Typhoid: Symptoms and Treatment
Typhoid can be a deadly and difficult affliction for many people around the world, so understanding the symptoms and treatment is crucial, including remedies like cloves, garlic, ginger, cranberries, lemon, raisins, honey and increasing fluid levels, among others.
More formally known as typhoid fever, this serious health condition is caused by an infection of the Salmonella Typhi bacterium. While typhoid has largely been eliminated in major western countries through the application of a vaccine, typhoid still rages through certain parts of the world, with more than 10 million new cases reported every year. In many cases, typhoid fever can be treated, reducing the mortality rate to below 5%, but if untreated, the mortality rate can rise as high as 20%. One of the most challenging parts of diagnosing typhoid fever is the delay in appearance of symptoms. You can see the first signs of typhoid anywhere from 6-30 days after exposure to the bacteria.
A mild fever can slowly grow and worsen over the course of a few days, accompanied by tiredness, headaches, weakness, stomach distress, nausea or vomiting. In some cases, patients also see a small skin rash of rose-colored spots. A loss of appetite, a dry cough and sweating are also commonly reported. In the second week of the infection, the fever remains very high and can often lead to confusion or cognitive agitation, or even delirium. By the third week, if left untreated, certain organs become inflamed, such as the liver and spleen, and gastric distress is at its worst. Diarrhea is common, internal bleeding is a much greater risk, delirium will worsen, and the abdomen will feel distended. Given that the symptoms often worsen to serious levels, it is essential to diagnose and begin treatment of typhoid fever as early as possible. The other difficult aspect of typhoid fever is that some people can be carriers without showing any signs, yet still pass along the infection to others, so containment can be difficult. Now, since typhoid has been a scourge of human populations for thousands of years, there are many viable treatment options available, many of which are explained below.
Garlic: As with so many other infections, particularly those that affect the stomach and gastrointestinal system in such a serious way, garlic is an excellent natural remedy for typhoid fever. The powerful active ingredient in garlic, allicin, works as an antioxidant to eliminate the underlying infection caused by the Salmonella bacterium and strengthens the immune system in its vulnerable time of need. Eating 1-2 clovers of garlic per day can be a quick and simple solution to effectively ward off typhoid.
Ginger: Few people think of ginger as a natural health remedy, but it can have a number of stimulating effects on the body, including a boost to the liver, which can help to detoxify the body and reduce the strain on the immune system. Furthermore, ginger possesses gingerol, another powerful antioxidant that has antibacterial properties, helping it eliminate the basic infection causing typhoid. Ginger can be eaten raw, drunk as a tea, pressed for the juice, or used in various culinary preparations.
Orange: The rich vitamin C content of oranges makes them a very important part of the immune system’s fight against infections. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense against infections and foreign pathogens. Oranges are also good at soothing stomach upset and promoting normal digestion, as well as rapid healing once the infection has been eliminated.
Raisins: One of the most debilitating parts of typhoid fever is the savage attack it can mount on your stomach and gastrointestinal system. Ranging from severe diarrhea to unstoppable constipation, your gut takes a beating when you’re infected. Raisins can help to regulate the bowels, and bulk up stool to eliminate symptoms of diarrhea. Raisins are also rich, concentrated sources of important minerals, and can help to lower fever and counter other typhoid symptoms.
Honey: Arguably the most concentrated form of nutrients and delicious flavor that you can add to your diet, honey is great for countering typhoid fever. It can give you a quick energy boost when you’re feeling exhausted, settle your stomach, and even counter the bacterial infection itself. Mix at least a tablespoon of honey with a glass of water or milk and drink it 2 times per day for relief.
Fluids: Whenever you are fighting through an infection, your body is likely to become dehydrated, as a fever is one of the most common symptoms of a bacterial infection. When it comes to typhoid fever, this is particularly true, but your body needs water to fight off the illness! Therefore, you must drink far more fluids than usual to compensate for the fluids you are losing in diarrhea and sweat, while giving your body the resources it needs to fight.
Lemon: The reason that so many cleaning products smell like lemon is because it is a natural sanitizing agent. It can counter the effects of the bacteria that causes typhoid, and also clean out your stomach, alkalizing it and preventing the worst symptoms of typhoid, such as diarrhea and constipation.
Basil: This important herb is useful in the treatment of typhoid because it is an anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce fevers, while also soothing your stomach and giving your immune system a boost. Moreover, it is antibiotic and antibacterial in nature, so it can help to eliminate the underlying infection causing your symptoms.
Echinacea: You can find dried echinacea powder or the flowers themselves in many health foods stores, and due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant, you should definitely pick some up. Steeping the powder or flower roots as a tea can be a quick and effective way to lower your fever and strengthen your immune system to counter the symptoms and root cause.
Bananas: Potassium is an essential mineral in the body, particularly if we are suffering from an infection that dehydrates us. Potassium controls much of the fluid balance in the body, which is crucial while fighting an illness. Potassium can also lower blood pressure and reduce fevers caused by typhoid fever.
Psyllium Seeds: The gastrointestinal symptoms of typhoid fever are brutal, but psyllium seeds have a legendary ability to regulate the bowels and normalize your gut. The high levels of fiber in psyllium seeds can completely eliminate diarrhea and reduce stomach distress, which can lower the strain being put on your immune system.
A Final Word of Warning: As mentioned earlier, when not treated, typhoid can be deadly, so seeing a doctor when these types of symptoms arise is crucial. These natural remedies should be seen as complementary remedies, and should only be used after discussing them with your doctor, while seeking more formal treatment approaches.