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Tuberculosis

General characteristics

General characteristics

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria, most commonly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection usually occurs on exposure to airborn bacteria resulting from coughing, sneezing or the sputum of a person with an active infection. The TB bacteria may enter the body and remain dormant (in these cases the bacteria is considered 'latent') or may develop into the disease state and become transmissible.

 

When the disease does become active (which may take weeks, months or even years to develop after initial exposure) in the lungs, symptoms can include a persistent cough, mucous and phlegm increase, streaks of blood in the phlegm, breathlessness, weight loss and reduced appetite, fever, night sweats, pain, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell.

 

Most people associate TB with the lungs but when general immunity and vitality is low, other parts of the body may become infected when the bacteria spreads throughout the circulation and settles in other parts of the body. Symptoms are then particular to the body system infected. For example infected lymph nodes produce pain and swelling in the lymph node sites (such as around the neck); infection in the bones and joints may produce pain, fragility, reduced movement and deformities in the bones or joints; infection of the digestive system includes symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and rectal bleeding; infection in the urinary system or reproductive system may produce symptoms such as blood in the urine, groin pain, burning with urination and increased need to urinate at night, obstruction of reproductive passages, erratic or absent menstruation and if scarring and blockage is complete, infertility; infection of the skin produces ulcerous like abscesses which do not heal but leave a scar.

When active, the TB bacteria eventually form into little clusters called 'tubercles'. This ultimately causes destruction of tissues leading to cavities and scarring, resulting in a decrease in functionality of the tissues or organs involved.

TB is notoriously difficult to treat, especially as some strains have developed increasing resistance to conventional treatments such as antibiotics.

Tuberculosis is a highly infectious notifiable disease and must be reported to a doctor or hospital.

Healing objectives include raising the immunity and vitality of the bodyand providing symptomatic relief for the tissues affected.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat a diet rich in organic fresh whole foods and avoid refined and processed foods wherever possble.

 

Eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, E and B12.

 

Include plenty of fresh raw garlic in the diet, either in capsules or added to meals.

 

Raw onions should also be eaten freely. Make a fresh onion salad by chopping one large onion, a handful of chopped fresh parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, a clove of freshly crushed garlic and a splash of olive oil.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Angelica sinensis (Chinese angelica or 'Dong quai') has shown possible therapeutic actions against the tuberculosis bacteria. Angelica root (Angelica archangelica) warms and clears congestion also.

A powerful boost to the immune system could include astragalus root, echinacea root, turmeric, garlic, liquorice (leave out liquorice if you have high blood pressure) and reishi mushroom powders in capsule form. Use equal parts of each herb and take a capsule 3 times daily. You could make the formula daily as a decoction (simmer with water for 20 minutes).

 

Irish moss can be added to formulas to provide nourishment to the body and for its overall beneficial action on the lungs.

 

Yarrow tea can be taken daily to assissst with TB in the kidneys and urinary system.

 

Ginkgo can be useful too.

 

Blue flag has a good reputation in the treatment of TB.

 

Boneset tea can give great relief ..... it boosts immunity, is decongestant and toning and strengthening to the mucous membranes in the respiratory passages.

 

Any of the herbs used for bronchitis can also help to strengthen and clean the lungs. Essential herbs include lobelia, white horehound, mullein leaves, elecampagne, comfrey leaf, thyme, ground ivy and liquorice root.

 

The roots of Salicornia brachiata (a form of samphire that grows around Indian salt marshes) is showing great promise as a cure for TB.

 

Sesamum indicatum (sesame), bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina), Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera), Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane), Allium sativum (garlic) and Amaranthus caudatus (green amaranth) have all shown promise in healing TB.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Inhale the essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint and thyme. Put 2-5 drops of each in a bowl of boiling water, cover the head and bowl with a towel to keep in the oils and inhale with the eyes closed. Do this every night and a few times throughout the day for a week or so. The oils will help to clear the lungs of mucous and weaken the bacterium.

 

Classic advise for TB sufferers are to get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, on a daily basis if possible. Fresh air benefits the lungs and respiratory passages and sunlight provides vitamin D. High quality cod liver oil and skate oil is also a good source of vitamin D.


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