Mumps are the epidemic Parotitis refers to a virus infection of the salivary glands, gonads, and occasionally other parts of the body. It is a contagious disease that occurs most frequently in children and young persons between the ages of five and fifteen years. The disease spreads from children to children in schools. Babies are immune from this disease. Most persons have mumps only once in their lives, but one person in ten may have a second attack.
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 gland becomes tender on pressure. On account of the pressure of the swelling, mastication and swallowing becomes difficult.
If the disease occurs after puberty, the testicles may be affected. The ovary may be infected in females. IN males, the gonads are usually swollen. If the disease spreads to the testicles, the swelling and pain are very considerable, there is a high fever, and the patient may become depressed and even a little 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 vomit.
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 the mumps, it takes about two weeks for the disease to appear. Dietetic errors are at the root of the trouble.
The patient should be put in bed for several days until the temperature returns to normal. He should be kept on a diet of orange juice diluted with warm water on a 50: 50 basis for a few days. If the orange juice does not suit, the juices of other fruits such as mosambi, apple, pineapple, grapes, or vegetables like carrot should be given. 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.
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.
Chebulic myroblen (harad or haritaki) is one of the most effective remedies for mumps. A thick paste should be made from this herb by rubbing in water and applied over the swelling. It 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 a fire. They should then be bandaged over the inflammed part, with beneficial results.
The use of the herb Indian aloe (ghee kunwar or musabhar) is a well known remedy for inflammed and painful part of the body in the indigeneous system of medicine. A piece of a leaf of this herb should be peeled on one side and sprinkled with a little turmeric (haldi) and extract of Indian barberry (rasaut) and bandaged over the swelling after warming.
The seeds of asparagus (halon) are valuable in mumps. These seeds combined with the seeds of fenugreek (methi)should be ground together to a consistency of a paste. This paste can be applied beneficially over the swelling.
The dry ginger (adrak ) is considered beneficial in the treatment of mumps. It should be made into a paste and applied over the swollenparts. As the paste dries, the swelling will be reduced and the pain will also subside.
The leaves of margosa (neem) are also useful in the treatment of mumps. The leaves of this tree and turmeric (haldi) should be made into a paste and applied externally over the affected parts. It will bring good results.