The chikungunya infection is not only a severe illness but can also result in long-term effects on the body that can last for years. Therefore, it is extremely important to be able to recognize the symptoms quickly and respond effectively with proven remedies.
What is Chikungunya?
There are many diseases that can be contracted through mosquito bites, and chikungunya is one of them. This viral infection presents with a fever and “moderate to severe” joint pain, usually 2-4 days after first being exposed to the virus (e.g., being bitten by a mosquito). Along with the joint pain and inflammation, most people who contract this infection will have a rash that often appears on the extremities. Chikungunya can be passed between a number of different species, which is different from many other mosquito-borne infectious diseases and is, therefore, more common. Two species of mosquito are directly associated with passing the infection to humans – Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti Fortunately, only 1 in 1000 cases end up being fatal, but it can still take a serious toll on your body. Very young infants, as well as the very old and infirm, are the most likely to suffer complications from the infection.
Outbreaks of the infection have occurred in parts of Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and it can be hard to control this infection, as there is no known treatment, per se. The best approach for handling mosquito-borne diseases is prevention, through the use of mosquito nets and other common strategies for supportive care. Although the infection isn’t considered very dangerous, it can be quite painful, and can also have long-term effects. Recent research has shown that chronic exposure to this infection can result in arthritis and ongoing musculoskeletal pain. The acute onset of a high fever and severe joint pain are both good indicators that you have contracted chikungunya; fortunately, there are a number of natural and home remedies that you can turn to for relief from this common infection.
Home Remedies for Chikungunya
One of the most basic ways to remedy the problem of chikungunya, particularly in an area where an outbreak of the infection has occurred, is to put up mosquito netting. This can keep you safe from mosquito bites while you’re sleeping, which is very important. It’s much easier to defend against mosquito bites during the day when you’re awake, but mosquito netting should be your first line of defense at night.
Although grapes are rather common fruits, they happen to possess a number of antioxidants and organic compounds in their skin that can have a positive effect on your immune system. The tannins found in grapes can help to neutralize free radicals and stimulate the immune system to fight back against the infection, reducing the duration of the illness.
Oranges, pineapples, lemons, limes and other fruits that contain high levels of citric acid have long been known as natural remedies for chikungunya. The vitamins and nutrients found in citrus fruits are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in nature, meaning that this remedy will not only treat the symptoms of this infection, namely joint pain, but also treat the underlying infection to speed the healing process.
Of all the spices that have fallen into the realm of natural healing, turmeric ranks near the top in terms of strength and efficacy. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant that can stimulate the body’s defenses against the chikungunya virus. Furthermore, it has measurable anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve the often severe joint pain that accompanies this infection.
Staying hydrated when your body is fighting an illness is very important, but when the infection also causes a fever, your body can become dehydrated even faster. If you have been infected with the chikungunya virus, you will likely suffer an acute high fever, and your body will need all the water it can get to defend itself effectively. Water also stimulates urination and the release of toxins from the body, which can reduce the strain on the immune system.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach, collard greens and kale are recommended for a wide variety of health concerns, primarily due to their unique nutrient profile. A high concentration of minerals, such as iron, as well as vitamins and antioxidants, make leafy green vegetables some of the most important dietary elements if you are recovering from or currently battling the chikungunya infection. The vitamin E found in these vegetables can also help to reduce the inflammation and severity of the rash that usually accompanies this infection as a primary symptom.
The high levels of antioxidants and vitamins found in carrots make them an important part of any healthy diet, and they are particularly beneficial when your body is under attack from an infection. In the treatment of chikungunya, the anti-inflammatory nature of carrots can help soothe joint pain, while the carotenes in this vegetable act as powerful antioxidants that flush the system and boost the strength of the immune system.
One of the lesser-known benefits of coconut water is the positive effect that it can have on the liver, which is where chikungunya often attacks after it infects the body. While coconut water can’t be considered a treatment for the infection, it is very effective at speeding the recovery process and alleviating the worst of the symptoms. Coconut water is also inexpensive and available in most parts of the world.
As one of the most respected elements of Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is very effective at protecting the immune system and actively fighting off infections within the body. Ashwagandha leaves can be chewed as both a preventative measure and a treatment approach for chikungunya, and it is widely available in many of the regions where this virus strikes most often.
Final Word of Warning
While the mortality rate associated with chikungunya is very small, overly severe pain in the joints, or ongoing arthritic symptoms or musculoskeletal pain after a few weeks of the infection, should prompt a visit to a medical professional.