Tuberculosis infection struck an estimated 10.4 million people in countries around the world in 2015 alone.1 In recent years drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause TB disease, have made treatment more challenging. This makes the hunt for viable home remedies and naturopathy treatments more critical than ever.
Unlike the traditional regimen of six to nine months of medication2, these natural remedies take a holistic look at your health. Herbal treatment and home remedies for TB address nutrition, general health, and immune function. This is apart from the focus on getting to the root of the problem to stop the bacteria from thriving. What’s good is that many of these remedies can help whether you have tuberculosis (TB) of the uterus, lungs, lymph node, or other body parts. Just remember to use these as supplementary therapies after consulting your doctor.
Simple Home Remedies To Treat Tuberculosis Naturally
1. Get Some Sunshine
If you’re looking for home remedies for bone TB, sunshine may be the ally you need. Low levels of vitamin D in your body are said to be linked to an increased risk of developing active TB.3 While you could take vitamin D supplements, sunshine is a natural way to boost vitamin D levels in the body without risking excessive consumption.
How to get it: Aim to get 15 minutes if you are fair-skinned and a couple of hours if you are dark-skinned. Be sure to expose your skin to the sunlight directly.4
2. Try These Natural Remedies
Garlic is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic extracts have also been found to be helpful in fighting Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen responsible for TB infection. Even more compelling is its ability to inhibit the growth of multidrug-resistant forms of the bacteria, strains that are eluding mainstream medicine. This has led researchers to suggest that garlic extracts can be considered as a cost-effective alternative.5 However, it has not been tested in large clinical studies and is best used as a supplementary therapy at present.
How to use: It is important to have freshly crushed garlic to make the most of the treatment and the protective immune response it creates.6 Crush some garlic cloves and add them to a salad dressing or stir into your plate of food if you can manage the strong pungent flavor. Another option is to boil crushed garlic with milk. Reduce it down to a fourth of its original volume and drink up.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, is another natural treatment for TB. Researchers have found that it can help upregulate the proteins that bring on cell death of the disease-causing pathogens. Stem bromelain, found in pineapple stem and juice, helps reduce foam cell formation – something that is typical of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. This, along with other actions of bromelain like reducing the levels of free glutathione, can help clear the bacteria from the body.7
If you are looking specifically for home remedies for TB in the lungs or for the TB cough, pineapple juice can help on that front as well. Pineapple juice has been found to help dilute mucus and stimulate its expulsion, something known as expectoration.8
How to use: Simply whizz up homemade pineapple juice with the stem and all. Chug down a glass every day as part of a balanced, wholesome diet. Needless to say, if you’re allergic to pineapples, this is a herbal remedy to avoid!
The tropical fruit has more to offer than you think. Research has shown that the extract from the stem where the banana cluster is attached can help beat TB bacteria. The fruit themselves are abundant in vitamin C that helps build immune system strength to fight off the infection. What’s more, the fruit is easily digested even by those whose systems are weak.9
How to use: The juice from banana stem must be freshly extracted and drunk immediately. Anecdotal reports suggest that drinking this daily can help your system battle TB. However, as with any natural remedy for TB, be sure to consult your doctor and do not stop your regimen of medicine.
If nausea is killing your appetite and causing you to lose weight, use some home-brewed ginger tea to ease the discomfort. It can prevent nausea and reduce the urge to vomit.10
How to use: Simply brew up ginger tea by steeping sliced or grated ginger in boiling water and sweetening with honey.
Indian gooseberry, amla, or Emblica officinalis is an antioxidant-rich herbal remedy used in Ayurveda and natural remedies. It has antitussive properties that help reduce the coughing linked to TB of the lungs. It also reduces spasms, inflammation, and mucus secretion in your body’s airways.11
Indian gooseberry can also help counter the side effects of TB medication such as the possibility of liver damage. As an animal study found, Indian gooseberry has a hepatoprotective effect. So, taking this alongside your regular TB medication can help reduce the risk of liver toxicity.12
How to use: Extract a tablespoon of gooseberry juice and mix in with an equal amount of honey and consume.
The leaves and the seeds of the drumstick plant Moringa oleifera show significant
antimycobacterial activity, which is why they are a potential remedy for TB.13 Drumsticks are also rich in protein, amino acids, phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, vitamins, and β-carotene, all of which are vital nutrients for someone with a weakened system from the tuberculosis infection.They are also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, making them good home remedies for the TB cough and TB of the lungs and of the lymph nodes.14 In fact, traditional medicine has used drumsticks as a treatment for TB for centuries.15
How to use: You can try recipes that use drumsticks – a curry, for instance. Alternatively, boil drumstick fruit, seeds and all, in water and drink the broth every day. A pinch of black pepper can be added to flavor it.
Which brings us to our next TB fighter! Black pepper helps improve the effectiveness of some TB drugs. For instance, it is known to enhance the bioavailability or levels of rifampicin.16 It can also help exert a protective effect on the gastrointestinal tract.17
How to use: Add a pinch of pepper to herbal or black tea or sprinkle it on soups and salads and in broths and stews. Alternatively, you could grind up a few black peppercorns with honey and eat a spoonful of this mix daily. You can drink a black pepper brew as well – simply boil the peppercorn in water and sweeten the reduced liquid with honey. Black pepper roasted in clarified butter or ghee is also a herbal remedy for TB.
