What Is Mumps

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus, which affects the salivary glands near the ears.  These glands are responsible for producing saliva.  Mumps was extremely common in the United States until the Mumps vaccination became routine.  The number of cases has dropped dramatically since then, but Mumps outbreaks can still occur, especially in people who have not been vaccinated or in close contact setting like schools or college campuses. 


Signs Of Mumps

The hallmark symptom of Mumps is swollen salivary glands, which will cause the cheeks to puff out.  It is also possible for Mumps patients to never experience symptoms, or only experience mild ones.  Symptoms will typically appear about two to three weeks after being exposed the virus.  Other symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Pain in swollen salivary glands (on one or both sides of the face)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain while chewing or swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
What Causes Mumps

Mumps is caused by a virus that spreads from person to person through infected saliva.  If the person is not immune, it is easy to contract the Mumps virus by breathing in saliva droplets from the sneeze or cough of an infected person.  It is also possible to contract the virus by sharing utensils or cups with someone who has Mumps.  Other causes are not listed below because the only cause is the virus spreading through infected droplets of saliva. 

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • If you contract the Mumps virus, it is very common to feel dehydrated and weak.  For this reason, it is advisable to intake fluids as often as possible, but don't drink soda, energy drinks, caffeine, or other sugary beverages.  The focus should be on water or herbal, caffeine-free teas.  While we recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day to remain hydrated, you may need to drink more than that to combat the symptoms.  It can also be beneficial to consume electrolytes, including fresh coconut water, kombucha, or lemon water.
  • In order for your immune system to kick the virus and reduce symptoms, the body needs to rest.  Not only does remaining at home to rest properly limit your contact with other people, but it also helps the body rejuvenate.  You don't need to be on bedrest, but you should aim to get 8-9 hours of sleep every night.  Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people with the Mumps to remain at home for at least 7-10 days once symptoms develop. 
  • People who contract viruses have the common goal of boosting the immune system, because a strong immune system helps to inhibit the spread of the virus.  In order to boost the immune system, it is ideal to focus on consuming antiviral herbs, which build the immune system's ability to protect the body from further harm.  Beneficial antiviral herbs include echinacea, elderberry, andrographis, ginger, garlic, astragalus root, reishi mushrooms, turkey tail mushrooms, olive leaf, licorice root, oregano, and sage.
  • The common pain in the salivary glands can be quite uncomfortable.  While this isn't a natural remedy to help the virus go away, applying cold packs can help relieve the soreness caused by the swollen glands.  You can also apply heat packs, alternating between cold and heat to soothe the pain. 
  • It's not too late to eat a healthy diet if you contract the Mumps virus.  In fact, adopting a healthy diet that is loaded with diverse nutrients is one of the best ways to decrease the risk of further Mumps complications.  Try to eliminate processed foods, fried foods, refined sugars and grains, dairy products, and meats from your diet.  Instead, it is beneficial to consume high-antioxidants foods (fruits and vegetables), healthy fats (coconut and olive oils and avocados), and foods that support a healthy gut (cultured vegetables, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and miso). 
  • When you are in a house with a virus, it is very important to regularly sanitize surfaces.  This helps limit the incubation period and decreases the risk of other family members or roommates contracting the virus.  Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, including countertops, doorknobs, refrigerator handles, the stove, faucets, and electrical outlets.  You can make your own disinfectant sprays, so long as the alcohol percentage is between 60-70%.  Anything lower will not properly disinfect surfaces. 
Things you should eat
  • Kimchi
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Fermented Vegetables
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Oregano
  • Reishi Mushrooms
  • Turkey Tail Mushrooms
  • Avocados
  • Guavas
  • Green Leafy Vegetables (kale, spinach, chard, or collards)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Turmeric
  • Blueberries
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