Sunstroke is known by many names as ‘thermic fever’, ‘heatstroke’ or ‘siriasis’. All the synonyms indicate one common thing, i.e. ‘Serious medical emergency.’ Sweltering summer days not only make the environment uncomfortable but they also tend to raise our body temperature. Heatstroke is basically characterised by fits and state of unconsciousness. Sometimes, it can even be life-threatening and must, therefore, be taken seriously.
One of the most common ways to catching a heatstroke is with staying outdoors for too long. Heat exhaustion is a temporary phase where your body is overloaded with heat, but a heat stroke is a much more serious condition that can lead to death if left untreated.
Heatstroke, instead of heat exhaustion, occurs when there is prolonged exposure to high temperatures, loss of bodily fluids and lack of supplementary fluids that results in overheating of the body. Its temperature is raised to more than the normal body temperature of 37 degree Celsius and when the body’s temperature rises above 40 degree Celsius, serious damage to the vital organs can also occur. So how can you identify, prevent and treat heatstroke?
First, look for these symptoms for a person experiencing heat stroke:
- Rapid breathing
- High degree Fever
- Increased heart rate
- Flushed skin or redness or dry skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating and dizziness
- Pain in muscles, organs etc.
A heat stroke may hit you as a result of low fluid levels in your body or severe dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water to replenish fluids lost through sweating, you tend to expose yourself to the risk. Your body needs to be hydrated to be able to respond to the heat. Moreover, alcohol and caffeinated drinks may make the situation worse as they affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.
Home Remedies to Cure Heatstroke
Nature has unfolded many things in its lap. It is the ‘Best Cure’ for every disease or problem. Likewise, for heatstroke, it has many solutions or curing tools. They are:
- Onion: Onion is the best weapon to fight against sunstroke. It has a wonderful heat absorbing tendency. Make a thick paste of onion and apply it on the patient’s forehead. Applying onion juice behind the ears and on your chest can also help bring down your body’s temperature. For therapeutic purposes, onion juice is more desirable, however, you can also roast some raw onions with cumin and honey and have it. Raw onions in chutneys or salads can also cool your system. You can also keep a white onion in your pouch while going out in the heat.
- Dried Fenugreek leaves (Methi): Dried leaves of Fenugreek have the Magical touch to cure sunstroke. Take some leaves of fenugreek and soak them in water. After some time, crush the leaves, add a little honey to the crush and filter. Give this blend to the patient once in every two hours. It will show a healing effect very soon.
- Buttermilk & Coconut Water: Take two to three glasses of buttermilk to avoid sunstroke. It works effectively. Yoghurt along with water can also be taken as an alternative. It plays a vital role in keeping the body temperature under control. Similarly, coconut water rehydrates your body by naturally balancing the electrolytes in your body.
- Unripe green Mangoes: Green mangoes are best in treating sunstroke. Boil some mangoes and filter it. Then, add sugar, black salt, roasted cumin and pepper to it. Have a glass of this shake (Aampanna). It has a soothing effect.
- Twist of Tamarind: Tamarind is rich in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Soak some tamarind in boiling water. Strain it and drink it with a pinch of sugar. This decoction lowers your body temperature. Tamarind juice also acts as a mild laxative and helps in treating stomach disorders.
- Juice of Coriander & Mint: Extracting the juice of coriander or mint leaves and drinking it with a pinch of sugar is an easy home remedy to bring down the body heat. According to Ayurveda, these herbs have a cooling effect on the body. Due to its cooling properties, coriander water is also considered as a great remedy for reducing menopausal heat and flushes. In fact, coriander juice can also be applied to sooth hot and itchy skin.
- Tulsi Seeds and Fennel Seeds: A concoction of tulsi seeds mixed in some rose water is known to cool your system instantly. Fennel seeds are also known as a cooling spice. Soak a handful of them overnight in water, strain and drink the water in the morning. This will keep your body cool and guard you against the heat.
- Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera is high in vitamins and minerals. Besides this, it is known as an adaptogen it boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to the external changes and stimulates the defensive mechanisms of the body. Adaptogens are known to stabilise the various systems of the body. Herbalists also suggest one to use aloe vera gel to cure prickly heat.
In sunstroke, as the temperature goes down, water from the whole body starts evaporating in the form of sweat. Finally, the cells start drying up rapidly. It can be prevented by:
Wood apple juice (Bael): The juice of Bael fibres and sugar in summer acts as a good heat absorbing agent. If you have the opportunity to enjoy this seasonal fruit be sure to try having Bael during summers.
Plenty of Water: Drink plenty of fresh water. It prevents the body from sudden dehydration and maintains body homoeostasis.
Sunstroke can be avoided by adding green vegetables and fresh juicy fruits in your diet, during summers. Eat mango, watermelon, orange, cucumber etc.
Lastly, consider following some of the instructions below.
- Wear light coloured clothes that reflect more heat.
- Try to avoid outdoor activities during daytime or during the peak of the day in hot summers.
- Avoid dehydrating beverages like strong teas, coffee and alcohols.
- Bring a bottle of water with you during the day time.
- Carry a foldable umbrella in your bag.
It is great to be outdoors in summer and getting some important vitamin D but remember to exercise precaution so that you can enjoy your time in the sun fully.