What Is Traditional Medicine: In the article below, we explore the conventional medicine and Leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis – The Disease
Leishmaniasis is a sickness that is caused by the sting of an infected female phlebotomine sandfly species. There are three types of Leishmaniasis viz Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis, and Visceral Leishmaniasis.
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is the most widely found form of the disease. It causes ulcers and skin lesions on the exposed parts of the body, leaving back severe disability or stigma and scare that stay lifelong. Mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis entirely or in part destructs the mucous layers and tissues of the throat, nose, and mouth of the infected. Visceral Leishmaniasis leads to anemia, irregular fever, enlargement of liver and spleen, weight loss, and if left untreated, is fatal.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported cases of Leishmaniasis in African, American, Eastern Mediterranean, European, and South-East Asian Regions across various nations.
Thus, rapid diagnostic tests that combine clinical indications and demonstration with parasitological or serological tests confirm the diagnosis of Leishmaniasis.
Traditional Medicine –
Traditional medicine, if put most simply, is the medicine that was used to cure a disease before the modern medicinal cure arrived for it. Based on natural elements like minerals, animals, plants, it is peculiar for various cultures and communities and varies across geographies. Also, the chemistry involved is uncomplicated in comparison to the complex chemistry involved in modern chemistry. While traditional medicine practitioners may have dwindled in number, in places like Africa, they are not very hard to find, and the communities trust in them.
An epidemic situation may help in realizing the pattern of the disease, but other ways of detecting this disease via traditional medicinal methods are not known. The symptoms also develop slowly harming various systems of the infected human body and so diagnosis through clinical tests, and rapid diagnostic tests are recommended as if untreated, the disease can take the life of a patient.
Traditional Medicines – 2
The help of traditional medicine can cure a milder version of the disease Cutaneous Leishmaniasis; the Mayan Healers of Mexico use a particular plant species in their treatments, which cures Cutaneous Leishmaniasis to some extent. Few researchers recently injected that compound after synthesizing it and developed a medicine that showed positive lab results. Also, it reduced the load of the parasite in the spleen, liver, and bone marrow alongside the other existing controls. Hence, the original compound is very active and could have powerful effects on the infected human.
While the disease is more reactive to chemotherapy, there are few herbs, plants as well as flowers that have proved to be effective against the disease. These do not form as a complete cure but qualify as traditional medicine and help in controlling the effects of the parasite. Herbs like Eucalyptus, Liquorice, Cephalic Ipecacuana, Garlic, among others, the compound 2HF found as a flavonoid in citrus fruits. However, the isolated substance of tricin, Caseria Arborea, asparagus racemosus tablets, the ashwagandha plant, Marigold flowers are helpful to slow down the infection and, depending on the stage of the disease can also help in the elimination of the virus. Nitric oxide is also effective against the parasite.
Since the disease adversely affects more than just one system of the infected human body, traditional medicine may alleviate the immediate pain and suffering but might not be able to treat it off completely. That is because the disease is a complex one. However, through traditional medicine, prevention and control of Leishmaniasis could be possible. Also, it requires a combination of intervention strategies depending on the mode of transmission.