An acute, contagious, febrile disease characterized by inflammation of the parotid glands and other salivary glands (mumps glands). Usually occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 16, but sometimes seen in adults also. But when it does occur in adults, the complications can be quite serious.
Onset is gradual. There may be chilliness, generally not feeling well, loss of appetite, headache, pain below the ears, moderate fever (101-102 F), or higher followed by swelling of one or both mumps glands (parotid glands). Usually swelling in one gland is subsiding as the other swells. Swelling is below and in front of the ear. The lobe of the ear is sometimes pushed forward, surrounding tissues are edematous, and the features may be greatly distorted. Movements of the jaw are painful and restricted. Saliva may be increased or diminished. In a third of cases only one gland is affected. Occasionally the glands seem to escape and the swelling is confined to the submaxillary gland (below the jaw). Swelling usually lasts 5-7 days.
Bedrest, a soft diet, and treatment of headaches. Isolation from other children until 2-3 days after the swelling has disappeared. Cold local applications may control swelling of testicles in Orchitis.
Mumps is contagious, but one attack usually affords lifetime protection.
Echinacea helps reduce swelling. Make a tea with this herb and mix with a small amount of juice and drink 4 times a day or more.
Lobelia extract is good for pain. Take a 1/2 tsp. every 3-4 hours.
Apply ice or heat, whichever feels best, to the swollen glands.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid dairy products, white flour or sugar, tobacco, and coffee.
Eat mostly raw fruits, vegetables that are juiced or softened.
Germanium, 200 mg. per day, helps the immune system.
Acidophilus, taken as directed on the label, introduces "friendly" bacteria the body needs to help digest food.
Vitamin C, 3,000-10,000 mg daily in divided doses, helps destroy the virus (use sodium ascorbate for children to lessen chances of diarrhea).
Zinc lozenges, dissolve in the mouth every 4-6 hours, are fast acting healing aids. Do not chew.
Maxidophilus or Megadophilus, taken as directed on the label, for adults or children, contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms.
Protein plus B complex, taken as directed on the label, supplies free form amino acids and B vitamins are important in healing.
Vitamin B complex with extra potassium, 100 mg. 3 times per day.
Vitamin A emulsion, 50,000 IU for adults, children under 12 take 15,000 IU, to help the immune system.
Vitamin E, 400-800 IU for one week, then reduce the dosage; children under 12 check with the doctor.
Kelp, 6 tablets taken daily, contains essential minerals, iodine, and all vitamins.
- Balm, sweet
- Chamomile flowers
- Clover, red
- Elder flowers
- Indigo, wild
- Lemon juice
- Poke root
- St. John's wort
If there are complications, they usually develop about the time the swelling subsides. The most common complication in the adult male is Orchitis (inflammation of the testes), in the female the common complication is Oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries) and mastitis (inflammation of the breast). In rare cases permanent impairment of hearing follows an attack of the mumps. Both male and female may have the possibility of sexual sterility as a result of the complications.