About the Illness

Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lungs that often occurs after another respiratory illness such as measles, whooping cough, flu, bronchitis, asthma or any very serious illness. In such cases symptoms of pneumonia start with a cold or sore throat for 2-3 days before other symptoms develop, including coughing and fever, as described below. Most pneumonia is caused by viruses, and is less serious than bacterial pneumonia. Generally there is no effective treatment for viral pneumonia and it tends to heal on its own. Bacterial pneumonia causes more serious illness, but can be treated effectively with antibiotics if it is caught early.


Common Symptoms

General symptoms:
Lack of appetite; nausea/vomiting; night fever; aching joints; general weakness.
Viral pneumonia:
Fever; dry cough; headache; muscle pain; weakness; increasing breathlessness.
Bacterial pneumonia:
Sickness develops quickly; high fever; severe chest pain; sweats; cough with greenish/rust-coloured sputum; faster breathing and pulse rate; grey/blue lips & nails due to lack of oxygen.
Fungal pneumonia (PCP):
Develops slowly; dry cough; shortness of breath and rapid breathing; fever; chest pains.


Children’s Issues

A child exposed to HIV should receive medicinal protection against PCP from 6 weeks of age until it is established that she is not infected with HIV. Any child suffering from recurring episodes of pneumonia should be checked for possible HIV infection. Sometimes a child’s only symptom is rapid breathing. A very sick child who takes more than 50 shallow breaths in a minute probably has pneumonia. Do not force children to eat who are not feeling well, but encourage them to drink liquids, especially with a fever. Sometimes babies’ bodies become very rigid when they are sick with pneumonia, and you can relieve this with massage to aid relaxation and ease pain. Take some Vaseline, warm it up and use it to massage all over. You MUST NOT massage the spinal cord when doing this as you could cause serious long-term damage.


Important Information

People who are HIV+ and children (particularly children under 1 year old) are at high risk of contracting pneumonia. The most serious form of pneumonia that affects HIV+ adults and children is called PCP (caused by a fungus called Pneumocystis carinii). This fungus is very common, but most people who are infected with it don’t get pneumonia because their immune systems work properly. PCP is most common during the first year of life, peaking between 3 and 6 months of age. It can be treated, but early recognition and treatment are very, very important. If you think you or your child have symptoms of PCP, visit your doctor immediately as the only way to confirm infection is through lab tests. If an HIV+ adult or child exposed to HIV displays any symptoms of pneumonia get them checked out by a health professional as soon as possible.

Early diagnosis and treatment can save life.


Herbal Therapy

Microglossa pyrifolia Drink good for kids

Crush the roots to powder and dissolve 1 tsp in 3/4 glass hot water with 1 tsp honey.
Leave to cool.
Drink 1/2 glass 3x daily for 4 days (6-10 yrs: 2 tbsp 3x daily; 2-6 yrs: 1 tbsp 3x daily; up to 2 yrs: 1 tsp 3x daily) If there is no improvement by then, seek professional help

Beetroot, Cinnamon, Ginger & Garlic Drink  good for adults only

Mix 1/2 glass beetroot juice with 3 tbsp each of cinnamon, ginger, garlic, white pepper, lemon juice, honey (it is optional to add 1/2 tsp Warburgia ugandensis bark) and brandy as an optional preservative.
Dilute in 2 ltr water.
Take 4 tbsp 3x daily after meals.

Ginger, Onion, Garlic, Lemon & Honey Drink careful use for kids only

Crush ginger, onion and garlic and add boiling water with lemon and/or honey.
Drink 1 glass 3x daily before meals (10-16 yrs: 1 glass 3x daily; 6-10 yrs: 1/2 glass 3x daily; 2-6 yrs: 2 tbsp 3x daily; up to 2 yrs: do not use).
Only use a small amount of ginger if treating children.


Food and Nutrition Advice

  • Drink plenty of liquids to ease the cough and loosen the mucus.

  • Drink immune-boosting juices and remedies.

  • If body temperature is below normal take Cayenne pepper to increase body heat.


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