Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. If malaria is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can be fatal. A single mosquito bite is all it takes for someone to become infected – but it is preventable. The disease is transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito.
There are four types of malaria that commonly affect humans: Plasmodium falciparum (which is responsible for the vast majority of malaria deaths), Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium malariae. There is a fifth type, Plasmodium knowlesi, which is a parasite that usually infects monkeys, but cases of malaria caused by P. knowlesi have recently been reported in humans in South East Asia, and in 2006 the first case was reported in the UK.
Malaria is endemic in more than 100 countries worldwide, where approximately 3 billion people are at risk of infection. It mainly affects tropical parts of Africa, South and Central America, Hispaniola, Oceania, Asia, and the Middle East. Approximately 250 million cases and 1 million deaths are reported each year; the heaviest burden is in Africa, where the majority of deaths from malaria worldwide occur each year, mostly in children. Malaria does not occur naturally in the UK but travel-associated cases are reported in those who have travelled to or arrived (either as a visitor or migrant to the UK) from malaria-endemic areas. Since 1990, between 1370 and 2500 cases of malaria (caused by all types) have been reported in the UK each year, with between four and 16 deaths. Occasionally cases of malaria are reported in the UK where no travel history or medical procedures have been identified. These cases may occur as a result of an infected mosquito being brought into the UK from a malaria endemic country by plane (airport malaria) or in someone’s baggage (baggage malaria) and surviving long enough to bite a nearby person before it dies.
Malaria risk areas
Malaria is found in more than 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions of the world including:
- large areas of Africa and Asia
- Central and South America
- Haiti and the Dominican Republic
- parts of the Middle East
- some Pacific islands, such as Papua New Guinea
Malaria is not a problem in the UK.
Often the first symptom is a non-specific flu-like illness with fever, sweats and chills. Other symptoms can include malaise, myalgia (muscle pain), headache, diarrhoea and cough. Malaria caused by P. falciparum can progress to become a severe and life-threatening illness if not diagnosed and treated promptly, leading to cerebral malaria which can cause coma and death.
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of malaria if you are travelling to areas where there is a high malaria risk (see below). Symptoms include:
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- sweats and chills
- muscle pains
Symptoms can develop as quickly as seven days after being bitten, although they usually appear between 10 to 15 days afterwards.
In some cases, the symptoms may not appear for up to a year or, occasionally, even longer.
You should seek the advice of a licensed health practitioner if you develop the symptoms of malaria, even if it’s several months after your trip.
How long can you have the infection before developing symptoms?
The incubation period of malaria (the time from when the parasite enters the body, to the development of symptoms) varies depending on which Plasmodium species is causing the infection. During this incubation period the parasite undergoes an initial period of development in the liver, after which it infects red blood cells. For P. falciparum, the incubation period is 7-14 days. For P. vivax and P. ovale infection, the incubation period is typically 12-18 days, but can be a lot longer (months or years in some cases) due to a longer liver stage.
Malaria is caused by a type of parasite known as Plasmodium. There are many different types of Plasmodia parasites, but only five cause malaria in humans.
The Plasmodium parasite is mainly spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are night-biting mosquitos. When an infected mosquito bites, it injects the parasites into your body.
If malaria is diagnosed and treated promptly, virtually everyone will make a full recovery. Treatment should be started as soon as the diagnosis has been confirmed.
Treatment will vary depending on:
- the type of malaria
- the severity of your symptoms
- where you caught malaria
- whether you are pregnant
Pregnancy and malaria
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that pregnant women should avoid travelling to areas where there is a risk of malaria.
If you get malaria while pregnant, you and your baby have an increased risk of developing complications. There is also a higher risk of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage (loss of the pregnancy during the first 23 weeks).
Consult your licensed health practitioner if you’re pregnant and travelling to a high-risk area.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment. We suggest several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitionerhere.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water.
Eat an organic, whole foods diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables and minimizes carbohydrates (avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugars altogether).
Vitamin A and Zinc – a study carried out in Burkino Faso, Africa, among infants and young children discovered that both of these supplements (when taken together) were effective in protecting against malaria because of their ability to strengthen the immune system. The study was conducted by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health, and from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria. It was published in the journal Nutrition Journal. Vitamin A is also essential for wound-healing.
