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Natural home remedies or potential public health threat?

Can suggestions that home remedies and natural treatments cure disease be dangerous?

A recent article on TimesNowNews has covered potential treatment options for malaria. Their claim: malaria can be treated using herbal remedies.

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Is alternative medicine largely reliant on the placebo effect?

The article does mention that these treatments should only be used until proper treatment can be received from a doctor. However, issues may arise from the specific terminology used. To many who know little about the disease, or medicine as a whole, “treated” will be synonymous with “cured”. Moreover, the article does state “there are many home remedies that can help cure malaria” – potentially furthering confusion. As a result of this some may opt not to seek further treatment, under the impression that the home remedies are enough to fight off the condition.

It must be noted that TimesNowNews take a more balanced position when compared to other sites. It specifically mention that a doctor should be sought after to properly address the disease. However, many other websites and sources of information do not present such impartiality.

Websites such as only glancingly refer to allopathic medicine. When they do, they note they are prone to side effects to assert the appeal of natural remedies. Many individuals reading such an article may opt out of using clinically proven medications.

Such a concept is dangerous in the case of infectious disease. A person may opt for natural remedies or lifestyle changes to remedy non-communicable conditions such as diabetes and cancer. This decision will only affect the individual in question. However, in the case of infectious disease, even one individual opting to ignore clinical treatment can result in them acting as a reservoir for the disease in the local community.

In the case of malaria even a single individual afflicted with the disease can spread the malaria parasite back to a mosquito host. This in turn can cause the mosquito to begin infecting more human hosts, potentially creating a resurgence of the disease in the area.

As concerns abound over health misinformation circulating online, it is imperative that those spreading it be held to account, especially those operating as legitimate news or health advisory sites

While the suggestions of TimesNowNews such as ginger and citrus fruits may aid in boosting immunity or helping recovery, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to seek proper medical treatment.

Treatments with medications such as artemisinin and quinine are fast and effective, with treatment regimens often completed within a week. Many medications will help to prevent resurgence, as well as prevent the parasite that causes malaria from being transferred to other humans.

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