What is Zika?

Zika virus is a member of virus family Flaviviride and genus Flavivirus. It is transmitted by mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus which are active in the day time. These are the same type of mosquitoes which transmit diseases like dengue, yellow fever and Japanese Encephalitis. The disease caused by Zika virus is known as Zika fever. It can be transmitted from the infected pregnant woman to her fetus.

History of Zika

In 1950s, it was spread from Africa to other countries. Recently in 2016, Zika virus was spread over Latin America and the Caribbean islands, causing birth defects mainly microcephaly which causes abnormal head sizes in the new born babies of infected mothers. Now, cases of Zika virus are reported in states like Rajasthan.

Adverse effects

The virus has been linked to thousands of birth defects like microcephaly, wherein the babies are born with smaller heads and brains, other problems like  seizures, vision problems, hearing loss, intellectual disability, developmental delay and problems with movement and balance. These problems can range from mild to severe and are often lifelong which can even be fatal in some cases. Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where affected by Zika virus, who are not already been infected are at risk of infection. A person bit by an infected mosquito takes about 2 - 7 days to show symptoms.


  • Mild fever
  • Skin rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
These symptoms are usually mild and is often confused with the symptoms of common flu and can be confirmed only by a blood test.

Natural Remedy for Zika fever 

  • Papaya leaf juice: Boosts immune system and increases blood platelet count.
  • Turmeric: Boosts immunity system because of its antioxidant property and is a powerful antimicrobial agent.
  • Basil (Tulsi): Antiviral property prevents free radical from entering the body.
  • Vishnugrandhi: Cures all types of fever.
  • Ginger, Garlic, Pepper, Long pepper: Boosts immune system and has antimicrobial property.
  • Nilavembu: Cures all types of viral infection and fevers.

Preparation of decoction

  • Take a handful of basil leaves (tulsi), vishnugrandhi powder, nilavembu powder, an inch of ginger, 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, pepper and long pepper.
  • Mix all the above ingredients, add 5 glasses of water to it and allow it to boil to half its volume.
  • Strain the remaining mixture and take the decoction seperately.
  • While consuming, 50 mL of this decoction needs to be mixed with 5 mL of honey. This procedure has to continue for 3-5 days, 3 times per day.



Gac fruit is an edible fruit which is highly nutritious and has a lot of attractive medicinal benefits. Botanical name of this fruit is Momordica cochinchinensis. It belongs to the family of Curcubitaceae. Traditionally, gac has been used as food as well as medicine for treating many diseases in China, India, Carribean islands and in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Phillipines, etc. Leaves and fruits are used in Vietnamese culinary dishes. There are several beverages prepared from gac fruit for wedding and other festivals in their culture.

Gac is purely seasonal fruit that only ripens once in a year. It is a climber plant and is usually cultivated to grow on fences. Gac fruits round to oval in shape and  orange in color. The outer layer of this fruit is covered with red color thorns which are toxic and whole outer layer is not edible. So, these should be removed while consuming and the soft pulp inside the fruit surrounding the seeds is the only edible part of this fruit.  The edible seeds are brown or black in color and are used as traditional medicine in china.Gac fruit can be consumed in various ways like mixing its juice with other fruit juices or can be blanched and consumed raw.

Nutrients in Gac fruit

It has the following health promoting nutrients - carotenoids, proteins, dietary fibers,unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamins like A, D, E, K, beta carotene, lycopene, bioactive compounds like trypsin, zeathanin, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. 

Antioxidants in this 10 times more than in carrots. Lycopene is more than 70 times than in tomatoes. It is low in sugar which makes it diabetic friendly.

Regular intake of this fruit can help to

  • Prevent a wide range of heart diseases like hardening of the walls of the arteries, atherosclerosis, etc.
  • Lower the risk of heart attack.
  • Heal wounds, sun burns, burns, skin diseases and scars.
  • Cure prostate problems in men.
  • Improve vision and prevent eye related problems.
  • Prevent the formation of cataract.
  • Improve the function of nerves system and prevent the nerve damage.
  • Prevent aging and delays the formation of wrinkles.
  • Give youthful appearance.
  • Reduce depression.
  • Cure anemia because it contains high amount of iron and folic acid.
  • Lower the risk of lung and colon cancer.
  • Reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Improve fertility in both men and women.
  • Reduce the risk developing cancer as it has anti-cancer property.
Add this wonderful fruit to your diet for a healthy living.