Chikungunya treatment or Chikungunya joint pain is a common query during and after a monsoon or rainy season. Chikungunya is a viral disease. Its initial sign and symptoms are very similar to dengue fever. Its symptoms include severe and persistent joint pain, body rashes, headache and fever. It is NOT a life threatening disease. In some parts, Chikungunya has also spelt Chicken Guinea, but there is no relation of chikungunya with chicken or guinea. Chicken guinea is just a misspelt word of Chikungunya. In Ayurveda, Sandhi Jwara is found to be quite similar to chikungunya on the basis of their symptoms.
In this article, I will explain about Chikungunya covering following topics –
- Introduction to chikungunya
- Cause – Infection by Chikungunya Virus
- Sign & symptoms
- Treatment in Modern Medical Science (Allopathic)
- Prevention & Control
- Chikungunya - An Ayurvedic approach
- Chikungunya Treatment & Management in Ayurveda
- Home remedies
- Dietary & Lifestyle advice
Introduction to Chikungunya
Chikungunya is a viral disease spread by a mosquito Aedes egypti, the same which is also responsible for dengue fever. Sudden onset of high-grade fever with or without chill accompanied by joints pain is the main symptom of Chikungunya. Fever lasts for 2 to 7 days while joints pain may last for several weeks to several months. Other associated symptoms are skin rashes, fatigue, digestive problems, nausea and vomiting.
Chikungunya is first observed in 1952 in Markonde Plateau, along with the border between Tanganyika and Mozambique. The term Chikungunya was first described by W.H.R. Lumsden. According to Lumsden, Chikungunya word is derived from a root verb “Kungunyala”. Markonde people use it to describe a condition “to become contorted” or a condition “which bends up”. By the meaning, it is clear that the arthritic condition is so acute or painful which is reflected through a patient’s posture.
Cause – Infection by Chikungunya Virus
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) belongs to the family Togaviridae and genus Alphavirus. The vector of this disease is Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the same responsible vector for Dengue and Yellow fever.
Sign & Symptoms
The incubation period of Chikungunya virus can be 2-12 days, but usually 3-7 days. After this period there is a sudden onset of high-grade fever (>40° C or 104° F) associated with chills, arthralgia (bone, joints and muscle pain), skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, headache, conjunctival suffusion, mild photophobia etc. may be seen. There might be swelling and tenderness of joints of extremities (fingers and toes).
Clinically, sudden onset of high-grade fever with arthralgia (bone and joints pain) in epidemic condition gives a clue to suspect Chikungunya.
Pathologically, decreased lymphocytes count, with viraemia, virus-specific IgM antigen by ELISA is done to confirm the diagnosis.
Chikungunya Treatment in Modern Medical Science (Allopathic)
Till date, there is no specific treatment available for Chikungunya in modern medical science. The vaccine is under investigation and is not available in the market. Supportive care and symptomatic treatment are recommended which includes NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as naproxen, paracetamol, and fluids. Aspirin is avoided to prevent increased risk of bleeding.
Prevention and control
Chikungunya virus is transmitted to human through a mosquito bite. The best method of its prevention is protection against the bite of virus carrier mosquitoes and controlling their breeding. The Aedes mosquito lives in fresh stagnant water and bites mostly in the day time.
To prevent mosquito bites, following measures should be followed –
- Use mosquito repellant on exposed skin.
- Wear long sleeved shirt and full pant to cover the body.
- Use mosquito bed net while going to sleep or during day rest time.
- Use mosquito repellant devices or vaporisers.
- Stay in well-screened
The prevention of mosquito breeding may be done by source reduction, use of larvicide and biological controls.
- Source reduction may be done by eliminating all water containing open sources at home or nearby areas like a cooler, open water tanks, flower pot etc. We should not allow water to store more than a week.
- Pyrethrum extract (0.1% ready-to-use emulsion) may be sprayed in rooms (not outside) to kill the adult mosquitoes hiding in the house.
- Biological controls include the introduction of larvivorous fish, namely Gambusia and Guppy in water tanks and other water sources.
Chikungunya Treatment - An Ayurvedic approach
The concept of communicable disease is very well defined under Janapadodhwamsa (by Maharishi Charaka) and Oupasargik Roga (by Maharishi Sushruta). In Ayurveda, Chikungunya term is not described directly or we can say that there is no direct reference of Chikungunya, but the condition when Jvara/ Jwara (fever) is associated with arthritis or arthralgia can be equated with it. Sandhigat Sannipata Jwara described by Bhava Prakash can be better correlated with Chikungunya. Fever, swelling and inflammation over joints, nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, cough and body ache are the main symptoms of Sandhigat Sannipata Jwara.
