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Malaria

General characteristics

General characteristics

Malaria is a disease spread by the female Anopheles sundacious mosquito. There are around 430 genus of Anopheles mosquito, about 30-40 types are actually capable of spreading it to humans. These particular mosquitoes can be identified by their tendency to hold the bottom end of their abdomen high in the air while resting, other mosquitoes hold their abdomens parallel to the surface they are resting on. Contrary to popular opinion, malaria carrying mosquitoes can survive both low temperatures and high altitudes but are usually killed with freezing temperatures.
Malaria in humans can be caused by several types of parasite, namely Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovala and P. malariae. Many other types of malaria causing parasites exist but most use other animals, such as primates, as their hosts and are not known to cause malaria in humans. Malaria can also be transmitted via infected syringes, blood transfusions and from mother to foetus.
The life cycle of the malaria causing parasite begins when blood infected with immature parasitic cells (sporozoites) are passed to the human via the mosquito bite. The parasitic cells reach the liver and begin to divide and multiply into a more mature form of the parasite which targets and invades the humans red blood cells. Once inside the red blood cells the parasitic cells further divide and mature until the red blood cell ruptures and the parasitic organisms spill into the blood stream. At this stage the body will experience the common flu like symptoms of malaria such as fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue. Not all of the red blood cells containing parasitic cells rupture and this allows some of the cells to become sexually differentiated into male and female cells. If a mosquito bites at this stage it will ingest the male and female cells into its body where they develop inside the mosquito into the form (sporozoites) that is readily passed back into the next human host. The parasites life cycle is thus continued.
Symptoms of malarial infection can appear within a few weeks of an infected bite but can take up to 6 months to develop, or in some cases up to a year or more depending on the strain of parasite. Relapses are possible also as the parasite can remain dormant in the body for some time. Malaria can present as a mild flu like illness or be more severe and debilitating. Complications can involve the lungs, brain, blood and kidneys leading to jaundice, loss of consciousness and bleeding.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Adding turmeric to your daily diet (or taken in capsule form) may help to both prevent and lessen the severity of malarial attacks.

The seeds of the pawpaw or papaya fruit are known to help prevent malaria. Taken daily, just a few seeds have proved preventative for some people who live in areas where malarial infection is common. 4 seeds taken morning, afternoon and evening will help to kill off the parasite. They work for many other types of parasite also.

Eat plenty of fresh whole foods and avoid junk and processed foods wherever possible for a few months before exposure to malarial mosquitoes and when travelling to help to build vitality and strength within the whole body.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Neem leaves are a common anti-malarial favourite of people living in malaria infested parts for both the prevention and treatment. Brew a tea daily of the leaves.

The herb Artemesai annnua (or sweet Annie) is showing good promise as an anti-malarial. Take 5g of the dried herb and pour on a litre of boiling water. Drink the tea throughout the day to help to kill off the malarial parasites.

A tea made from equal parts of yarrow, nettle and boneset can be taken to help to treat malaria. Use a heaped teaspoon of the mix per cup, 3 cups daily.

Due to its tonic action on the spleen and its role in combating parasites and infectious diseases, barberry root tincture could be added to herbal teas or taken alone as a tincture in a little water. Use up to 10 drops 3 times daily alongside other treatments.

A few drops of blue flag tincture added to herb teas may also be useful.

Black cohosh root is a traditional remedy for malaria used by many native American peoples.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Essential oils such as clove oil, eucalyptus, and other strong smelling oils can be added to a base of sandalwood oil to help deter and repel mosquitoes from biting. The sandalwood oil helps to stabilise and fix the oils to your skin for longer periods.

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