New Delhi: Papaya leaf, goat milk not useful in treating dengue, say AIIMS doctors

New Delhi (PTI): Experts at AIIMS, however, stressed on the need for a controlled trial on effectiveness of papaya and giloy leaf extracts and goat milk on patients suffering from dengue. File photo

Even as the demand for giloy and papaya leaves, aloe vera and goat milk shot up in Delhi with dengue patients opting for these to increase platelet count, doctors at AIIMS said there is no scientific proof that these help fight the disease and advised people not to fall for it.

“We don’t recommend these ‘herbal cures’ like aloe vera, papaya leaf and goat milk. We would also advise people not to scramble for these as there is no scientific evidence or research based on which it can be conclusively said that these herbs and fruits can be effective in the treatment of dengue,” said S K Sharma, Head of Medicine Department at AIIMS.

Yoga guru Ramdev recently at a press conference in the city advocated for the use of giloy, aloe vera and papaya leaves claiming that these ayurvedic herbs help increase the platelet count in dengue patients.

Experts at AIIMS, however, stressed on the need for a controlled trial on effectiveness of papaya and giloy leaf extracts and goat milk on patients suffering from dengue.

“If the intake of these increased platelets in two or three people, that doesn’t establish their efficacy in the cure of dengue. There has to be a proper controlled trial on their effectiveness in treatment of dengue,” Dr Sharma added.

Doctors also said that dengue in the national capital has not yet become an epidemic. “It has not yet become an epidemic, there is just a surge in cases,” Dr Ashutosh Biswas, additional professor of medicine at AIIMS said.

Dr Biswas said drop in platelet count is not a factor of worry in dengue cases unless there is active bleeding.

“Platelet transfusion is not required even if the counts are less than 10,000, unless there is active bleeding. In dengue, there is severe dehydration due to which blood becomes thick, leading to haemoconcentration and decreased blood pressure, which in turn leads to multi-organ failure.

“Adequate hydration is the best management approach to dengue while keeping a tab on the hematocrit levels,” Dr Biswas added.

Dr Anil Goswami, assistant professor at the Centre for Community Medicine (AIIMS), urged people not to panic citing 99 per cent of dengue cases were preventable and manageable at home and do not require admission.

“Fatality rate in dengue case is just 0.3 per cent and 99 per cent of dengue patients can be cured with proper treatment and care at home,” he said.

Delhi Government is grappling to contain spread of the vector-borne disease which has affected close to 4,000 people and claimed over 25 lives.


  1. When you go to the doctor he says there is no medicine for dengue (at least until recently). Papaya leaf juice has worked on all cases I have seen. So we do have the “surmisable” evidence of the fact that it does work.

    You just don’t know whom to believe and what to discard these days as different studies come up with different findings on the same subject. On top of that there are these lobby group-sponsored studies which just inflict scare on people’s minds such as Soursop/guanabana/lakshman-phal consumption worsens cancer but there is no evidence of that. Looks like there is big money invested in Cancer research so the industry is scared such simple solutions may harm their interests so they bribe a western-educated stooge to write an essay which casts aspersions on such remedies while scaring the shit out of people.

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