(Last Updated on : 12/02/2014)
Mumps or the epidemic Parotitis refers to a virus infection of the salivary glands, gonads, and occasionally other parts of the body. There is also the inflammation, swelling and tenderness of the parotid gland lying behind the lobe of the ear. It is a childhood contagious disease that occurs most frequently in children and young persons between the ages of five and fifteen years; which is transmitted through droplet infection from the mouth and nose of the patient. The disease spreads from children to children in school; babies however are immune from this disease. Most persons have mumps only once in their lives, but one person in ten may have a second attack.
Symptoms of Mumps:
The incubation period of the disease is 14 to 20 days. The first sign of mumps is swelling and pain. The pain is first felt under one ear with stiffness of the neck and jaw. There is a slight fever, which subsides in three or four days. The swelling appears first under one jaw and then extends under the other jaw. The patient is then unable to open his mouth due to intense pain and thus, mastication and swallowing becomes difficult due to the pressure of the swelling. One more possible complication is pancreatitis.
If the disease, however, occurs after puberty, the testicles or the ovaries may be affected in males and women respectively. In males, the gonads are usually swollen. If the disease spreads to the testicles, the swelling and pain are very considerable, there is high fever, and the patient may become depressed and confused. Mumps can also lead to meningitis (inflammation of the soft membranes of the brain) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) with delirium, severe headache and other signs of irritation of the meninges, or it may spread to the pancreas, when the symptoms include pain in the abdomen and loss of appetite. The patient may feel nausea and vomit.
Causes of Mumps:
Mumps are caused by a virus, which attacks the salivary glands of the mouth, particularly the parotid glands located on each side of the face just below and in front of the ear. The infecting organism is a paramyxovirus. After a person is exposed to a case of mumps, it takes about two weeks for the disease to appear. Dietetic errors are at the root of the trouble.
Treatment of Mumps:
A patient should be kept on a diet of either the juice of orange, or the other fruits like sweet lime, apple, pineapple, grapes or vegetables like carrot, diluted with warm water on a 50:50 basis for a few days. When the child can swallow food comfortably and the swelling has subsided, an all-fruit diet should be adopted for a day or two. Thereafter, he may be allowed to gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables.
The warm water enema should be used daily during this period. Hot and cold fomentations should be applied every two hours during the day for about 10 minutes, and should consist of two or three hot applications, followed by a cold one. The mouth should be cleaned with an antiseptic wash.
Chebulic myroblen (harad or haritaki) is one of the most effective remedies for mumps. A thick paste made by rubbing this herb in water and applied over the swelling will give relief. The leaves of the peepal tree are another effective home remedy for this disease. The leaves should be smeared with ghee and warmed over fire. They should then be bandaged over the inflamed part for beneficial results. A piece of a leaf of the herb Indian aloe should be peeled on one side and sprinkled with a little turmeric and extract of Indian barberry should be bandaged over the swelling after warming.
The seeds of asparagus are valuable in mumps. These seeds combined with fenugreek seeds should be ground together to the consistency of a paste. This paste can be applied beneficially over the swelling. Dry ginger
should be made into a paste and applied over the swollen parts. As the paste dries, the swelling will be reduced and the pain will also subside. The leaves of margosa are also useful in the treatment of mumps. The leaves of this tree and turmeric should be made into a paste and applied externally over the affected parts. It will bring good results. Until the temperature returns to normal the patient is advised to take bed rest.
Treatment of Mumps by Magnetic Therapy:
Depending upon the age the patient, the magnets SEM or MEM should be applied over the inflamed region on both sides if so affected. In case only one side is affected, the North Pole should be applied over it for 20 minutes twice daily. North-pole oil should be applied locally before the application of the magnets. Mixed magnetized water should be taken thrice daily. In case of complications, the magnets should be applied appropriately.