There has been a severe outbreak of Dengue fever now in parts of India. It could be due to the intermittent monsoon rains that cause the Aedes Aegypti mosquito to breed and multiply easily in the stagnant waters. While dengue is curable in most of the cases if identified and treated early, serious complications can occur if the blood platelet count drops too low. There are no specific medicines to cure it. So, the patients are prescribed drugs to treat the symptoms of the infection. There is a high fever of 100 degrees or above associated with dengue which lasts for 2-4 days that can treated with paracetamol tablets (Calpol/Dolo etc.). Red colored rashes can occur in the receding phases that can be too itchy. Lacto-Calamine lotions are prescribed that soothes the skin and relieves the irritation to some extent.
Unfortunately my mother was infected with dengue few weeks ago and all my fears came to life. She was admitted to hospital with severe dehydration and fever. On day 1 she was administered IV fluids to restore her fluid levels. The symptoms of dengue include severe joint pains, heavy feeling in the eyes, high fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite etc. In most of the cases that I have heard, the patients lose appetite and refuse to eat anything due to the bitter feeling in the mouth. This can weaken the body pushing to dangerous dehydration levels. With the IV drips she started to feel better. The NS1 dengue antigen test came positive.
One of side effects of dengue infection is dropping platelet and WBC counts. Once infection begins, the platelet count start dropping from the normal average of 1,50,000. It can decrease by 10-30 thousand every day. WBC count drops from the average of around 4500. If the count drops too low plasma fluid leakage can occur that can lead to other complications. The hospital was full of dengue patients with varying degrees of infections.
But what is the hype with Papaya leaf extract and its miraculous properties?
I too was curious about this therapy reading articles about it online about its success in increasing the platelet counts. But I was skeptical about it. The nearby patients and nurses also suggested giving the leaf extracts. Her platelet count dropped to 1 lakh next day. WBC fell to 2000.
I had also heard stories about doctors denying giving papaya leaf extract to patients citing negative reasons. That’s when our doctor came for checkup and prescribed this medicine: Pyropill. Here is a photo of it.
And what does it say? Carica Papaya and Andrographis paniculata extract. Or in common terms, it contains extract of Papaya and a herb known as Kiriyath in India. She was administered two of this pill daily. After feeling relieved seeing this, I went home and prepared an extract of papaya leaves. A fresh leaf was plucked from the top, cleaned and stem between the leaf were cut off.
With a little water I made it in to a paste and used a strainer to get the juice out of it. She was given two teaspoons of this juice twice that day, in the morning and evening. Within the next day, the platelet count jumped to 1,90,000 and WBC to 6300. She felt better and was recovering fast. The fluids were stopped and she started taking regular food. I didn’t give the extract the next day as Pyropill was already doing its job. The platelets stabilized at 1.44 lakhs and WBC at 5000. After two days she recovered and was discharged from the hospital. Here is the report:
This post is to educate others who are skeptical like me on the effectiveness of the papaya leaf extract in increasing platelet counts. From my own experience and the success stories that I heard from so many patients at the hospital, I can say that it does help a lot in recovering from dengue infection. Even the allopathic doctor too prescribed Pyropill which substantiates my claim.
Few articles published on this kind of therapy: