Tuberculosis (TB) is included in the world’s top 10 causes of deaths. Over 95% of the deaths due to TB, occur in the developing and underdeveloped countries with 60% cases coming from India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Pakistan etc. In 2016, about 1.7 million people died of TB. One of the major issues, faced by the medical community, which hampers the complete eradication of this deadly disease, is the rise of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis across the globe.
Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a public health crisis and a health security threat. WHO reported about 600,000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin which is considered the most effective first-line drug for TB. 490,000 cases out of these 600,000 had MDR-TB.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated a decrease in the incidences of tuberculosis by 2 percent. In addition, the WHO has also stressed on exploring and implementing all the possible efforts and treatments for TB. The primary effort that could serve the purpose includes the validation of the well-known conventional ethnomedicines.
The word “Ethnomedicine” refers to the traditional medicines. Ethnomedicine is basically a study or comparison done by various ethnic groups, and especially by indigenous people regarding the practice of traditional medicines for treating various diseases.
Crepe jasmine, lemongrass, and crepe ginger have been traditionally used as remedies for various symptoms of tuberculosis. The researchers also subjected these three plants to evaluation in order to discover their advance anti-tuberculosis activities.
Extracts were obtained from these three plants. The analysis included the assessment of the phytochemicals and the active compounds that were potent enough to influence the growth and cellular integrity of a tubercle organism. The results revealed that all the three plant extracts exhibited significant anti-TB characteristics. They showed maximum cidal activities at concentrations of around 100-200 μg/ml.
The plant extract was reported to be rich in lipophilic fatty acids that hinder the propagation of the tuberculosis bacteria to grow. The authors noted that crepe ginger and crepe jasmine had elevated killing effects for the TB bacteria. However, lemongrass was revealed to be efficient at the destruction of the cellular structure of the mycobacterium. The n-hexane partition of the extract was attributed to the anti-tuberculosis activities.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent for TB. It spreads through the air from person to person. About a quarter of the world’s population is said to possess the latent form of the bacteria. This means that they carry the inactive bacteria inside their body and haven’t been affected yet.
Tuberculosis affects people with compromised immune systems. Those with HIV or suffering from malnutrition, have a much greater risk of falling prey to the disease. Tuberculosis is the foremost cause of death among HIV-positive people. In 2016, 40 percent of HIV deaths were caused by tuberculosis.
Early symptoms of tuberculosis are,
- A cough with bloody spit
- Chest pains
- Weight loss
- Night Sweats
Rifampicin is the common and current medicine used to treat the infection. However, experts have also reported an increase in the number of people becoming resistant to it. This leads to an alarming situation that could possibly be tackled by treating the disease naturally.
In addition to the above-mentioned extract following foods could also be employed in order to battle the disease.
Bananas, Garlic, Oranges, and gooseberries are some convenient and accessible foods to serve the purpose. Garlic is rich in sulfuric acid, inhibits bacterial growth, and has an immune-boosting effect. Bananas alleviate the cough and fever and help strengthen a patient’s immune system. Oranges ease the expectorations and protect the body from secondary infections. Amla or Indian gooseberry exhibits anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. All of them could be employed in order to treat the infection naturally and conveniently.