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Glandular fever

General characteristics

General characteristics

Glandular fever (also known as mononucleosis) is presumed to be caused by infection with a strain of the herpes virus called the Epstein-Barr virus as this virus is found in the blood of sufferers when tested. It is sometimes called the kissing disease as it is spread via saliva and nasal secretions and is more common in those aged between 15 and 25. It is thought, by natural healers, to be an opportunistic virus that is greatly linked to stress.
Symptoms include sore throat, swollen neck, jaw and armpit glands, fever, malaise, tiredness, a desperate need to sleep, headache, aching muscles and redness and soreness in the mouth and throat. Most symptoms will go after a few weeks but the tiredness can last for several months.
Healing objectives are to increase the amount of b vitamins in the diet, raise vitality and reduce stress through good diet and herbal tonics and to relieve the unpleasant symptoms.
See also Glands (swollen) for more ideas on how to ease symptoms.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Include plenty of foods rich in the B vitamins (particularly B12) such as marmite and yeast extracts, wholegrains, dark leafy vegetables, oily fish, broccoli, cabbage, sprouted seeds and grains and legumes. A good bowl of homemade muesli including wholegrains (go heavy on the oats), dried fruit and berries and a teaspoon of wheatgerm powder will provide B vitamins and give steady energy until lunchtime.

Avoid starchy foods, refined carbohydrates and sugary junk foods.

Garlic, onions, chilli, ginger, mustard, horseradish and other warming foods will increase circulation, and help raise immunity.

Take a teaspoon of manuka honey twice daily.

Drink plenty of water, herb teas and fresh fruit or vegetable juices.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Elderberry and echinacea root are excellent at fighting the infection and helping to raise vitality. Make a syrup by simmering 25g each of the dried herbs in a pint (500ml) of water for 20 minutes. Leave to cool then strain and pour the liquid into a measuring jug, squeezing the herbs hard to extract all the herbal juice. Add an equal amount of vegetable glycerin and store in a bottle in a dark place. Take a teaspoon of the syrup 3 times daily until the symptoms have gone, for up to a month.

A few drops of blue flag tincture in water 3 times daily can help to ease the congestion in the glands and provide a boost to the immune system. Figwort can also be very useful for easing congestion and pain.

Cleavers tea will also help to ease the congestion in the glands by cleansing the lymph nodes and encouraging proper fluid flow.

Elderflower, yarrow and boneset tea can be taken to relieve fever and aches and pains. Use equal parts of each herb and use a teaspoon per cup, 3 cups a day during the first few weeks of infection.

Siberian ginseng is a herb that helps the body and mind to cope with the physiological effects of stress. Take a teaspoon of the tincture 3 times daily until completely recovered.

Angelica root is warming, stimulating, dispersing and can also help fight infection. Add a teaspoon to the elderflower, yarrow and boneset tea for example.

Add a generous pinch of chilli/cayenne to herbal teas or tincture doses to help bring rapid relief.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Sea green such as algae, seaweeds and algaes can provide excellent nutrition for convalescence.
Get plenty of rest. If sleep is a problem try some of the herbs for insomnia such as valerain, passionflower, jamaican dogwood, hops and chamomile in tincture or tea form.

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