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Meg Ross

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since Jul 03, 2018
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Recent posts by Meg Ross

Hi! There are many natural remedies against malaria. I lived in Ghana and Togo over 10 years, caught malaria far too many times. Here's my experience:

The best for me is iodine, which stops that too-familiar malaria headache, lack of appetite and restlessness within 2 hours. I have a bottle of prilled iodine crystals (tiny purple-black spheres) meant for water purification. I will take 3-4 droppers of that saturated solution in coffee, and repeat in an hour or so. The taste (to me) is not noticeable and I prefer that to taking it in plain water. Iodine has other health benefits as well, so I don't mind taking it for this purpose, and I've been using it from time to time over the past 3 years since returning from West Africa, more so when I first came back than this past year. No, I never got tested since coming back, I just recognize the feelings well enough.

Next best that I cannot obtain again is a locally-made-in-Accra herbal brew called "Malaria Kick". That saved me from a nasty malaria onset the night before I was flying back to the USA. I tried it as a desperate measure because my iodine was stupidly packed in one of my suitcases and I had even more stupidly locked the suitcase keys IN one of the suitcases. The horrendous headache went away within 5 minutes, which shocked me as I really didn't think it would work very well, and I was fit to travel by morning. Sadly, I don't know what-all was in it, but it gave me a lot of willingness to in future try local remedies for malaria when traveling, because there are a LOT of local remedies out there. Many local people don't have the money to buy pills in a pharmacy, so they come up with all kinds of things and some are sold packaged as teas in the Western-style supermarkets.

After that, there's papaya leaf tea from dried or fresh papaya; the papaya seeds are said to be effective against malaria but I used them against intestinal worms; in some places there is artemisia tea; and from East Africa, you can mix these powdered spices to make a general-purpose drink that I've used to stave off the malaria-onset signs I mentioned above: ginger, clove, cinnamon, mace, and black pepper. I also noted from the label of a new-on-the-market antimalarial pharmaceutical in Togo (back in 2016-17) the ingredients piperine and cucurmin, and based on that I tried my own hot drink mix of ground black pepper and turmeric powder, with so-so results, not ineffective but not the TKO of that "Malaria Kick" drink in Accra.

I have observed people I knew there to take citronelle tea against malaria, or to eat lots of limes at once. I never tried the limes one, can't take the sour. It was a street kid who told me that one because that is how he self-treated malaria. The citronelle is not the same as lemongrass; it is a plant that grows like a fountain of long thin dark green straps of leaves. Smells wonderful, tastes wonderful! Wish I could get it fresh here :-) Great taste in coffee and hot cocoa, too.

Also said to be effective is neem leaf tea, which I tried once (you take a big handful of fresh leaves and boil them; the water turns dark green) and oh gosh that is the mother of all bitterness, so I didn't use it again.

Green Deane mentions the use of beautyberry: "the leaves and roots in sweat baths for the treatment of malaria, rheumatism and fevers." I think I recall also that the seeds of lantana are antimalaria, but I'd have to confirm that. It's a plant that grows many places all over sub-saharan Africa, and has pretty flowers.

I have in my notes a book I'd like to hunt down: Volume 4 - Traditional Medicinal Plants and Malaria, edited by Merlin Wilcox, Gerard Bodeker, and Philippe Rasoanaivo.

That's all I have for now, but I could dig up old notes if you are curious about more?
1 year ago