You or someone you know may have had malaria at least once in their lives. Continue reading to learn how to manage this illness.
Malaria is a common but serious infection that is spread through mosquito bites. It is a common occurrence in hot and humid climates. Most of the cases occur in Africa and South Asia. Malaria is spread by a parasite rather than a virus or bacteria like most other diseases. The mosquito bite injects the parasite into your bloodstream, making you infected. Malaria treatment requires timely medical intervention. If not treated properly, malaria can have serious consequences causing brain damage, seizures, trouble breathing, organ failure, and ultimately death.1
Certain herbs and remedies may give you relief from malaria symptoms. However, these herbs should not be used as an alternative to medicinal treatment. So, you are advised to talk to your healthcare provider and make well-informed choices.
What Causes Malaria:
Malaria starts with the malarial parasite entering your body. The malarial parasite is transmitted through a mosquito bite. When a mosquito bites someone who has malaria, it gets infected. And when that mosquito bites someone else, it transfers the parasite to that person.1
- In some cases, pregnant women may transfer malaria to their children.
- You may get malaria through blood transfusions, organ transplants and hypodermic needles.1
Symptoms of Malaria:
The symptoms of malaria don’t show up until 10 days to a month has passed after the person gets infected. If you are suffering from malaria, you might experience symptoms like:
- Fever and Chills
- Nausea and vomiting
- Headache and muscle ache
- Chest pain1,2
Depending on the malarial parasite that has infected you, your symptoms can be mild or severe. If your symptoms worsen, you may experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and anaemia.1
Also Read: Home Remedies For Flu By Dr. Rajeev Singh
Home Remedies for Malaria:
There are some herbs and remedies that you can make use of to relieve malaria symptoms and recover quickly. However, do not use these herbs as an alternative to standard medical treatment. Instead, talk to your healthcare provider before you try out any home remedy for malaria.
People suffering from malaria may experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Several clinical studies show that ginger may be effective against these symptoms.3 Ginger tea is a famous recipe effective in many conditions. You can make ginger tea by boiling some freshly crushed ginger with a glass of water. Ginger tea goes well with some lemon juice or a spoonful of honey.
Curcumin which is the main ingredient of turmeric, has shown antimalarial activity against malaria-causing pathogens according to animal studies. Therefore, turmeric may help those suffering from malaria recover fast.4 There are many ways to use turmeric. You can put turmeric in a glass of warm milk to get the benefits. You can also put turmeric in your foods and dishes.
Cinnamon is a common kitchen spice with many beneficial properties. For example, in several labs and animal studies, Cinnamon has shown inhibitory action against malaria-causing pathogens.5 You can add cinnamon powder to your herbal teas. You can also take the cinnamon powder with a glass of warm water. You can also add a pinch of powdered black pepper and honey to enhance the taste.
Tulsi is a famous herb used in the ayurvedic system of medicine. Tulsi is known to exert many health effects. The antimalarial activity of tulsi is very well documented in many scientific studies. Tulsi may also boost the immune response against infective pathogens.6 You can make tulsi tea by boiling fresh tulsi leaves in water. Strain this mixture in a cup and your tulsi tea is ready. You can add a drop of lemon juice or honey for additional taste.
Neem has been used against malaria for centuries. Compounds present in neem have shown effectiveness against malarial parasites. Using neem leaves or drinking neem tea may also reduce the chances of contracting malaria. Neem may also help lower the fever and boost the immune system to fasten the recovery.7 You can drink neem tea or chew fresh neem leaves to get its antimalaria effects. To make neem tea, boil a glass of water. Add some neem leaves to the boiling water. Let it steep for a while. Strain the mixture into a cup. You can flavour it with honey and your tea is ready to serve.
Guduchi juice may help boost immunity and help fight off infections. The immunity-boosting property of guduchi has been observed in lab trials.8 You can make guduchi juice at home. First, take fresh guduchi, and peel off the skin. Next, chop it into pieces and add a glass of water. You can blend this mixture into a fine consistency. Strain the blend into a cup and your guduchi juice is ready to drink.
7. Coconut water
People have been drinking coconut water to feel refreshed and energized. Intake of coconut water may help maintain fluid balance in the body. You can drink coconut water to prevent the dehydration induced by vomiting during malaria.8
8. Krishna musali
Krishna musali, also called golden eye grass in English, is a medicinal herb with many beneficial properties. The dried rhizome of this plant is known to boost immunity and protect against diseases. You can consume Krishna musali powder with a glass of milk for a speedy recovery.8 Though studies show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies in malaria, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies against malaria. Thus, these should only be taken cautiously and never as a substitute for medical treatment.
When to Seek Medical Help:
You need to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as you experience any symptoms of malaria. An early diagnosis and treatment for malaria can help you recover quickly.1
You must not rely on home remedies alone for the treatment of malaria. You should consult a qualified doctor for any advice if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.
Malaria is a common but serious condition needing timely medical intervention for the patient to avoid severe health complications like brain damage and death. There are several herbal remedies that you can make use of at home to help with the symptoms and speed up your recovery. Some common kitchen herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, tulsi, neem and ginger may be an effective remedy for malaria. However, you are advised to reach out to your healthcare provider and not rely on home remedies alone. Avoid using any natural remedies for malaria without first consulting your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the home remedies for malaria?
There are some common herbs that you can use at home to help you with symptoms of malaria and its recovery. Herbs like tulsi, neem, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, guduchi and krishna musali may be used to relieve malaria symptoms.3–8 However, you are advised not to use these herbs as a substitute for standard medical treatment. Use these herbs after consulting your healthcare provider.
Can I treat malaria at home?
There are herbs you may use at home to relieve your symptoms and speed up your recovery process. 3–8 However, herbs cannot substitute for a proper medical treatment and you will need help from a qualified doctor to treat your malaria completely.1
Can malaria cause death?
Malaria, if not treated properly, can lead to severe health complications like brain damage, organ failure and even death.1 Therefore, you are advised to seek medical help if you experience any symptoms of malaria.
Can I use neem for malaria treatment?
There are many reported properties of neem that may help with malaria. It may boost the immune system, reduce fever and act against malarial parasites. These properties may help to manage symptoms and promote recovery.7 However, you should consult your healthcare provider if you experience any signs of malaria. Do not use neem without prior consultation from a healthcare professional as it may worsen the situation.
1. Cleveland Clinic. Malaria: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 14]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15014-malaria
2. Better Health Channel. Malaria [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 14]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/malaria
3. Ali BH, Blunden G, Tanira MO, Nemmar A. Some phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): a review of recent research. Food Chem Toxicol [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2022 Jul 10];46(2):409–20. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17950516/
4. Nandakumar DN, Nagaraj VA, Vathsala PG, Rangarajan P, Padmanaban G. Curcumin-Artemisinin Combination Therapy for Malaria. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy [Internet]. 2006 May [cited 2022 Jul 15];50(5):1859. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16641461/
5. Parvazi S, Sadeghi S, Azadi M, Mohammadi M, Arjmand M, Vahabi F, et al. The Effect of Aqueous Extract of Cinnamon on the Metabolome of Plasmodium falciparum Using 1HNMR Spectroscopy. Journal of Tropical Medicine [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Jul 15];2016. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745969/
6. Cohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine [Internet]. 2014 Oct 1 [cited 2022 Jul 15];5(4):251. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
7. The neem tree, a wonder tool against Malaria [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 15]. Available from: https://www.fawco.org/global-issues/environment/environment-articles/289-the-neem-tree-a-wonder-tool-against-malaria
8. Ayush Division. Ayurveda offering Herbal healing. Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.