Mumps refer to a virus infection of the salivary glands, gonads, and, occasionally, other parts of the body. It is an infectious disease that occurs most frequently in children and young persons between the ages of five and fifteen years. Most persons have mumps only once in their lives, but one person in ten may have a second attack.

Causes and Symptoms

In children, the first sign of mumps is swelling of the salivary glands, but adults sometimes run a temperature and feel ill a couple of days before the glands enlarge. At first, the swelling is often uncomfortable or painful. If the disease occurs after puberty, the testicles may become swollen and painful in males; a similar condition may affect the female ovaries, sometimes leading to sterility.

Mumps is caused by a virus which attacks the salivary glands, particularly the parotid glands located on each side of the face just below and in front of the ear. The incubation period of the disease is about two weeks. Dietetic errors are at the root of the trouble.

Remedies

Chebulic Myroblan: Chebulic myroblan is one of the most effective remedies for mumps. A thick paste should be made from this herb by rubbing it in water. If applied over the swelling, it will provide relief.

Peepal Leaves: The leaves of the peepal tree are another effective home remedy for this disease. These leaves should be smeared with ghee and warmed over a fire. They should then be bandaged over the inflamed part for beneficial results.

Indian Aloe: The use of the herb Indian aloe is a well- known remedy in the indigenous system of medicine for any inflamed and painful part of the body. A piece of a leaf of this herb should be peeled on one side, warmed and then sprinkled with a little turmeric (haldi) and the extract of Indian barbery (rasaut), and then bandaged over the swelling.

Asparagus: The seeds of asparagus are valuable in mumps. These seeds, combined with an equal proportion of fenugreek (nethi) seeds, should be ground together to the consistency of a Paste. This paste can be applied over the swellings.

Ginger: Dry ginger is considered beneficial in the treatment of mumps. It should be made into a paste and applied over the swollen parts. As the paste dries, the swelling will be reduced and the pain will also subside.

Margosa Leaves: The leaves of margosa are also useful in the treatment of mumps. The leaves of this tree, combined with turmeric (haldi) should be made into a paste and applied externally over the affected parts. This will bring good results.

Dietary Considerations

To begin with, the patient should be kept on a diet of orange juice diluted with warm water on a 50:50 basis, for a few days. If the orange juice does not suit the patient, the juices of other fruits such as lemon (mossambi), apple, pineapple, grapes; or vegetables like carrots should be given.

When the patient can swallow food comfortably and the swelling has subsided, an all-fruit diet should be adopted for a day or two. Thereafter, he may be allowed to gradually embark upon a well- balanced diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables.

Other Measures

A warm-water enema should be used daily during the juice fast. Hot and cold fomentations should be applied every two hours during the day for about ten minutes, and should consist of two or three hot applications, followed by a cold one.

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