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Cure for Plague in Traditional Medicine

Plague has been one of the most dreaded of diseases for the human race and there are many examples of its devastating toll on the human population and economy. A recent example of the terrifying rapidity with which this disease spreads is found in the outbreak of bubonic plague that occurred in India in 1994. The first case of human infection that was reported was on the 22nd of August in the village of Mamla Beed in the state of Rajasthan. The disease then rapidly spread to the city of Surat in the neighboring state of Gujarat. The first case that was reported here was on the 2nd of September and this resulted in a mass exodus of people away from the state in an attempt to escape the infection. Close to fifty people died in Surat as a result of this disease.
The disease then spread rapidly to the capital city of New Delhi by the 25th of September. The government of India went into overdrive and a massive campaign was launched to stem and eradicate the disease. By the 9th of October, the disease had been successfully contained.

Although this disease was rapidly contained due to prompt action by the Indian government it led to a massive economic loss, in addition to the loss of many lives. During this period India was isolated by other nations, Indians were denied entry abroad, and many foreign airlines cancelled their flights into the country. During this period India suffered a loss of about two hundred billion rupees in foreign exchange earnings.

Although the prompt action by the Indian government is laudable, it is imperative that effective methods to combat this menace be devised to combat the allopathic medication that is already available. The two most commonly used drugs used in treating the plague are tetracycline and streptomycin. This duo is supported by a cocktail of other allopathic drugs. However, these drugs are expensive and not readily available in rural areas. In addition, if not administered properly, they can cause harmful side effects and may even lead to the plague bacillus developing resistance to the drug.

A better alternative is for countries to develop medication based on their traditional systems of medicine which can be used to effectively complement the action of these allopathic drugs. There are a number of alternatives that have been recommended by the Indian schools of Homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Unani medicine. Homoeopathy prescribes a regular dosage of Phosphorus-3D for avoiding the plague. Unani physicians recommend a powder made from Zahar Mohora Jadwar and Camphor. They also recommend fumigation by burning Carom Seeds (Trachyspermum ammi syn. Carum copticum), Margosa (Azadirachta indica), Camphor and Sandal wood. Ayurveda prescribes a tea made from Margosa, Ginger leaves, and Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). It also specifies a combination of twenty plants to be burnt for fumigation purposes.

The need of the hour is to further research the efficacy of these traditional methods of combating the plague and to devise methods of synthesizing them into drugs which can be used effectively for treating this deadly menace.

Submitted on January 16, 2014