The benign malarial fevers call for no special dietary. During the febrile paroxysms food need not be given; if given it would probably not be retained. Fluids may be taken freely, and such as promote diaphoresis are to be recommended. Hot tea is often retained better than cold drinks, and if given weak is beneficial. Various hot drinks, such as lemon decoction, infusions of lemon grass or other faintly aromatic substances are also useful. In the apyrexial intervals, light but not slop diet may be taken freely, unless there is persistent gastric irritation.
In the so-called malignant malarial fevers the pyrexial attacks last longer, but as the attack can usually be treated effectively in two or three days, it is not necessary to force much food on the patient. Any food that is given should be in a fluid form. Milk and soda-water, if given in small quantities at a time, is usually retained even when there is a considerable amount of vomiting, Food that is not vomited is usually digested.
In all cases of malaria a light diet, consisting of fish, fowl and vegetables, with a little red meat, may be taken during convalescence. Care must be exercised to vary the diet, as there is often distaste for food, partly from the disease and partly from the effects of the quinine used in the treatment. Stimulants are not required during an ordinary attack of malaria. In the graver cases and in young children they must be used if there be any sign of cardiac failure.