Pneumonia refers to the inflammation of the lungs. It is one of the most serious infectious diseases. The disease assumes alarming proportions if both the lungs are affected; this condition is called double pneumonia in common parlance.
Causes and Symptoms
Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat The patient generally feels a chill, shivering fever, difficulty in breathing, and sharp pain in the chest. This may be followed by a cough with pinkish sputum, which may later become brownish. In young children, the disease may cause delirium and convulsions. The temperature may rise to 40.6°C and the pulse may go upto 150 beats per minute. A common complication of pneumonia is pleurisy.
Pneumonia is caused by various types of germs such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, and pneumococcus. At times, certain viruses are also responsible for this disease. Other causes are fungal infections, irritation by worms, inhaling foreign matter, irritant dust, or noxious gases. The real cause of pneumonia, however, is a constitution weakened by the presence of toxins in the body, especially in the lungs and air passages. The accumulation of toxins is due to wrong feeding habits and a faulty lifestyle.
Fenugreek: During the early acute stage of pneumonia, a tea made from fenugreek seeds will help the body to produce perspiration, dispel toxicity, and shorten the period of fever. Upto four cups of the tea can be taken daily. The quantity can be reduced as the condition improves. To improve the flavour of the tea, a few drops of lemon juice may be added. During this treatment no other food or nourishment should be taken, as fasting and fenugreek will allow the body to correct these respiratory problems in a few days.
Garlic: Garlic is a marvellous remedy for pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. It brings down the temperature, as well as the pulse and respiration within forty-eight hours. A pa5* of garlic can also be applied externally on the chest with benefici»1 results as it is an irritant and rubefacient
Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are valuable in pneumonia. An infusion of the seeds can be made by steeping 15 gm of seeds in 250 ml of water. This infusion, mixed with a tablespoon of linseed, a pinch of common salt, and a dessertspoon of honey, should be given in the treatment of this disease. This will help remove catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes.
Parsnip Juice: The juice of parsnip, a root vegetable botanically known as Pastinaca sativa, has been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. The juice of the leaves and root of this plant possess high therapeutic value. The phosphorus and chlorine elements contained therein are of particular benefit to the lungs and the bronchial system, thus making the juice an excellent home remedy for pneumonia. The patient should take 250 ml of juice daily. It is, however, essential that only the juice of the cultivated parsnip plant should be used for this purpose. The wild variety must not be used in juices as it contains some poisonous ingredients.
Other Vegetable Juices: The juice of carrots, in combination either with spinach juice, or beet and cucumber juices, has also been found useful in pneumonia. In these combinations, 200 ml of spinach juice or 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices should be mixed with 300 ml of carrot juice to prepare 500 ml or half a litre of combined juice.
Turpentine Oil: The pain of pneumonia can be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and wrapping warmed cotton wool over it
At the beginning of the treatment, the patient should be kept °n a diet of raw juices for five to ten days, depending on the severity of the disease. He should take a glass of fruit or vegetable juice, diluted with warm water, every two or three hours. After a diet of raw juices, when the fever subsides, the patient should spent three or four days on an exclusive fresh fruit diet, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits. Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits raw vegetables.
The patient should be given a warm-water enema daily to cleanse the bowels during the period of raw juice therapy and the fruit diet, and thereafter when necessary. To reduce temperature during the course of the fever, the procedure oudined in the chapter on Malaria should be followed.