Papaya leaves – The best natural remedy for dengue fever, dosage, who should not use the preparation  |  Photo Credit: Getty Images
- Research has shown that papaya leaves may be effective in treating dengue fever
- Many states across India, including Delhi, are seeing a sharp rise in cases of dengue and other vector-borne diseases
New Delhi: Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has rapidly spread in many parts of the world. The disease can cause flu-like symptoms and, in severe cases, can damage the lungs, liver or heart, leading to death. There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but early diagnosis and access to proper medical care can reduce the fatality rates below 1 per cent, says the WHO. Meanwhile, there are certain home remedies that people can use to relieve the symptoms of dengue fever. One such popular natural remedy that’s being widely used is papaya leaves. In fact, research has shown that papaya leaves may be effective in treating dengue fever.
Currently, many states across India, including the National Capital, are seeing a rise in the number of people suffering from dengue and other vector-borne diseases. The latest municipal report on vector-borne diseases showed that at least 22 dengue cases and 51 malaria cases have been reported in Delhi this year till June. As dengue cases continue to rise in many cities, let us take a look at how people can use papaya leaves to fight this debilitating disease.
Papaya leaves: The best home remedy for dengue fever?
A number of studies published in the journal Annals of Medical and Health Science Research reported that papaya leaf extract can help treat dengue fever. For instance, in one of those studies based in Sri Lanka, the researchers found that dengue patients who were administered 2 doses of papaya leaf extract at intervals of 8 hours experienced a significant increase in platelet count and total white blood cell count.
A in the BMJ stated that a large amount of biomedical research has been done on the effects of Carica papaya leaf extract in dengue fever, including randomised control clinical trials. It said that no significant adverse effects were reported following this treatment and toxicology studies ruled out any toxic effects even at higher doses. The report in the journal added that the research has found many beneficial effects of Carica papaya leaf extract, including a reduction in the duration of fever, hospital stay, and most importantly fluid leak and the conversion of dengue fever to dengue haemorrhagic fever.
Experts have also found that consuming green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and other immune-boosting foods can be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of dengue.
How to prepare and use papaya leaves for dengue fever treatment
- Wash the papaya leaves thoroughly with running tap water and chop it into small pieces – you can exclude the main stem.
- Take some 50g of papaya leaves, 50ml of boiled cool water and 25g of sugar. Put all of these ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind them well until a uniform pulp is made.
- Mix this pulp properly and keep it for about 30 minutes.
- Now, squeeze this pulp by your hand to extract the juice.
- This preparation can be stored in the lower compartment of the refrigerator (+4 oC) for 24 hours.
- Make sure that you shake the bottle well before taking the preparation.
It is said that the preparation can be taken at any stage of the fever, although consuming it from the first day of fever can help yield optimal results.
According to the guidelines given in the BMJ, the preparation could be used as syrup- 30ml three times a day before meals for an adult and 5-10ml three times a day for a child until the patient has fully recovered from the illness. Stopping the treatment halfway is not advisable.
A word of caution: Seek immediate help from an allopathic doctor if you suspect you’re suffering from dengue fever. This preparation should be used in addition to the usual dengue management. Also, you should avoid taking papaya leaf extract if you’re allergic to papaya. It may be noted that there’s some confusion around eating papaya while pregnant, so, if you’re pregnant or planning for a pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about nutrition, including foods to eat and avoid.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
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