Loss of consciousness or fainting due to overexposure to high temperatures. If left untreated, the victim could die. The condition is often preceded by heat exhaustion, fatigue, weakness, faintness, and profuse sweating. However, once heat stroke has occurred, sweating diminishes and often stops completely. The skin becomes flushed, hot, and dry; the breathing is shallow; and the pulse is rapid and weak. As the condition progresses, body temperature raises dramatically, and, without treatment, the victim may quickly lose consciousness and die.
What is Heat Stroke?
From Modern Western Medicine
A life-threatening condition resulting from overexposure to extreme heat, heat stroke is brought on when the body’s heat-regulating mechanisms breakdown and temperature become dangerously high. In some cases, body temperatures may reach 107°F or higher, which can cause brain damage and death. Without emergency treatment, the person can lapse into coma and die.
It is caused by prolonged overexposure to the sun in a climate of unusually high heat. Usually the climate is also humid, which prevents the body from cooling itself through the production and evaporation of sweat. Very high fever can bring on the condition, though fever is a rare cause. People who are taking anticholinergic drugs (which reduced sweating), older people in poor health or those unaccustomed to being in a hot, humid climate (especially if they are dressed in hot clothing) are most at risk.
Emergency medical assistance is essential. Undress the victim and dress in a cold, wet sheet that is kept continually wet, meanwhile, sponge the person with cold water and fan them till the temperature is reduced to 101°F, or until the body is cool to the touch. If the person is conscious, give them salt tablets or a weak salt solution to sip (about 1/4 tsp. of salt in a pint of water). When heat stroke is treated early, a full recovery can be expected.
Foods to Eat
These foods protect against summer heat:
- Radish juice
- Bitter melon juice
- Watermelon juice
- Mung beans (in soup)
- Summer squash
- Curries open pores and create perspiration to cool body off
- Chilies open pores and create perspiration to cool body off
Foods to Avoid
- Animal foods (meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry as they raise body temperature)
- Fried foods
Herbs to Treat Heat Stroke
These herbs will help keep the body temperature down:
- Red clover: 6 – 15 g in infusion
- Peppermint: ½ – 6 g
- Chrysantemum: 3 – 9 g
- Veratum album is useful in most cases of heat exhaustion, when there is prostration with clammy sweat, pallor, nausea, marked weakness, and sometimes rapid pulse
- Cuprum metallicum: if in addition to the symptoms for which veratum album is indicated, there are cramps, this will be the appropriate remedy