The term Diphtheria is used to denote a severe infection affecting the upper respiratory passages. It is derived from a Greek word meaning leather. It is prominently most frequent in children than in adults.
Diphtheria is a contagious disease which occurs more frequently in the cool weather with an incubation period of about five days.
The early symptoms of diphtheria appear to be much like tonsillitis. There may be a high fever and sore throat. The patient also feels depressed and weak. There is an appearance of membrane on one tonsil and in rare cases on both of the tonsils which can be thick or thin and grey or brownish in color. Diphtheria can also occur without the false membrane with tissues being swollen and red and bacilli being present.
The patient suffering from diphtheria usually becomes anemic and pale. If left untreated death may also occur due to the rapid weakening of the heart due to the toxins of diphtheria. The duration of this disease usually ranges from ten to fifteen days.
The main cause of diphtheria according to modern medical science is a germ infection. However no person can get infected by this disease if he does not have the basis for its propagation in his system in the form of toxic wastes and morbid matter brought about by unhygienic living conditions and wrong feeding habits.
Nature Cure for Diphtheria: The treatment of diphtheria with the use of anti-toxins may offer relief in some cases. The real treatment for this disease however as with other fevers is constitutional.
The treatment should first commence by giving water and orange juice to the patient in small quantities. This will promote natural body resistance against infection, increase urinary output and provide energy thereby facilitating recovery. A warm water enema should be administered daily during this period for cleansing the bowels.
Patient suffering from diphtheria should be isolated from others and put to complete bed rest for about a month or so. It is necessary to avoid swallowing of the secretion constantly forming in the mouth during the fever. For this purpose the patient should sleep on his sides and not allowed to lie on his back. Some absorbent cotton wool should be placed in the mouth to absorb much of this matter. This can be changed frequently as and when required.
A moist hot inhalation is also effective in the treatment of this condition. It greatly helps in facilitating the separation of membranes and maintaining the resistance of tissues.
Application of wet pack to the throat is also very useful. This pack should be applied to the throat at an interval of two hours. The procedure is to wring out a material made from linen in cold water, wrap it two to three times round the affected part and cover it with a flannel.
The patient should also be placed on a diet consisting of fruits for a few days. He may thereafter switch to a well balanced diet. More emphasis should be placed on fresh fruits, lightly cooked vegetables and whole grain cereals.
Certain home remedies have also been found beneficial in the treatment of diphtheria. One such remedy is the use of garlic. Its constant application by chewing a clove of garlic reduces temperature, removes the membranes and relieves the patient. About 25-35gms of garlic can be used in this way in three hours for a week. This treatment should be continued even though the membrane disappears.
Fresh juice of pineapple is considered to be another useful remedy. This juice can be given to the patient at frequent intervals in small quantities. This will remove the throat deposits as well as the diphtheria membrane and as a result of this the patient feels comfortable.
Thus we can say that natural remedies have been found to be effective and beneficial in the treatment of diphtheria and other related disorders.