11 Effective Home Remedies for Tuberculosis

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Tamanna Sayed (B.Sc. Applied Nutrition)

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The most effective home remedies for tuberculosis include the use of milk, pineapples, oranges, bananas, garlic, mint, walnuts, Indian gooseberry, green tea, black pepper, celery, gourds, sunshine, linseed, and winter cherry.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually attacks the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body. It is easily transferred through the air when the patient sneezes, coughs, or through other means that germs spread. The disease historically called consumption due to the weight loss that accompanies it.

Today, alternative research has shown that there are many different ways to treat tuberculosis, or at least counteract the symptoms and allow your immune system to regain control. The medical treatment for tuberculosis is a long and difficult process with antibiotics and a high risk of complications. Therefore, if you want to complement your treatment with some of these natural remedies, you can significantly improve your recovery time. Furthermore, by maintaining a diet or lifestyle that includes these home remedies, you can greatly lower your chance of ever contracting tuberculosis.

A 2D illustration of a human lung suffering from tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Home Remedies for Tuberculosis

There are many effective remedies available for tuberculosis and some of them are described in detail below:

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D in the body is associated with a higher risk of tuberculosis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology. A 2019 research published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that vitamin D may help in speeding up the treatment in multi-drug resistant pulmonary TB patients.

While more research is ongoing to understand the impact of vitamin D on tuberculosis, for maintaining good health it is always recommended to have sufficient vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D can be found in dietary sources such as eggs, fortified milk, fish, and cod liver oil. It is also called the sunshine vitamin as you can get it by basking in the early morning sunshine.

Bananas

Weight loss is one of the key symptoms that anyone suffering from tuberculosis faces. The addition of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and calories such as banana may help manage weight. The leaves of the banana tree have also been found useful against the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

Pineapples

A study published in the Journal ‘Der Pharma Chemica’ in 2010 found out that a mixture of raw pineapple juice, pepper, salt, and honey helped dissolve the mucus in the lungs of the patients suffering from tuberculosis. This may further help eliminate congestion of the lungs and nasal cavities. So slice up a pineapple or drink pineapple juice to naturally fight off TB.

Garlic

Research suggests that extract of garlic and garlic oil contains ajoene, allicin, allylmethyltrisulfide that exhibit antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Though garlic’s allicin content is usually what gets the attention, in the case of tuberculosis, it is the sulfuric acid found in garlic that is particularly potent for the tuberculosis bacteria.

By steeping garlic in water and drinking it, or adding fresh garlic to your meals, may help boost the immune system and aid in preventing TB in the first place.

Gourds

Various types of gourds, including bottle gourds, may help in increasing immunity levels in those suffering from tuberculosis. However, more research is needed to establish the role of this vegetable against TB.

Honey

The use of honey may help provide relief from adverse reactions caused by anti-tuberculosis drugs in pulmonary tuberculosis patients, suggests a 2008 study published in Continental J. Pharmacology and Toxicology Research.

Mint

Aside from flavoring your cocktails or freshening your breath, mint may help break up mucus build-up in the respiratory tracts, allowing for clear passage of air. It also has immune-stimulating properties and antioxidants that can directly impact any infection in the body.

Crushed mint leaves can be steeped in a very potent tea that anyone suffering from TB may add to their daily dietary intake.

Indian Gooseberry

Indian gooseberry has been shown to effectively lessen the symptoms of tuberculosis, especially when pure gooseberry juice is mixed with honey and consumed. This coats the stomach and the respiratory tract and can offer relief from inflammation and discomfort, while also stimulating your immune system with its proven antibacterial qualities.

Oranges

The high concentrations of vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants make oranges a very useful home remedy for tuberculosis. The saline action of orange juice can break up congestion in the lungs and respiratory tract and help lessen the amount of expectoration, coughing, and blood in the sputum.

Black Pepper

Although many people associate black pepper with sneezing, it is an anti-inflammatory substance, and it can also help to cleanse the lungs, reduce coughing, and eliminate pain and discomfort. According to a 2019 study published in Microbial Drug Resistance, piperine a bioactive compound from pepper showed promising activity against TB.

Green Tea

Some of the studies suggest that green tea may have the potential in aiding the prevention of TB. A study published in The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology suggests that green tea with its polyphenol content may have the potential to prevent TB. Another research conducted in 2017 suggests an association between the intake of tea (green tea and black tea) and reduced risk of active TB infection.

Word of Caution: TB is a very serious and fast-acting disease, so if you are suffering from extreme symptoms, you should see a medical professional. Discuss the options for alternative treatments including the above mention remedial measures with your doctor and design an effective treatment approach. You want to stay natural, obviously, but you also want to ensure your long-term health!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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