Chikungunya

Natural Remedies for Chikungunya

chikungunya is a viral infection that is primarily spread by the Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

It is prevalent in Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

The symptoms of chikungunya start to appear three to seven days after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Symptoms may include a fever, joint pain, joint swelling, headaches, muscle pain, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Among all these symptoms, joint pain is one of the most prominent and painful. Patients may experience extreme joint pain, which can be almost unbearable and can persist for months or even longer.

There is no cure for this disease, and the after effects can be extremely troublesome. However, there are some natural remedies that are considered effective in managing chikungunya symptoms, especially joint pain. These are as follows:

1. Rest

The WHO recommends that getting proper rest is one of the best ways to help your body recover faster from this virus. Rest will help reduce soreness and inflammation, and give your body the needed time to heal.

  • Rest as much as possible and cut down on extended physical activities to prevent physical exhaustion.
  • Also, make sure that you get sufficient sleep, so that the body can relax and recover faster from joint pain.

 

 2. Diet with Alkaline

To reduce pain and improve your overall health, eat a well-balanced alkaline diet. Alkaline foods help maintain a proper pH level in the body, which is important for reducing pain and inflammation.

Alkaline diets: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.Some of the top picks include mushrooms, citrus, dates, raisins, spinach, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, summer black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheat grass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, green beans, endive, cabbage, celery, red beet, watermelon, figs and ripe bananas.

  • Take much fruits with  vitamin C, which means they are high in antioxidants.
  • Mix the juice of half a lemon in a cup of water. Drink it 2 or 3 times daily to boost your body’s alkalinity.
  • Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, which are high in vitamin E and iron content.
  • Drink 3 or 4 cups of green tea daily.
  • Avoid animal-based foods, sugar, processed foods, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and refined grains.

 

  3. Light Aerobic Exercise

 

light  aerobic exercise involving stretching and slow movements can help provide relief from the joint pain associated with Chikungunya.

Resting is important. But if you do not move around and just sit or lie in one place all the time, your joints will become stiffer and things will get even worse. By doing some light stretching and aerobic exercises, you can recover faster as well as reduce the pain.

Whenever you feel good, take a walk around your home. Walking is one of the best low-impact aerobic exercises.

Other than walking, elliptical, stair master and cycling machines can be used for low-impact aerobic exercise that does not involve aggressive movements or weights.

4.Garlic

Another effective home remedy for chikungunya is garlic. It is rich is anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system to fight off the virus .

The sulfur and selenium content in garlic is also beneficial for reducing joint pain. In addition, garlic alleviates inflammation, while improving circulation.

Fry 2 minced garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil until the garlic cloves turn black. Remove it from the heat and let the oil cool down. Massage the affected area with this oil, and leave it on for a couple of hours before washing it off. Do this twice daily.

Plus, include raw or cooked garlic in your diet. You can also consider taking garlic supplements, but consult your doctor first.

5.Ginger

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help pain and inflammation . Its potent compounds called gingerols alleviate pain.

Ginger improves blood circulation throughout the body and is an immune-boosting herb.

Drink ginger tea up to 3 times a day. To make the tea, boil 1 or 1½ cups of water, add 5 or 6 ginger slices to it and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink the tea while it is still warm.

6.Turmeric

Another highly effective home remedy to alleviate chikungunya  is turmeric. The curcumin in turmeric acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent to help deal with the pain.

Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of hot milk, and mix it well so that no lumps remain. Drink this while it is warm, twice daily.

7.Epsom Salt

Epsom salt soak can bring instant relief from pain. The magnesium sulfate crystals help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Furthermore, the heat of the warm water promotes relaxation and improves blood circulation in the body.

Mix 1 cup each of Epsom salt and baking sodai nto a bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Soak your body in this soothing water for 15 minutes. Enjoy this bath every other day.

For local pain, fill a bowl with some warm water and mix in 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt. Soak the affected area in it for 5 minutes. Do it 4 or 5 times throughout the day.

Furthermore:

  • Avoid going  to places where there is news of a chikungunya outbreak. Mosquitoes transmit the virus by feeding on an infected person and passing the virus on when they bite an uninfected person.
  • Wear full shirts and long pants to protect your body as much as possible from mosquitoes.
  • Use a mosquito net at night to protect yourself from mosquitoes while sleeping.
  • Keep your house as well as nearby areas clean and hygienic. Do not allow any stagnant water to remain for too long.
  • Capsaicin creams can also be used to reduce pain.
  • Papaya leaf can be made into a tea and consumed 2 or 3 times a day to fight mosquito-borne viruses.

References: 

https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/symptoms/index.html
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1357272508002550