Measles is one of the most contagious viral diseases. It can occur at any age, but usually affects children aged one to three. Once you have had measles you should have lifelong immunity.

An infant whose mother has had measles is immune for the first year of life, after which time they are susceptible. Although children are more likely to catch measles, adults can too.

The first tell-tale signs of measles are called Koplik’s spots. These are easily overlooked, being sneakily located inside the gums opposite the first and second upper molars and look like tiny grains of white sand surrounded by a red circle. A much more obvious sign is the body rash.

The red lumpy blotchy rash of measles begins behind the ears and rapidly spreads over the body. By the time the rash appears, symptoms similar to influenza are often present, including a barking cough, red and sore conjunctiva, tiredness, irritability, aching in the back and limbs, a sensitivity to light, shivering, thirst and fever. Measles are most contagious a day or two before the rash appears. The child with measles has a higher risk of ear infections and pneumonia. For this reason it is important for the child to rest as much as possible and take measures to boost the immune system.

The immunisation debate rages, however one reason parents immunise their children is to prevent the remote risk of encephalitis and SSPE (sub acute sclerosing pan encephalitis) which are conditions that result in brain damage.

What To Do


  • If you don’t feel hungry, don’t force the issue. However, keep your fluid intake up by drinking soups.
  • Avoid milk products and sugar to discourage mucus formation.

Herbs and Supplements

  • These supplements can also be given to children.
  • Take one tablet each of the tissue salts, Ferrum. phos. and Kali. Mur. every hour during the acute stages.
  • Take the homoeopathic remedy Aconite 30C at the very first sign of measles. Bryonia 30C is good if there is a fever present.
  • Echinacea, vitamins A and C and zinc will help boost the immune system during and after the infection.

Other Steps

  • Rest.
  • If you feel hot, sponge or bathe with a few drops of peppermint oil in cool water.
  • If you are aware that there is a measles epidemic, give your child a dose of the homoeopathic remedy Morbillinum 30C. Taken once daily for seven days, you just might keep measles at bay or at the very least reduce the severity of symptoms.

At a glance

Good food
Food to avoid
Milk and sugar.
Remedies to begin
Ferrum. phos., Kali. mur., Aconite 30C, echinacea, vitamins A and C, zinc.
See Chickenpox.