3. Get Enough B-Vitamins And Iron
There is also a view that inadequate nutrition can allow TB to thrive as your body isn’t strong enough to fight the pathogen. Ensure you have lots of wholegrain foods and dark green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach or even sea vegetables like kelp, arame, and wakame to get your recommended daily intake of iron and B vitamins.18
4. Drink Milk
Milk is another natural remedy used in TB treatment. This wholesome source of calcium and vitamins can help strengthen the body and counter the wasting away of tissues that’s typical among TB patients. It is also a natural laxative for those plagued by constipation due to TB. Unani medicine suggests drinking a cup of milk every morning to help your condition.19 It is also a good home remedy for those with bone TB because of its mix of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and B vitamins.
5. Cut Out Food Allergens, Trans Fats, And Refined Foods
Another important step to recovery from TB or to prevent a recurrence of the infection is to eat fresh and healthy food. This means cutting out potentially harmful foods like chemical additives in your food, preservatives, refined foods like white bread or refined sugar, trans fatty acids typically used in packaged or commercial baked cakes, cookies, crackers, donuts, margarine, and other processed foods. If you are allergic to certain foods, it is important to avoid these as well – dairy, gluten, soy, and nuts are common offenders.20
|↑1||Data and Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑2||Treatment for TB Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3||Nnoaham, Kelechi E., and Aileen Clarke. “Low serum vitamin D levels and tuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” International journal of epidemiology 37, no. 1 (2008): 113-119.|
|↑4||How do I get the vitamin D my body needs?. Vitamin D Council.|
|↑5||Hannan, Abdul, M. Ikram Ullah, Muhammad Usman, Shahid Hussain, Muhammad Absar, and Khursheed Javed. “Anti-mycobacterial activity of garlic (Allium sativum) against multi-drug resistant and non-multi-drug resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis.” Pak J Pharm Sci 24, no. 1 (2011): 81-5.|
|↑6||Hasan, Nazarul, Mashiat Ullah Siddiqui, Zahra Toossi, Saba Khan, Jawed Iqbal, and Najmul Islam. “Allicin-induced suppression of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 85B mRNA in human monocytes.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 355, no. 2 (2007): 471-476.|
|↑7||Mahajan, Sahil, Vemika Chandra, Sandeep Dave, Ravikanth Nanduri, and Pawan Gupta. “Stem Bromelain–Induced Macrophage Apoptosis and Activation Curtail Mycobacterium tuberculosis Persistence.” Journal of Infectious Diseases 206, no. 3 (2012): 366-376.|
|↑8||Sharma,Sujata Pandit, and Brajbhushan.“A Study on Nutritional Efficacy of Pineapple Juice in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma.”International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2015.|
|↑9||Kumar, KP Sampath, and Debjit Bhowmik. “Traditional and medicinal uses of banana.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 1, no. 3 (2012).|
|↑10||Marx, Wolfgang, Nicole Kiss, and Liz Isenring. “Is ginger beneficial for nausea and vomiting? An update of the literature.” Current opinion in supportive and palliative care 9, no. 2 (2015): 189-195.|
|↑11||Nosal’ova, G., J. Mokrý, and KM Tareq Hassan. “Antitussive activity of the fruit extract of Emblica officinalis Gaertn.(Euphorbiaceae).” Phytomedicine10, no. 6-7 (2003): 583-589.|
|↑12||Tasduq, S. A., P. Kaisar, D. K. Gupta, B. K. Kapahi, S. Jyotsna, and R. K. Johri. “Protective effect of a 50% hydroalcoholic fruit extract of Emblica officinalis against anti‐tuberculosis drugs induced liver toxicity.” Phytotherapy research 19, no. 3 (2005): 193-197.|
|↑13||Nkya, John Wilson, Paul Erasto, and Musa Chacha. “Antimycobacterial and cytotoxicity activities of Moringa oleifera Lam extracts.”|
|↑14||Anwar, Farooq, Sajid Latif, Muhammad Ashraf, and Anwarul Hassan Gilani. “Moringa oleifera: a food plant with multiple medicinal uses.” Phytotherapy research 21, no. 1 (2007): 17-25.|
|↑15||Mugal, Khawaja Tahir Mahmood1 Tahira, and Ikram Ul Haq. “Moringa oleifera: a natural gift-A review.”|
|↑16||Srinivasan, Krishnapura. “Black pepper (Piper nigrum) and its bioactive compound piperine.” Molecular targets and therapeutic uses of spices: modern uses for ancient medicine. Edited by BB Aggarwal and AB Kunnumakkara. World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore (2009): 25-64.|
|↑17||Prakash, Usha NS, and Krishnapura Srinivasan. “Gastrointestinal protective effect of dietary spices during ethanol-induced oxidant stress in experimental rats.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 35, no. 2 (2010): 134-141.|
|↑18, ↑20||Tuberculosis. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑19||Siddiqui, M. M. H., and M. Shamim Khan. “Dietotherapy and its significance with special reference to the management of Dique (tuberculosis).” (2008).|