In Ayurveda, Malaria is known as“VishamaJwara”. It is a serious and sometimes a fatal mosquito-borne blood-related infectious disease. It is transmitted by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquito which carries the Plasmodium parasite.There are five parasite species that can cause malaria in humans. P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most common among these five.
Female Anopheles mosquitois the only mosquito that causes Malaria.The male mosquito does not contain parasites which cause malaria. Female Anopheles acts as “malaria vector” and is active during the daytime- between dusk and dawn. It breeds during rainy season and period following it. Its typical breeding sites are stagnant water bodies”.
Malaria infection usually occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world and is common during rainy season due to poor sanitation. It is a short-term infection that generally requires lab tests and special care. The infection is life-threatening yet curable, if treated early.
Malaria is a non-contagious disease. It is not transmitted by direct person to person contact. Anyone can get infected with malaria infection. However, infants, pregnant women, people residing in tropical and subtropical regions, HIV/AIDS patients and those with low or little immunity are at greater risk.
Malaria is caused by the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquito. When the infected mosquito bites a person, parasites from the mosquito’s saliva get introduced into a person’s blood. The parasites then travel to the host’s liver where they mature and reproduce. After 8-25 days, the matured parasites enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cells. Within 2-3 days, the parasites inside the RBCs get multiply and cause the infected cells to burst, resulting to a life-threatening Malaria infection. Malaria is blood-related infectious disease, hence it can also be caused by conditions such as:
After being bitten, a person takes 2-3 weeks to develop the symptoms. However, the duration can even be longer if the infected person has already taken antimalarial medicines/vaccinesas a precaution. A non-immune individual develops the following signs and symptoms:
The risk of malaria infection can be reduced by adopting following preventive measures:
The aim of malaria treatment is to eliminate Plasmodium parasites from the blood stream and to repair the infected RBCs. In allopathy, there are no such vaccines or medicines that can treat malaria effectively. However, Ayurveda has many potent herbs which are useful for the treatment of malaria. Amlaki helps to replenish the loss of vitamin C during malaria. Neem tablet known as quinine is effective in treating malarial fever. Juice of holy basil leaves repairs the damaged blood cells. Sheetmani Rasa, Mahajwaarankusha Rasa, ShuddhaSphatika(alum),Tuvrimalla yoga and Godanti Bhasma are some other potent ayurvedic medicines to treat malaria infection.