Vitamin E: Stimulates the production of natural killer cells (NK-Cells) that seek out and destroy germs.
Beta Carotene: It increases the resistance for infections.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications, but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr. Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
We recommend you visit a licensed practitioner who can advise on the correct remedies. Malaria has been studied by Ayurveda since time immemorial and as a result, there is a host of herbs with amazing curative properties. These include:
Afsanthin (wormwood) – taken on a daily basis to reduce fever (not during pregnancy)
Amla or Amlaki (Indian gooseberry) – a rich source of vitamin C
Kutki (picrorrhiza) – good for fevers
Neem (margosa tree) – contains gedunin, the traditional cure of malaria
Shikakai (acacia) – an infusion of the leaves can reduce fevers
Traditional Chinese Medicine
We recommend you consult a licensed TCM practitioner who may advise the following recognised formula:
Augmented Da Yuan Yin
Artemesia – Qing Hao – Sweet Wormwood
Amomi Tsao-ko – Cao Guo – Amomium
Magnolia Officinalis – Hou Po – Magnolia Bark
Arecae Catechu – Bing Lan – Betel Nut
Scutellaria – Huang Qin – Skullcap Root
Anemarrhena Asphodeloidis – Zhi Mu – Anerarrhena
Paeonia Lactiflora Radix – Bai Shao – White Peony Root
Glycyrrhizae Radix – Gan Cao – Chinese Licorice Root
Known essential oils which have proven beneficial include:
Lemon Oil – The rind from lemon contains essential oil which is particularly effective, while the seeds reduce fever.
Tea Tree Oil: Clearly documented antibacterial, antimicrobial anti-fungi, and is known for curing tropical fevers and malaria which are caused by microbes.
Cinnamon oil is effective against malaria.
Chrysanthemum Flower: Its essential oil has an antibiotic effect against staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. It reduces fever. It contains a compound called Pyrethrum, which is highly effective in the protection against mosquitoes, carriers of killer diseases such as Malaria and Yellow Fever.
Cajuput Oil: This essential oil reduces fever and it has an excellent antiseptic properties.
Lemon Grass Oil: It has been shown to have antifungal properties. Guards against malaria and cholera. Nigerian researchers have identified local malaria therapy containing extracts like lemon grass.
We recommended you visit a licensed homeopathic practitioner. Acute malaria responds well to homeopathic treatment. However chronic malaria, malaria with severe or life threatening complications are more difficult to treat with homeopathic remedies.
From approximately 45 homeopathic drugs used for treatment of malaria initially, currently about 113 remedies are listed for treatment of malaria. The commonly used remedies include Arsenicum album, China, Eupatoriatum perfoliatum, Natrum muriaticum, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Rhus toxicodendron and Sulphur.
The treatment of malaria for every patient is individualised. The homeopathic remedy is usually given after considering the symptoms such as:
- time of onset of chills and fever.
- part of the body where the chills start and extend to.
- periodicity of chills and/or fever.
- progression of stages of chill, heat and perspiration.
- thirst/thirstlessness/quantity of thirst/time of maximal aggravation.
- location and the kind of headache.
- whether the symptoms are associated with nausea/vomiting or stool/diarrhoea.
Recently homeopathic studies have tried evaluating alternative prevention and treatments of malaria. Artemisin alkaloid is an extract of the shrub Artemisia annua. Several different plant sub-species of Artemisia (Compositae) such as Artemisia abrotanum (Abrotanum), A. maritima (Cina), A. absinthium (Absinthium) are well proven homeopathic remedies. The Chinese have used Artemisia annua or “sweet Annie” for more than 2000 years as a potent tea to cure malaria and other fevers. A study on the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment as compared to chloroquine for treatment of malaria showed that homeopathy has an effect, comparable to chloroquine.
Caution with Homeopathy:
Homeopathy remedies can probably effectively treat a patient with acute symptoms of malaria but inform your physician if you intend to use homeopathic remedies. Do not rely on homeopathic remedies for the prevention of malaria or treatment of severe malaria. Scientific proof on the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies in either preventing or treating malaria is limited.
Native PNG Ginger:
The compounds of ginger inhibit the malaria parasite.
Garlic: It has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasites’ toxins.
It is antibacterial and anti-parasitic.