Chikungunya Treatment and Management in Ayurveda
As we know that Chikungunya is not a life threatening disease. Ayurveda is the best choice to manage Chikungunya effectively. Ayurvedic medicines act as a symptoms modifier and general health promoters.
Single Herbs which can be used in Chikungunya treatment are as follows-
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Shunthi (Zingiber officinale)
- Bhunimba (Andrographis paniculata)
- Patha (Cissampelos pariera)
- Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Nimba (Azadirachta indica)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Vibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
- Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia)
- Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
- Kutaki (Picrorrhiza Kurroa)
- Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata)
- Guggulu (Commiphora wightii)
- Haridra (Curcuma longa)
- Sallaki( Boswellia serrate)
- Nirgundi (Vitex negundo)
- Ashwagandha (Witahnica somnifera)
- Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Ayurvedic polyherbal/ herbo-mineral/ metallic formulations used in Chikungunya treatment are as follows -
- Amritottara Kvatha – fever and joint pain, health promoter
- Gandharvahastadi Kvatha – pain and inflammation, laxative
- Chhinnodbhavadi Kvatha - fever
- Dasamula Kvatha – fever and chest pain
- Darunagaradi Kvatha – acute and chronic fever
- Nimbadi Kvatha – fever with a cough
- Patoladi Kvatha - fever
- Panchatikta Kvatha – fever, immunomodulator, detoxifier
- Rasnadi Kvatha – joint pain and inflammation
- Rasna erandadi Kvatha – swelling and tenderness of small joints
- Maharasnadi Kvatha – joints pain and stiffness
- Shadanga kvatha – fever
- Amritarishtam – fever, appetiser, general health promoter
- Mahasudarshan Gulika - fever
- Maha Yogaraj Guggulu – arthritis, joint pain and inflammation
- Yogaraj Guggulu - arthritis, arthralgia, joint pain and inflammation
- Sudarshan Churna - fever
- Ananda bhairava Rasa - fever
- Arogyavardhani Gutika – chronic fever and skin rashes
- Vettumarana Gulika – fever and pain
- Tribhuvana kirti rasa- fever, cold, cough
- Eladi Gulika – nausea vomiting
- Bilwadi gulika – nausea, vomiting, abdominal gas, diarrhoea
- Jatamayadi Churna Lepanam – for local application in joints pain, tenderness and swelling
- Kottamchukadi Churna Lepanam - for local application in joints pain, tenderness and swelling
Chikungunya Ayurvedic Medicines by Ayurvite Wellness
- Defence Capsules – Recommended for Chikungunya treatment and management of its symptoms like fever, low platelets count, lethargy, and weakness. Buy Now
- Arthrozyl Capsules – It is found to be very effective in Chikungunya arthritis and joint pain. Buy Now
- Arthrozyl Liniment - A massage oil, highly effective in chikungunya joint pain. Buy Now
For Vector control, Dhoopan (fumigation) is described in Ayurveda.
- Astanga Dhuma – Nimba Patra, Haritaki, Yava, Vacha, Kushta, Sarsapa and Guggulu are taken in coarsely grounded They all are mixed together along with Ghrita and burnt.
- Aparajitha Dhooma Churna – Vacha, Arka, Devadaru, Gandha trina, Sarja, Nimba, Agaru and Guggulu are taken in coarsely grounded They all are mixed together and burnt.
- Take 2-3 Papaya leaves, remove its base branch. Clean it with water. Make its juice in a grinder by adding little amount of water. Filter and collect it in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoon honey, mix well and drink 2- 3 spoons two to three times a day. This is a very effective remedy for chikungunya treatment.
- Make decoction (Kwatha) of Giloy stem, and take 100 ml twice daily. To prepare Giloy decoction, take 40 gm of grated Giloy Boil it in 400 ml water and reduce till it becomes 100 ml. Filter and drink lukewarm. 1-2 teaspoon honey may be added.
- Take Tulasi leaves- 7 PC, Ginger- ½ inch, Black pepper- 2 PC. Crush all three and boil in 2 cups of water and reduce it up to 1 cup. Filter it and add1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon honey. Mix well and drink lukewarm. This can be taken twice daily.
Dietary & Lifestyle advice
- Always prefer freshly prepared homemade food.
- Drink plenty of water and consume more and more liquids or fluid.
- Always have light, easily digestible and warm diet.
- Don’t forget to use ginger and turmeric while preparing food.
- Always avoid cold drinks, carbonated drinks, alcohol, beverage etc.
- Avoid visiting the epidemic areas or disease prevalent areas.
- Always follow proper sanitation measures.
- Prevent skin exposure to the fullest.
This is all about Chikungunya, it’s sign and symptoms, prevention, chikungunya treatment and management. Hope you liked this article. Feel free to let me know about your queries and suggestions in the comment box below.