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Papaya – A novel therapeutic regimen for managing dengue

In recent decades dengue is the most important emerging viral disease of humans that has become a major international public health concern. It is estimated that there are between 50 and 100 million cases of dengue fever (DF) and about 500 000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) each year which require hospitalization.

Dengue fever spread through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito gets the virus by biting an infected person. The first symptom of the disease appears in about 5-7 days after the infected mosquito bites a healthy person. It is possible to become infected by dengue multiple times because the virus has four different serotypes. Although each infection confers lifelong immunity to that particular serotype, a subsequent infection with a different serotype increases the risk of contracting the much deadlier form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, rash, and a severe headache (dengue triad). Additional symptoms include severe joint and muscular pain (breakbone fever), nausea, vomiting, and eye pain. Although dengue fever itself is rarely fatal, it can be an extraordinarily painful and disabling illness and may become epidemic in a population following the introduction of a new serotype. Dengue fever is usually a self-limited illness, and only supportive care is required.

In children, Reye's syndrome (encephalopathy) may be a serious complication. Patients with known or suspected dengue fever should have their platelet count and Hematocrit measured daily from the third day of illness until 1-2 days after defervescence. No vaccine is available for the prevention of dengue infection. The only way to prevent dengue virus acquisition is to avoid being bitten by a vector mosquito.

How does papaya leaf extract help dengue patients?

In the research conducted it was found that there was 32% increase in the platelet count when the papaya leaf extract was administered to the patient. When the platelet counts drop to a dangerously low level during severe dengue fever, the papaya juice has been known to significantly increase blood platelet production. It is because the extract of papaya leaves has been shown to increase ALOX12 (arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase or platelet type lipoxygenase) by 15 times. This enzyme promotes platelet production via the increased number and differentiation of megakaryocytes.

Papaya leaf juice recipe for dengue

Ingredients required- 4 papaya leaves and one cup of water.


· Firstly wash the papaya leaves properly and cut them into small pieces.

· Pour water in a pan along with bits of papaya leaves and bring to a boil.

· Let it simmer for 2 minutes and you have green coloured water now.

· Strain the water and pour it into a cup.

· You can add honey or jaggery to it to neutralize its bitterness.

· Give 30 ml twice a day to adults and 5-10 ml to kids.

As always prevention is better than cure, hence take precautions to protect yourself from dengue.

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