There is a saying in Chinese Medicine which goes: “both food and medicine originate from the same source” because both can be used to prevent diseases. In the same vein, when people eat well, they stay healthier and gain better control over chronic diseases among other ailments—such as using papaya leaves in the prevention of dengue fever.
Some foods in particular boast a strong nutrient profile, such as papaya leaves. The phenolic compounds and phytonutrient content present in papaya leaves, act as powerful antioxidants that enhance the body’s immunity and help to fight off diseases such as dengue.
Increasing Mosquito Population In Singapore
Singapore is still in the midst of the traditional peak dengue season, which typically lasts from around May to October yearly.
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), their surveillance system has detected early signs of an increasing mosquito population in the community in recent weeks.
While the number of reported dengue cases has fallen for the seventh consecutive week, NEA said that the Aedes aegypti mosquito population has increased by 12 per cent within residential areas in the past three weeks.
“As the number of dengue cases is still high and the rate of decline in weekly cases has slowed down in recent weeks, the increasing Aedes aegypti mosquito population may lead to another surge in dengue cases,” said NEA.
While intensive vector control operations are still ongoing especially in larger dengue cluster areas, there are efficient measures that individuals can undertake, such as prevention of dengue using papaya leaves.
How Papaya Leaves Aid Dengue Prevention And Treatment
Prevention of dengue fever: There is growing research to suggest that papaya leaf’s benefits may be due to the immune-mediated effects related to the papaya leaf’s phytonutrient content. | Image source: iStock
Particularly in Asia, papaya leaves have been long known as a traditional remedy for many ailments: mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue, gastric upset and viral illnesses among others.
Apart from causing high fever, skin rash among other symptoms, one of the dangers that come with dengue is that it decreases the platelet count in an individual—the tiny blood cells that help the body form clots to stop the bleeding.
A severe reduction in the number of platelets could be fatal in a few cases.
Research however, suggests that papaya leaf may exert its effects through phytochemical compounds, carpaine as well as on specific blood cell types.
Specifically, studies show that papaya leaves may be beneficial in supporting blood platelet count recovery and reducing hospital stay in dengue patients.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
When an infected female Aedes mosquito bites you, the dengue virus transmitted to your body gives you dengue fever. Since Aedes mosquito is very common in Singapore, this issue remains a constant problem.
Image source: iStock
Dengue fever is of two types and two levels of severity according to 2009 WHO recommendations. If you or anybody you know gets bitten by mosquitoes, look out for the following symptoms.
- Dengue fever
- Headache and body pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Leucopenia (low WBC count)
Signs that the disease is increasing in severity are:
- Persistent vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Liver enlargement
- Mucosal bleeding
- Severe Dengue/ Dengue haemorrhagic fever
- High fever
- Severe plasma leakage leading to shock
- Severe plasma leakage leading to respiratory problems
- Severe bleeding
- Internal organ impairment
Rates of a complete cure are good in the milder version of dengue fever. Once contracted, your high temperature will continue for at least seven days. Recuperation and recovery can take up to a month.
Ways To Use Papaya Leaves To Prevent Dengue
There are many ways to use papaya leaves to not only prevent the symptoms of dengue fever but to also treat it.
The traditional method involves extracting the juice and pulp from the papaya leaves; one would pick the fresh leaf, add some hot water before pounding it into a pulp. Sugar would then be added to balance out the natural bitter taste from the leaf.
For a more fuss-free method to fight dengue, one can also take towards supplements made from its extract, such as Akesi’s Bio-Fermented Papaya Leaf Tonic which also assists in digestive health, maintains healthy bowel habits and supports the immune system.
Prevention of dengue fever: the Akesi’s Bio-Fermented Papaya Leaf Tonic is a fuss-free way to consume papaya leaf juice from papaya leaves. | Image source: Supplied
The enzyme, vitamin and phyto-rich nutrients of the fruit and leaves provides an excellent nutrient profile.
The unique fermentation process of papaya leaves, papaya fruit and pomegranate combined, creates a final product packed with nutrients that makes them more readily absorbable by the body—and without the need for an added sugar source.
It simply means that the Bio-Fermented Papaya Leaf Tonic is 100% natural and sugar-free, presenting a better alternative for the health conscious.
All one has to do is to either enjoy one tablespoon as a straight shot, or dilute in water. For a more refreshing twist, opt to dilute it in sparkling water (add lemon or lime) to create more of a kombucha or mocktail experience.
Children over three years of age are recommended to consume half a tablespoon of up to three times daily.
While Akesi’s Bio-Fermented Papaya Leaf Tonic can be taken with or without food, at any time of the day, it is recommended that customers who are pregnant, breastfeeding or immunocompromised, to first consult with their healthcare practitioner on its usage.
Other Tips To Prevent Dengue Fever
Apart from consuming papaya leaf extract, which is a simple yet highly efficient way to prevent and treat dengue, engaging in proper hygiene practices are also as important to effectively combat dengue.
Here are some tips to take note to prevent dengue fever:
- Do the 5-step Mozzie wipe-out routine.
- Change water daily in storage spaces and keep them covered.
- Clear blockages of drains and gutters.
- Check your surroundings regularly for any discarded item housing stagnant water.
- Use mosquito repellents, set up nets and screens wherever possible.
- Wear clothing that covers your body fully.
Since Aedes mosquito, the vector for dengue fever, bites during daytime, use insect repellent creams and lotions on the exposed parts of the body. Also, use insecticide spray in the corners of your house.
Image source: iStock
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