Dear Dr. LaGuardia,
Do you have any suggestions on how I may help Cholera patients in Haiti?
As you know dehydration is the major cause of death from cholera. The simplest way to make oral rehydration fluids is to use the following formula: Salt: one half teaspoon (sea salt or table salt) + 6 teaspoons of sugar to be mixed together in one liter of water. Obviously the water has to have been already purified so as not to introduce more v. cholera.
Other lesser known mixes for rehydration involve the following: 1. Mix equal parts of coconut water and cucumber juice and drink this mixture all day. Cucumber juice is made by taking several cucumbers and peeling them and then cutting them into chunks and putting them in a food processor or just crushing them onto cheesecloth and drinking the juice that sifts through.
Zinc: Zinc supplements are very inexpensive and zinc is known to decrease both the duration and the severity of cholera by decreasing the inflammation in the gut as well as boosting immunity. Zinc also helps heal the intestinal mucosa.
The doses are :
small children: 10 mg daily
older children: 20 mg daily
adults: 50 mg daily
Lemons: Lemon is known to decrease the levels of the cholera bacilli as well as providing antioxidants to help fight the infection.
Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water and add a pinch of both salt ( sea or table) and sugar. Drink this repeatedly all day. (Note: Orange juice can also be used but it is not as effective).
Guava Tree: This is to be made into a decoction as follows: Grind up approximately 30 grams of Guava Tree (either leaves or bark ) boil it in water (until 1/3 of the water is gone ) to make your decoction and take this tid. (Three times a day) Mix this in a half liter of water. This tree should be readily available and this treatment has been tested and even found useful against drug resistant cholera.
Note: This mix can also be added to oral rehydration fluid at a ratio of 7 parts fluid to one part guava to inhibit the growth of v. cholea organisms. In India in clinical trials guava leaves were found to be more potent than tetracycline.
Onions and black peppers: Take about 30 grams of onions and mix with 7 black peppers : grind them up well and take this mix a tablespoon tid. (Three times a day)
Ginger: Ginger acts as a natural antibiotic: Grind a small piece of ginger and mix it into a teaspoon of honey and take this 4-6 x day.
A tea can also be made : cut several thin slices of ginger and mix it in one cup of water with some black peppers, mint and basil leaves. Boil this mix and then strain it and add honey to taste better. Drink this 4-6 times a day.
Bitter Gourd ( also called bitter melon and bitter squash): Momordica charantia: This should be readily available in the Caribbean. It is a vine in the gourd family, used extensively by people living in tropical areas. Mix two teaspoons of fresh bitter gourd juice with two teaspoons of white onion and one teaspoon of lime juice. Take this mixture twice daily.
Clove: Clove should also be available in Haiti. Cloves are actually the aromatic flower buds of the clove tree. Take four grams of this spice and grind them up and boil it in 3 liters of water until one half of the water is gone. Have the patient drink some of this three to four times a day. Note: It never said how much to drink, but since you have a liter and a half left, I would try a small glass four times a day.
Drumstick Tree: (Moringa oleifera) In this case we use the leaves of the Drumstick Tree: Crush the leaves until you have one teaspoon of the drumstick leaf juice, mix this with one teaspoon of honey and then add to a glass of coconut water. Take this mix two to three times a day.
All of the above remedies work primarily on the GI tract. There is one super potent herbal antibiotic that is systemic that treats cholera, it is called Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. It is very potent and has been used to even treat MRSA and malaria effectively. It works very well for cholera. The plant is from Ghana and I am not sure if it is cultivated in the Caribbean. It contains three different antibacterial alkaloids, one of them cryptoleptine is the most potent antimalarial alkaloid known. The root of the plant is used , it is pencil thin and is yellow when cut open, thus its common name Yellow root.
It is effective as a tea, mixing it with hot water helps release the beneficial alkaloids. Grind up the root, take one teaspoon of this and mix it with 6 ounces of water and drink this tea up to six cups a day. It is very potent and should work better than any of the above treatments.
The other way to treat patients with Cholera is with activated charcoal capsules. They are readily available in any CVS or Walgreens. Two capsules will adsorb any toxins from the v. cholera onto their surface and inactivate them. You probably will have to repeat it several times a day. Note: Patients cannot take any medications while using the activated charcoal because it will inactivate the medications. You need a two hour minimum window on either side of the activated charcoal to prevent inactivation of the meds. In other words, it you take the activated charcoal at noon, it will neutralize any meds taken from ten am to two pm.
The other thing you can use are medicinal clays such as Bentonite Clay mixed with distilled water, this mixture is known to be effective against cholera. You make a slurry with distilled water and the Bentonite clay mixture. It is cheap enough and effective.
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