Anyone who’s had a fever knows how miserable and worrisome they can be. Even the slightest increase in body temperature can leave us feeling fatigued, chilled, and generally under the weather as our body uses one of its most potent strategies against invading illnesses – raising our temperature to kill it off.
Today I want to go over a few remedies that will help you treat a fever naturally and manage its symptoms.
A Bit More on Fevers, Its Symptoms, and Fevers in Children
Fevers are usually regarded as a symptom of an acute infection or underlying illness. In response, our body raises its temperature in order to stimulate the immune system and speed up detoxification. They are the body’s natural defense against infection or illness and having a fever is a good indication that the body’s immune system is taking action.
Body temperature can also change depending on the amount of clothing you’re wearing and physical activities. These fluctuations in body temperature are much different from fevers in the fact that your body is simply reacting to its environment and physical exertion. When you have a fever, you’ll definitely feel the difference!
Fever symptoms include:
• Feeling cold and having pale cyanosed (blue tinted) skin with shivering. This indicates that body temperature will still be rising.
• Feeling hot with flushed skin and sweating.
Many viruses and other illnesses thrive at normal body temperature. Having a fever is a sure-fire way to kill off these invaders. You just need to monitor and safely allow the fever to do what it’s meant to do.
If you have a temperature that is one degree above your normal body temperature it’s considered a fever, however in infants, it can be a bit trickier to determine sense their body temperatures naturally fluctuate between 97 and 100 degrees. You may be able to distinguish a fever in your baby from normal fluctuations because they will be irritable, lethargic, and uncomfortable.
Generally, if your baby has a temperature above 100 degrees then it’s safe to say they have a fever. Many microbes begin to die at around 102 degrees as cells begin to release chemicals called pyrogens (a fever inducing substance).
Fevers in children often leave many parents worried that their child will get brain damage if a fever isn’t quickly diffused. I remember as a child being put in a freezing shower to lower a fever which was both unnecessary and quite uncomfortable. Unless a fever is 103 degrees or above, it should be monitored and allowed to eradicate the invading illness as this is a sign that the immune system is working.
According to the U.S. Library of Natural Medicine, a fever of less than 107 degrees is unlikely to cause brain damage or other problems unless accompanied by more serious symptoms. I have to be honest though, I have never heard of anyone getting or even letting a fever get this high. For myself, I usually let them hover no higher than around 104 degrees but I am an otherwise healthy adult. Most fevers range from 101-103 degrees. Use your best judgement folks!
Here are a few serious symptoms to look out for when an adult has a fever:
• Acts lethargic
• Complains of a stiff neck
• Experiences a seizure
• Has diarrhea
• Has dilated pupils
• Has had a fever for more than 72 hours
• Seems confused or delirious
Here’s a few serious signs to watch for in infants and children:
• A child has a fever over 104 which can indicate a more serious infection or poisoning
• Appears dehydrated
• Cries continuously
• Has a significant decrease in urine output
• Has trouble breathing
• Is difficult to awaken
• Is under 3 months with a fever over 100.4 or exhibits serious symptoms
If you or someone you know has the above symptoms, it is highly recommended to contact your physician.
If you are otherwise just experiencing a normal fever, get comfy and let your body do its thing.
Reducing a fever can actually be counterproductive and may actually increase a cold or virus’s duration. Using fever reducing medications not only counteracts your body’s natural response they also cause your body to take its focus off killing invaders so that it can try and metabolize and filter medicines.
How to Treat a Fever Naturally
Now that you know a bit more about fevers, what causes them, and what to watch out for, it’s time for the remedies and how I manage fevers naturally.
During a fever, it’s important to eat lightly and to not force your body to eat if you have no appetite. This is because your body is focused on killing the invading virus or illness. Forcing yourself to eat or eating heavily will cause your body to have to split its focus so that you can digest your food. This can give the invader a distinct advantage and may raise your fever even higher. Fasting actually prevents your temperature from rising too high as the digestive system rests and gastric juices decrease.
It’s recommended that you eat steamed vegetables, soups, and broths to stay nourished and consume water and herbal teas to stay hydrated as a fever can quickly dry out your system. I often use my norovirus electrolyte recipe when I have a fever to keep up good hydration. Coconut water is another favorite!
Adding fresh ginger, garlic, and onion to your soups and broths is a great way to offer extra nutrients and anti-inflammatory foods to your diet during recovery.
