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Diphtheria Delhi outbreak: How garlic could help ease the infection symptoms

Diphtheria has claimed the lives of 12 children aged 6-12 years at Delhi's Maharishi Valmiki Hospital. While immunization is the best way to prevent diphtheria, here is how garlic can help ease the symptoms.

This is shocking. A severe infection of diphtheria has killed 18 children in Delhi in the last 2 weeks. According to a news report in DNA, at present, there are roughly 300 diphtheria patients admitted in the hospital and the deaths were reported between the period of September 6 and September 19. Reports suggest that North Delhi Mayor Adesh Gupta has set up a panel to look into this matter and sought a report. News reports also suggest that the hospital did not have the stock of diphtheria vaccination. The hospital claimed that poor immunization was responsible for diphtheria outbreak which is common in the post-monsoon period. Due to lack of awareness and misconceptions about vaccines, many children in India are often not vaccinated in time. Diphtheria is covered under India s immunization program.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection, caused by the organism, cornybacterium diphtheria, affecting the membranes of the throat and nose. It is highly contagious and if left untreated, diphtheria can cause severe damage to kidneys, nervous system and heart. It could also be fatal.

The benefits of garlic for diphtheria have been widely discussed among herbal and Ayurveda experts. An article in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, says that garlic is a natural form of an antibiotic and an excellent remedy for diphtheria because garlic is known to kill a range of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

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The best way to use garlic for treatment of diphtheria is by chewing a clove of garlic (about 30 or 60 gms of garlic in three or four hours for a week). Put a small slice of garlic in your mouth and suck on it for 10-15 minutes. You can put it between your teeth and cheek, then scratch it with your teeth a little to help stimulate juice from the garlic slice. This juice slides down your throat and removes the infection from the membranes, reduces temperature and relieves the patient. After the symptoms reduce, the same quantity of garlic should be chewed daily, says the study. As diphtheria patients experience temporary loss of taste and smell, they won t find chewing garlic to be very repelling.

Some of the best nutrients in garlic that help treat diphtheria include:

Vitamin C: Helps reduce the pain and inflammation.

Allicin: This is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral. Working with the vitamin C in garlic, allicin has been shown to be helpful in fighting against common infections like stomach viruses, colds, flu and Candida yeast, notes the study.

The researchers also say that eating too much garlic can irritate the digestive tract. The recommended intake of garlic for effective treatment is 1 to 2 cloves daily.

Reference:

K. P. Sampath Kumar*1 , Debjit Bhowmik2 , Chiranjib2 , Pankaj Tiwari2 , Rakesh Kharel2 1Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Coimbatore Medical College, Coimbatore 2 Rajeev Gandhi College of Pharmacy, Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh

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