Rabies: Natural Home Remedies

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted from animals to people. Domestic dog bites account for a vast majority of the deaths caused by the rabies virus.

Angry dog snarling

The virus is transmitted via the saliva of rabid animals (dogs, bats, monkeys, foxes, skunks, raccoons and coyotes, among other less likely animals) and enters via an opening (a scratch or wound) to reach the bloodstream. It can occur if an infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with your mucous membranes or any opening in your skin. The virus then migrates toward the brain where it replicates and causes symptoms to appear.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The incubation period, before symptoms occur, can range from just a few days to years. The average incubation is from 3 to 8 weeks. Once a person shows signs and symptoms, the disease is nearly always fatal. The following symptoms may appear in an infected person:

  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, nausea, vomiting)
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Excessive salivation
  • Hallucinations
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Death

PREVALENCE

Rabies is uncommon in the U.S. because of mandatory animal vaccinations and availability of the post-exposure treatments for people. The majority of deaths, which may be 50,000 per year or more worldwide, occur in India, with a slightly lesser amount occurring in other Asian countries. More than 15 million people worldwide receive post-exposure vaccinations annually.

CONTAGION

Human-to-human transmission is known to have occurred in several instances as a result of organ transplantation, and once from a mother to her infant in breast milk.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

You can get a pre-exposure vaccination, which you might choose to do if you are traveling to a high-risk area. If you have a pre-exposure series of jabs, it will give you some protection but you still will need to get more vaccinations within the first day or two following exposure. With the pre-exposure jabs, you will get three shots. If you are then exposed to rabies, you will need two more. If you don’t have the pre-exposure jabs, you should start your vaccinations on the day of exposure (preferably within 2 hours but at least within 24) and you will need five shots over a one-month period, on days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 30.

If you did not have the pre-exposure jabs, you should be receiving rabies immunoglobulin (serum with rabies antibodies), along with the first vaccination dose, which gives immediate protection while your body builds antibodies from the vaccinations (which takes a week or two). The immunoglobulin is in short supply and may not even be offered or mentioned (in India, for example), so you’ll need to ask. It may require a trip to a city to get it. Treatment with the immunoglobulin is especially important for bleeding wounds in a “severely exposed” individual.

The vaccinations are given in the deltoid muscle and are not very painful, as shots go. The site of the injection may feel quite sore for several minutes. If you have the immunoglobulin, it is injected into the wound or the muscle of your upper leg. You may have some reaction to the shots, like a slightly elevated temperature or nausea. Severe reactions are rare.

SELF TREATMENT

The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research. Since there is no evidence that any treatment is proof against rabies once symptoms appear, please consider these suggestions as adjunctive to vaccination, or to help you recover from the effects of the vaccination. The “detox” ideas will be more general, for any vaccine, because there is very little published about the rabies vaccine, which is unusually virulent.

The single most important thing you can do IMMEDIATELY is to wash the wound for several minutes, preferably with soap and clean water. Apply an antiseptic agent (a natural antiseptic is an option). If you are unable to find soap or clean water but are near the sea, get in the water and rinse that wound for several minutes and then use soap as soon as you can and go to a doctor.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against a virus, generally speaking, so it helps if you’ve already been eating well and building your health and strength. Still, the rabies virus can successfully evade immune detection on its way to the central nervous system. Once you have been bitten, at least avoid those things that you know are not good for you while you receive treatment and recover from the threat. Help your body build immunity with healthy, whole, living foods.

FOODS TO PROMOTE HEALING AND RECOVERY

  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Filtered water for cooking and drinking
  • Flax seeds
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Garlic
  • High-fiber foods
  • Organic food
  • Vitamin C-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol
  • Artificial foods or sweeteners
  • Cured meats
  • Sugar
  • Trans fats

HERBS, TEAS AND SPICES

Make teas from the following herbs, where practical, and use freely for cooking.

  • Acalypha ornate
  • Alangium Salvifolium
  • Aloe Vera
  • Astragalus root
  • Calendula
  • Cat’s claw
  • Cumin seeds, ground with pepper, mixed with water and applied to the wound
  • Damiana
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Ginger
  • Gravel root
  • Hydrangea
  • Indigo
  • Licorice root
  • Marshmallow
  • Oregano
  • Plantain
  • Skullcap
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Tarragon
  • Usnea
  • Uva ursi

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. You can blend oils and in this case, that might be a good choice.

  • Bay laurel
  • Frankincense
  • Hyssop
  • Lavender compress on the wound
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Ravensara
  • Tea tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Chlorella
  • Garlic
  • Glutathione
  • Psyllium for regular bowel movements, if needed
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C

HYDRATION

If you are detoxing, drinking plenty of pure water is crucial. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you are detoxing, drink at least one ounce per pound. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink whenever you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Exercise is responsible for changes in our antibodies and in cells that combat disease. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to stay mellow. Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Enemas if needed for regular bowel movements
  • Get plenty of sunshine for Vitamin D.
  • Have saunas.
  • If possible, spend your post-vaccination time in a place with pollutant-free air.
  • Make your environment as chemical and toxin-free as possible.
  • Walnut, ground and used as a wound dressing

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • Avoid interacting with stray dogs and wildlife.
  • Be wary of pets in poor countries, as they may not be vaccinated.
  • Consider a pre-exposure prophylaxis if you are going to a high-risk area, or will be a long distance from medical care.
  • Take precautions if you work with animals. Theoretically, all warm-blooded mammals can be infected with rabies.
  • It’s not a good idea to run from animals that like to chase.

person running from dog on beach

NOTES

  • There’s a radical treatment used in several cases called the Milwaukee Protocol. Sometime in or before 2011, a 15 year-old girl was treated and recovered from rabies once she had symptoms. Since then, there have been health notifications that this protocol should be abandoned while others hail it as a breakthrough in rabies treatments.
  • See the post for Vaccinations for self-treatment after a vaccination and an anecdote about a proponent of natural medicine opting for the vaccination after a dog-bite in India.
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