What Foods to Avoid During Fever
It’s important to avoid sugar as much as possible as it depletes the number of white blood cells your body produces and depresses the immune system. Many fruit juices contain a lot of sugar so be careful when buying them. It’s also good to avoid dairy products as they also depress immunity.
2. Essential Oils
Using essential oils to help treat a fever naturally is a great way to moderate body temperature.
You can also use eucalyptus, spearmint, and German chamomile to help control and resolve the body’s warmth response by diluting 6 drops of essential oil in 1 TB of carrier oil and massage it over the body, especially the back of the neck and bottoms of the feet. For infants, you can use 1 drop of German chamomile in 1oz of carrier oil and apply a small amount to the bottoms of the feet.
3. Herbs That Help Manage a Fever
Using herbs to help your body sweat out a fever while supporting and strengthening your immune system will help you get well faster.
Here’s a few of my go to herbs for fever:
Boneset – This herb has the ability to break terrible fevers associated with influenza, most notably “Breakbone Fever”. This type of fever is also known as Dengue fever and feels like the heat goes down to the bone hence this herb’s name. It’s an excellent diaphoretic and I always have some in my pantry.
Catnip – Catnip is an amazing diaphoretic meaning that it will induce sweating without raising body temperature to help break a fever. Drinking it hot as a tea will help enhance its effects. Catnip is also calming in nature and may help you get more meaningful rest as you recover.
Echinacea – Supporting your immune system during a fever will help eradicate colds and flu more quickly. Echinacea has an affinity for stimulating the production of new white blood cells and is a great remedy to use alongside fever remedies during illness.
Elder Flower – This is one of my favorite diaphoretic herbs and I often drink it hot as a tea to help me sweat out and break fevers that are getting uncomfortably high.
Elderberry – Taking elderberry syrup will help support and strengthen immunity while your body fights off infection. It’s also good to note that this is also one of the best flu remedies out there.
Lemon Balm – Drinking this herb as a hot tea will help bring down your basal body temperature during times of high fever. It will also help you sleep as it’s slightly sedative in nature.
White Willow Bark – The active compound salicin that’s found in white willow bark is an excellent fever reducer. Having this on hand when fever temperatures start to get anxiously uncomfortable can help bring things down.
Yarrow – Yarrow is one of the best herbs for fever as it opens the pores and encourages your body to sweat the fever out. Drinking the hot tea is wonderful for breaking fevers in adults and if you have an infant or very small children, you can steep the tea and add it to their bath to help bring a fever down by as much as a degree in just a few minutes.
Taking homeopathic remedies is a gentle and natural way to support your body during a fever that do not tax your system. Take a look below and match your symptoms to the descriptions below as homeopathic remedies are very specific. Also be sure to take 30c strength for best results.
Here are a few of my favorite homeopathics to use for fever:
Aconitum Napellas – This remedy is best used at the beginning of a fever where there is sudden onset. This can occur when a person has been exposed to cold air or the wind. An adult may feel restless and a child will often cry at the onset. One cheek may be flushed while the other is pale.
Arsenicum Album – This is for a fever that occurs or increases between midnight and 2am. The person will feel chilly along with a burning fever and have feelings of anxiousness and restlessness. Sips of warm water help symptoms.
Belladonna – Belladonna is for sudden and intense fever where the body feels hot but the feet and hands are cold. The pupils may be dilated and the face is flushed. They may be sensitive to light and have a throbbing headache. Some become delirious with fever.
Bryonia – For those with fever and tremendous thirst. They will be irritable and will not want to move.
Chamomilla – This remedy is for a fever that accompanies teething and the child is very irritable.
Gelsemium – For a fever accompanied by chills and muscular aches. The person may feel drowsy and fatigued with a headache at the back of the neck.
Mercurius Solubilis – This remedy is for those with a fever who is also sensitive to both hot and cold temperatures. The tongue will have a thick coating and the individual will have abhorrent breath.
Pulsatilla – For those with a fever and low thirst. Is very clingy with symptoms that improve with fresh air.
Pyrogenium – used when there is a high fever and the person looks very ill with body aches and a slow pulse.
Sulphur – For acute long lasting fevers where the whole body feels warm and a rash may occur. There is a great thirst for cold drinks.
How do you treat a fever naturally? Please comment below!
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