties that strengthen the internal system against fever.
10-15 basil leaves should be chewed twice a day or these can be boiled in 200ml water on low heat. When half the quantity is left it can be taken 2-3 times a day. This strengthens the body’s defence mechanism.
Mix 360 mg of Shunthi Churna with 125 mg of Hinguleshwar and now take this mixture at least 4 times daily, you may take with tea or hot water. If case the temperature of the patient rises beyond 104°F (40°C), then you may apply cold pad, on the forehead till the temperature subsides.
.Papaya juice is a natural cure for dengue fever. The juice of Papaya leaf is a sure cure for platellete deficiency
Two raw papaya leaves are pounded, and they are squeezed with a cloth to strain and filter the juice. Usually, one leaf gives one tablespoonful of juice and two tablespoonfuls of p-juice is sufficient for a day. To preserve its strength, the juice should be taken raw, without altering, boiling or any additions. No saps nor stems of the papaya leaf should be included-only the leaf should be crushed. The powerful ‘Papain’ enzyme in the papaya leaf has the ability to dissolve proteins and is already used for indigestion and stomach inflammation while another enzyme from the papaya leaf, ‘Chymopapain’ is used successfully in spinal treatment
Use Tulasi leaf ten pieces and one black pepper. This should be the proportion. Grind it and make pea size pills, use it with water
The root of the cassia tree is used as a tonic for reducing dengue fever.
Chirayata has tremendous medicinal properties in the reduction of fevers. It is used for remedying the convulsions that accompany fevers in dengue.
Dhatura is the Ayurvedic version of the belladonna. Its leaves have potency in reducing the seriousness of the dengue fevers. However, the dosage must not exceed 2 decigrams, or it will lead to severe negative symptoms
An infusion of the Indian mallow is used as an efficacious treatment for reducing the dengue fevers.
Fenugreek leaves are taken as herbal tea in order to reduce fevers. This drink acts as a soothing and cleansing tea for the human system.
Bloodwort is a traditionally used remedy for all types of fevers in Ayurvedic medicine. Bloodwort when used in the form of a hot infusion brings out sweat, which expels the toxins from the body and reduces the fever.
Devil’s tree is used in for the treatment of recurrent fevers as is seen in dengue. The herb is analogous in function to cinchona and quinine.
To increase the blood count pomegranate juice/ black grape juice should be given.
The orange juice helps with digestion, increased urinary output, promotes antibodies for faster healing and recovery.
25.Try Home remedies for one or two days only Always visit doctor and consult him