Cumin: Stimulates bone marrow and immune cells. It has an antimalarial activity, according to a study published in the December 2010 Parasitology Research journal – “Curmin was more effective than the anti-malaria drug chloroquine.”
Turmeric: Known as a strong antioxidant and it’s anti-inflammatory effect.
It is a member of the ginger family and it contains the curcuminoid called Circumin. This natural compound has antimalarial properties and it is being tested for use against celebral malaria.
Cayenne Pepper: It has an anti-parasitic activity.
Nutmeg: It has been used for years in the West Indies as a treatment for malaria. Herbalists from India know nutmeg to lower fever and to ease malaria. Nutmeg is known for its antimicrobial activity against various bacterial infections
Thyme: Effective in killing skin parasites.
Clove: Contains eugenol, carjophyllene and tannins. These compounds travel though the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs.
Anise Seeds: They have anti parasitic benefits.
Cinnamon Bark: It is antibacterial and antihelminthic (anti worm effect.)
Oregano Leaf: It has antibacterial and anti-microbial effects. It works against an overproduction of any kind of fungus. Also it is helpful to treat parasites. It`s essential oil has an anti-malarial activity
Ground Cloves & Clove Oil: It contains eugenol, carjophyllene and tannins. These compounds travel though the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs.
Cloves fights germs, viruses and bacteria, and it encourages the loosening of phlegm from
Pepper Leaves: Antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, reduces inflammations, kills insects. .
Galangal Root: Antifungal, antibacterial.
Celery Seed: An excellent blood cleanser anti-parasitic.
Echinacea Root: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Known to be effective in protecting against malaria.
Cayenne Fruit: Commonly called cayenne pepper, it is antimicrobial, antimalarial and it reduces fever.
Check your destination to see if malaria is a risk and visit your licensed health practitioner in plenty of time (6-8 weeks ideally but it is never too late) for travel health advice before you go.
Wear full clothing while travelling in a tropical area. Long pants and full-sleeved shirts are recommended.
While sleeping, use mosquito nets.
Whole Lemons Juice (juiced with rinds and seeds):
Lemons are one of the most highly alkalising foods. Lemon juice is ideal to prevent and treat blood and tissue related acidosis. The rind from lemon contains essential oil which is particularly effective, while the seeds reduce fever.
Papaya Seeds: Anti-parasitic and antibacterial.
Papaya Leaves: Also anti-parasitic because of its enzymes papain and chymopapain and several nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, E and minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and manganese.
Sarang Semut (Hydnophytum formicarum): It has anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic effects as well as being antibacterial.
Coconut Oil: It has broad antimicrobial properties and is a malaria fighter.
Pawpaw and Mango Leaves: Water extracts of pawpaw and mango leaves have shown potencies against malaria parasites.
Milk Thistle Seeds: Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Parsley Leaf: Contains the compound quinine. This natural substance blocks malaria from reproducing by binding itself to the parasite`s DNA.
Sunflower Leaf: Contains quercimeritrin, helianthoside A, B, C, oleanolat acid, and acid echinocystat. It has an antimalarial effect similar to the drug Chloroquine.
Korean Ginseng Root: Anti-inflammatory effect and a known treatment for malaria.
Chinese Green Tea Leaf Extract: Antibacterial.
Juniper Berries: Anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory.
Chinese herb transformed into western world’s cure for malaria: www.pacificcollege.edu/acupuncture-massage-news/articles/583-chinese-herb-transformed-into-western-medicines-cure-for-malaria.html
Guidelines on cultivating artemisia as malaria cure: www.news-medical.net/news/2007/03/12/22552.aspx
Massachusetts targets killer mosquitoes with aerial spraying: www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-usa-massachusetts-mosquitoes-idUSBRE86G1AV20120717
Massachusetts takes fresh steps against dangerous mosquitoes: www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/08/us-usa-massachusetts-mosquitoes-idUSBRE8771NX20120808
Papaya Leaves – A Traditional anti-malaria medicine: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uym8OTNhnsU
Malaria breakthrough: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLf1eAXjU_0
Can a Chinese herb win the Malaria war: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/194160.stm
Vitamin A and zinc provide resistance to malaria: www.naturalnews.com/023400_vitamin_A_zinc_Malaria.html
Further Information (links and books)
The Making of a Tropical Disease by Randall M. Packard; The Fever: How Malaria has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah.