COVID-19 scare has led to widespread consumption of ‘kadha’ (spice blend) which usually contains ginger, lemon, garlic, turmeric, etc.
New Delhi: While the world waits for the vaccine for COVID-19, the unprecedented new Coronavirus continues to rage.
While most lockdown restrictions have been lifted and the country has gradually moved closer to the norm, an abundance of information on how to fight the spread of the virus, prevent possible infections, and protect oneself through the consumption of certain DIY Immunity Boosting Concoctions around the world on social media.
However, experts note an increase in side effects in people taking these homemade ‘kadhas‘; the problem is repeated and the use of high doses of these home remedies.
COVID-19 scare has led to widespread consumption of ‘kadha’ (herbal brew) ingredient list, which usually includes ginger, lemon, garlic, turmeric, pepper, aloe vera or berries.
Talking about the impact of excessive consumption of homemade ‘kadhas’, Dr. Sanjay Shah, General Physician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund recalls a curious case, he says:
“In a young patient, bleeding was noted after surgery; after examining the case and a detailed review of his medical history, we found that the patient ate a large amount of home-made kadha. This had led to internal bleeding.”
Another patient was taken to the emergency room with acute respiratory distress, he was pale and his hemoglobin level was low. The study noted that the 30-year-old patient ate 4-5 glasses of homemade kadha daily for the past five months. He added:
“The patient said that his stools had been black in color for the past two months and that he believed that toxins were being excreted as a result of the kadha. Therefore, the patient extended his visit to the hospital until he felt excessively fatigued.”
The patient’s misinformed risks caused internal bleeding (black colored stools were caused by decreased hemoglobin levels) and stomach ulcers. If it had not been taken to the hospital on time, it could have been potentially fatal.
While people are still inundated with social media posts about homemade recipes, or supplement marketers advocating for vitamins and other immunity-boosting alternatives, here’s a reminder that no such magic pill or drink exists.
Usually these homemade kadhas (also popularly known as Unani kadha or Malegaon kadha) are offered to everyone in the family in an effort to protect themselves from COVID-19, but what must be understood is that people react differently to them.
As a rule of nature, anything consumed in the right way and in the right amount will bring benefits. However, if consumed recklessly, it can be dangerous.
Overuse, especially by people with co-morbidities, patients on blood thinners, or medications for chronic diseases, can be dangerous, increasing the risk of bleeding. Depending on the bleeding site, be it the brain or the gut, the critical condition can range from normal to life-threatening
Consuming too many warm brews can lead to side effects such as ulcers or superficial bleeding in the mouth.
Spices in homemade concoctions generate excessive heat in the body and can cause nose bleeds; it disturbs the esophagus and causes erosion of the esophagus, it also causes gastroesophageal reflux and affects digestion. When digestion is compromised, it can potentially affect a person’s immunity.
Components in ingredients such as turmeric and aloe vera can be harmful to the liver when consumed in excess. If the liver is damaged or infected, jaundice may be diagnosed. This can also cause bleeding in the organ, which can lead to life-threatening liver failure or injury.
Arsenic Album is another widely used immunity booster. When used in limited and controlled amounts, it can be beneficial to health; However, when used in excess, it can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, or brain, sometimes causing a patient to become unconscious due to arsenic toxicity and requiring critical care.
Vitamin D for the immune system is a well-promoted necessity. Excess vitamin D increases the level of calcium in the body causing a person to become irritable and sometimes unconscious. Peak levels of calcium in the blood and urine due to high Vit-D levels cause nausea, dehydration and dizziness, among other things.
It is important to note that these ingredients are harmless when consumed in small amounts and under the medical guidance of your doctor.
Serious consequences occur with an unbalanced intake; be safe, be warned. Before starting your course of homemade kadhas, talk to your doctor, understand the role of each ingredient and the frequency with which it is eaten; Don’t be reckless with this.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])
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