Natural or ayurvedic remedies can work as an adjunct therapy against typhoid – provided your doctor is in the know. Ayurvedic formulations such as triphala churna, mahasudarshan churna, and manjistadi churna and herbs like bael, shalmali, nutmeg, kurchi, and arjuna can work against the typhoid bacteria. Control fever with lukewarm baths and fend off dehydration by sipping on coconut water, soups, and a home-made oral rehydration solution. Eat well, fortifying yourself with wholegrain porridges and lentil soups.
Typhoid fever is a serious bacterial infection commonly found in developing countries. The majority of cases in the United States are brought in from places where it is common. When you get typhoid, you initially experience abdominal pain, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell. As the condition progresses, you may have a high temperature and severe diarrhea. You’ll also see symptoms like chills, fatigue, nosebleeds, blood in your stool, and red spots on your chest and stomach.
Once Salmonella typhi enters your digestive system, it quickly multiplies, triggering symptoms. And if it’s not treated properly, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause fatal complications. Without proper treatment, this infection kills up to 20% of people who are affected.
Typhoid is usually spread through the fecal matter of a person who’s infected. The bacteria may also be present in the urine. Food or water contaminated by fecal matter with Salmonella typhi usually transmits the infection to anyone who consumes it. So how do you treat this dangerous illness?
Typhoid Needs To Be Treated Swiftly
Typically, you experience an improvement in symptoms within about 2 to 3 days of starting medication. But it’s extremely important to complete the entire course to fully clear the bacteria from your body.
Caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria, typhoid can be fatal if not dealt with promptly. Fortunately, it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. Since certain strains of the bacteria that cause it have become resistant to some antibiotics, your doctor may test blood, urine, or stool samples to identify the strain of bacteria that you’ve been infected with before prescribing an appropriate antibiotic.
In severe cases, where you experience symptoms like a swollen abdomen, severe diarrhea, or persistent vomiting, you may need to be admitted to the hospital. Surgery may also be required in case you develop potentially fatal complications like the splitting of a part of your digestive system or internal bleeding.
Sometimes, people who have been treated for typhoid can experience symptoms again. This typically happens around a week after treatment has been completed and symptoms generally tend to be milder the second time around. It’s important to see your doctor if symptoms return. Antibiotics are usually prescribed again to clear the infection.
Natural Remedies Can Be An Adjunct Therapy
Traditional medical disciplines like ayurveda have used natural and herbal remedies to treat diseases like typhoid since ancient times. And some of these remedies do show activity against the typhoid bacteria in research studies. However, they may not be as effective or swift in action as antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Also, some herbal remedies can interact unfavorably with conventional medicines, so it’s important to check with your doctor even if you want to use herbal medication to supplement conventional treatment.
Consider Herbal Remedies And Ayurvedic Churnas To Fight The Infection
It is important to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner who can guide you on the right formulations and the dosage. And don’t forget to keep your doctor in the know.
Studies have found that medicinal plants used in ayurveda like bael (Aegle marmelos), shalmali (Salmalia malabarica), pomegranate (Punica granatum), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica), and arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) are active against some strains of Salmonella typhi that are resistant to multiple drugs. Ayurveda also uses combinations of plants in formulations to increase the potency and spectrum of their antibacterial activity. The following churnas combine powerful herbs and can especially be considered for use.
Triphala churna is a powdered mixture of three myrobalans – amalaki (Emblica officinalis), bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and haritaki (Terminalia chebula). It is an important medicinal formulation in ayurveda that is used for various disorders, including the treatment of fever. And according to research, it demonstrates antibacterial activity against Salmonella typhi.
Another medicinal formulation made of haritaki (Terminalia chebula), castor oil plant (Ricinus communis), ginger (Zingiber officinale), rock salt, and long pepper (Piper longum), haritaki churna also exhibits antibacterial properties against Salmonella typhi. Studies have also shown that haritaki, the principal component of this formulation, works well against the bacteria.
Mahasudarshan churna is considered to be useful in treating infectious diseases like typhoid fever as well as intestinal infections and fights the Salmonella typhi bacteria. It consists of amalaki (Emblica officinalis), bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), haritaki (Terminalia chebula), turmeric (Curcurma longa), Indian barberry (Berberis aristata), kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), long pepper (Piper longum), black pepper (Piper nigrum), dhamasa (Fagonia arabica), kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa), and kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica).
Manjistadi churna is useful in treating fever and works as a blood purifier, aside from showing antibacterial activity against Salmonella typhi. It consists of beneficial plants like Indian madder (Rubia cordifolia), haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Damask rose (rosa damascene), morning glory (ipomoea), and senna (cassia angustifolia).
Along with herbal remedies, some simple steps at home can ease your discomfort and set you on the route to recovery
Have A Lukewarm Bath To Cool Down Fever
A tepid bath can help cool you down if you have a fever and make you feel more comfortable. But remember not to use ice, cold baths, or alcohol rubs to cool yourself. While these can certainly cool your skin, they may cause shivering, which will actually raise your core body temperature.
Also, don’t try to eliminate the fever entirely. An increase in temperature is actually your body’s way of fighting an infection as most germs which cause infections tend to thrive at a normal body temperature of 98.6°F.
Maintain A Comfortable Temperature At Home
If you have fever, it’s important to stay in a room that’s neither too hot nor too cold. Try to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. A fan can be helpful if you find that it’s too stuffy or hot. Also, don’t bundle yourself up. A layer of light clothing and a light blanket to cover you should be enough. If you’re overdressed or in a place that’s too warm, it could cause your body temperature to go up even further.7
Have Lots Of Fluids To Fend Off Dehydration
Dehydration is a real danger if you have typhoid because of the loss of fluids through vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure you keep sipping on fluids to avoid dehydration. You don’t have to stick to plain old water. Try nourishing soups and coconut water to stay hydrated.
Have An Oral Rehydration Solution If You’re Dehydrated
Darker colored urine and thirst are two early signs that indicate dehydration. If you get dehydrated you need to take immediate steps to replenish lost fluids and minerals. Oral rehydration solution products can help you do this. These solutions have a mix of sodium salts, potassium salts, and starch or glucose which help balance your body fluids.
Avoid fruit juices, particularly in the case of babies, as this can make diarrhea or vomiting worse.
You can also make an oral rehydration solution at home by mixing 6 six level teaspoons of sugar and ½ a level teaspoon of salt in a liter of clean drinking water. Sip small amounts frequently if large amounts of fluids make you feel like throwing up. If you’re extremely dehydrated you might need to be given fluids intravenously at the hospital.
Eat Well To Help Your Body Fight Infection
You may not feel like it, but you must have regular meals to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs to fight infection. If the thought of three large square meals a day is too daunting, try to have smaller but more frequent meals. You may also find it easier to have soft, bland foods. Porridges or gruel made of cereal and lentil soups can be good for you at this time.
Get The All-Clear Before Going Back To Your Routine
After your symptoms ease off, you need to get your stool tested again to make sure that the bacteria has cleared from your body. If the test shows the presence of Salmonella typhi, you may need further treatment with antibiotics. Do wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and take care not to handle other people’s food till your doctor certifies that you’re free of typhoid to avoid infecting others. Also, keep in mind that you may be legally required to stay away from the workplace till you’re medically cleared if you work in areas that involve handling food or caring for children.