Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: March 24, 2024

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant global health concern, ranking as the 12th leading cause of death worldwide. Despite advancements in healthcare, TB continues to claim millions of lives each year. In 2020 alone, it led to over 1.5 million deaths globally, surpassing the mortality rate of other formidable diseases like HIV/AIDS. In this blog, we will delve into the symptoms, causes, prevention strategies, and Ayurvedic treatments for tuberculosis.

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, observed on March 24, 2024, persists with the resounding theme of “Yes! We can end TB.” Despite advancements in healthcare, TB remains one of the most lethal diseases worldwide, compounded by a concerning rise in drug-resistant strains in recent years. This significant day serves as a poignant reminder to reaffirm our dedication, ignite inspiration, and mobilize action toward eradicating TB from our communities.

Did you know? In 2022, global case notifications increased over the previous year, with 7.5 million, or 70 percent, of estimated incident cases diagnosed and started on treatment. 

Annual Tuberculosis Report to Congress, FY 2023


Tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, primarily affects the lungs but can also impact other parts of the body. It spreads through the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, making it highly contagious. While an estimated 2 billion people worldwide carry the TB bacteria, only a fraction develop active tuberculosis due to factors like weakened immunity.



  • Persistent Cough: A prolonged cough that lasts for more than two weeks is a common symptom of tuberculosis. It may produce phlegm or sputum and can be accompanied by chest pain.
  • Coughing up Blood: Hemoptysis, or coughing up blood, is a concerning symptom often associated with advanced stages of tuberculosis. Blood may appear in the sputum or cough up separately.
  • Chest Pain: Chest pain, particularly while coughing or breathing deeply, can indicate tuberculosis. It may range from mild discomfort to severe pain.
  • Unintended Weight Loss: Significant and unintentional weight loss is a hallmark symptom of tuberculosis. It occurs due to the body’s increased metabolic demands as it fights the infection.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue or weakness is a common symptom of tuberculosis, often persisting despite adequate rest and sleep. It can impact daily activities and overall well-being.
  • Prolonged Fever: A persistent fever, especially if it lasts for several weeks or months, can be indicative of tuberculosis. Fever may fluctuate in intensity and is often accompanied by other symptoms.
  • Night Sweats: Profuse sweating, particularly during sleep, is a characteristic symptom of tuberculosis. Night sweats may drench the sheets and clothing, disrupting sleep patterns.
  • Breathlessness: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can occur as tuberculosis progresses, particularly if the infection spreads to the lungs or affects respiratory function.
  • Extrapulmonary Manifestations: Tuberculosis can also affect organs beyond the lungs, leading to extrapulmonary forms of the disease. Symptoms may vary depending on the organ involved and can include neurological deficits, kidney dysfunction, and joint pain.


  • HIV Infection: Individuals infected with HIV have a significantly higher risk of developing tuberculosis due to their compromised immune systems.
  • Close Contact with Infected Individuals: Direct or prolonged exposure to someone with active tuberculosis increases the likelihood of transmission.
  • Weakened Immune System: Conditions such as malnutrition, diabetes, and certain medications weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to tuberculosis.
  • Environmental Factors: Poor ventilation, crowded living conditions, and exposure to air pollution can facilitate the spread of tuberculosis.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as organ transplantation and chronic kidney disease, can increase the risk of tuberculosis due to their impact on immune function.
  • Lifestyle Habits: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and substance abuse can compromise respiratory health and exacerbate susceptibility to tuberculosis.


  • Good Ventilation: Ensuring adequate airflow in living and working spaces helps reduce the concentration of airborne tuberculosis bacteria.
  • Hygiene Practices: Practicing good hygiene, including regular handwashing and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, minimizes the risk of tuberculosis transmission.
  • Wearing Masks: Individuals exhibiting tuberculosis symptoms should wear masks to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets containing the bacteria.
  • Nutritious Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals strengthens the immune system, making the body more resilient to tuberculosis.
  • Avoiding Close Contact: Limiting close contact with individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis reduces the risk of transmission.
  • Proper Hand Hygiene: Washing hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching potentially contaminated surfaces, helps prevent tuberculosis transmission.


In Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, several herbal remedies are believed to aid in the management of TB according to a 2016 study. While Ayurvedic treatments should complement conventional medical care, studies have shown promising results in alleviating symptoms and reducing adverse effects of anti-TB drugs.


  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and Honey: A potent combination known for its immune-boosting properties, amla mixed with honey can help combat TB-causing bacteria.
  • Drumstick Leaves Concoction: Drumstick leaves, when combined with black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and hot water, form a therapeutic beverage that aids in TB management.

Did you know? Tuberculosis (TB) is 100% curable if treated with the approved four-drug combination for a minimum of six months.

 MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2022
  • Walnut-Garlic-Ghee Blend: Crushed walnuts and garlic mixed with ghee create a nourishing concoction with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  • Black Pepper and Asafoetida Infusion: Frying black pepper seeds in ghee, then adding a pinch of asafoetida powder, produces a potent remedy to be consumed thrice daily.
  • Orange Juice with Salt and Honey: A refreshing blend of orange juice, salt, and honey provides a vitamin-rich tonic to support TB recovery.


Nutrient-rich foods play a crucial role in supporting the body’s immune system during TB treatment. Oranges, mangoes, sweet pumpkins, carrots, guava, custard apple, black pepper, Indian gooseberry (amla), tomatoes, nuts, and seeds are highly recommended for TB patients due to their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant properties.

Tuberculosis remains a formidable global health challenge, necessitating comprehensive strategies for prevention and treatment. While conventional medicine is pivotal in TB management, exploring complementary approaches such as Ayurveda can offer additional benefits. Individuals can embark on a holistic journey towards combating this pervasive disease by understanding the symptoms, causes, and preventive measures associated with TB, coupled with the integration of Ayurvedic remedies and dietary interventions.

In the ongoing battle against tuberculosis, knowledge, awareness, and a multidisciplinary approach are our most potent weapons. Together, let us strive to mitigate the impact of TB and envision a future where this ancient scourge no longer claims millions of lives.