Alternative Treatments for Mononucleosis: Read About Some Diet, Herbal, and Homeopathic Remedies That May Help Relieve Symptoms

Common treatments for mononucleosis are aimed at giving symptomatic relief. Patients are advised to rest until the predominant symptoms of sore throat, fever and a general feeling of illness clear up. Mononucleosis can carry a risk of damaging the spleen so people with the condition are told to avoid heavy lifting or sports for six to eight weeks. Acetaminophen or NSAIDs can be taken for fever and pain. Children should not be given aspirin because it might bring on Reye’s Syndrome. Researchers in 2005 found that an antiviral drug named valacyclovir had beneficial effects on the EBV. A subsequent small scale test found the antiviral reduced the excretion of EBV and might have a clinical benefit in mononucleosis [1]. Some alternative treatments may reduce the severity of mononucleosis.

Diet

Animal proteins should be avoided during the course of the disease. Protein supplements such as vegetable protein drinks will support the body organs involved in mono. Sore throats can be eased during meals by using organic baby foods or foods pureed in a blender. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible, including sugar, caffeine, soft drinks, alcohol and fried foods. Juices (made in a juicer) from combinations of carrots, beets, tomato and green pepper with added garlic and onion can help.

Nutrient Therapy

Supplement with the following:

  • 50,000 IU of Vitamin A for two weeks, and then reduce this to 15,000 IU a day. CAUTION: If pregnant don’t take more than 8,000 IU a day.
  • Vitamin B complex: 100 mg a day.
  • Vitamin C: 10,000 mg a day or up to bowel tolerance in divided doses.
  • Vitamin E: 400 to 800 IU a day for one month.
  • Magnesium: At least 75 mg a day.
  • Coenzyme Q10: 30 to 90 mg a day.

Herbal Therapy

Take the following as directed on the label:

  • Astralagus tablets
  • Gleditsiaq tablets
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Dandelion tablets
  • Hawthorn tablets
  • Milk thistle tablets

Homeopathic Remedies

Depending on the following symptom complexes, use these remedies:

  • Red throat worse on the right side; swallowing problems that are increased with liquids; neck gland swellings: Belladonna.
  • Swallowing difficulties as above plus chills with thirst; fever; night sweats; pain in the liver area when stooping over: Calcarea carbonica.
  • Feeling of a lump in the throat that worsens at night; tonsil enlargement; excessive fatigue, high fevers: Carcinosum.
  • Shooting pains into the ears; tiredness; weakness; dizziness: Gelsemium.

Other Mononucleosis Treatments

For some, these alternative therapies have helped: Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine or Chinese Medicine. Biofeedback training may relieve the worse symptoms. Consult a naturopathic physician for advice in these areas.

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References and Recommended Resources

[1] Balfour, H. H., Jr., et al. “A virologic pilot study of valacyclovir in infectious mononucleosis,” Journal of Clinical Virology 2007 May; 39(1):16-21.

Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Herbal Healing. (New York: Avery, 2002).

Krohn, Jacqueline, M.D. and Frances Taylor, M.A., Finding the Right Treatment: Modern and Alternative Medicine. 2d. ed. (Vancouver, BC: Hartley and Marks, 2002).