Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Treating Fever Naturally

A healthy diet is the most important building block for health. Good food choices along with an active lifestyle can prevent and heal illnesses. There are many things we can do to raise healthy children, boost our immune system, and avoid the common illnesses that plague so many children today. But even with good health, the occasional childhood illness such as fever is inevitable and when illness does strike, I prefer to seek natural alternative remedies that can help to relieve the symptoms of the illness. Our body is designed so remarkably well that it can heal on its own with little or no intervention if we don't work against it. Let' talk about fever. 

Fever in itself is not an illness, rather a symptom of an illness and an indication of the immune response to infection. It is actually our body’s best defense at fighting illness. When we focus on assisting the body’s ability to heal, the typical infection is much shorter in duration than if we had worked against the body. I prefer illnesses that last shorter instead of drawing them out by hindering the body’s natural defense. When left alone, the body’s naturally elevated body temperature can help destroy the infection-causing virus or bacteria, but if we suppress that defense, those viruses and bacteria can thrive and multiply.

A child with fever is usually sleepy, which is exactly what his body needs to recover. Giving fever reducer medicines at first sign of a child's fever will generally reduce it down quickly, but it doesn't make the child well again. The child may feel well and be his normal, active self again, playing around when he should be resting to recover from the illness. Rest is important to restore health and fight the infection. I also learned that it is normal if the child with a fever loses his appetite. It is actually good for healing as it aids in detoxification, including the elimination of the infection-causing virus or bacteria. Giving fever reducers will make him more comfortable and feel well enough to eat again, which would place an unnecessary burden on his digestive system. It also prevents a child from being able to tell us where the pain is, possibly hindering diagnosis of the illness and any necessary treatment. Pain is our body’s way of alerting us to a problem and our goal should be to find the source of the pain instead of masking the pain and neglecting the underlying problem all together. We can still make a child feel as comfortable as possible without interfering with their body’s natural healing process. Fever reducers are hard on our liver and most of us don't understand well of their safety. We don't want to see our children uncomfortable and in pain, but if we understand fever's role on healing, there are ways to reduce fever at home naturally. I gave my baby her first and only dose of paracetamol (fever reducer) when she was three-month old because I wasn't familiar with natural remedies then. I wish I knew better back then but it's not too late. Hope this will be a good resource for you too.

Ginger tea sweetened with palm sugar

So, What Can We Do If and When Fever Does Strike?
- Use and Consume GingerGinger is known to increase circulation and stimulate perspiration, it flushes out toxins and can help a fever to leave the body faster. You can make ginger tea and drink it or use it for a ginger bath. You can use anywhere from 2-6 Tbsp of ginger or even up to 1/2 a cup (though you should work up the amount slowly if you are not used to it). Just toss the powdered ginger right in the tub as it's filling up and then soak in the tub while sipping on a glass of water. You will definitely notice the warmth, but will also find that fever and chills will most likely decrease after a while.

- Peppermint Essential OilRubbing peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil or diffusing it in a diffuser will help to reduce fever. Read here for guidelines on using essential oils.

Drink plenty of Liquids and Homemade Broths. It is important to provide nourishment and hydration while supporting the fever instead of working against it.

- Grapefruit. Consuming grapefruit helps reduce fever by boosting our immunity and reducing the burning sensation that we feel when we have fever.

Ferrum Phosphoricum. A homeopathic remedy that helps to reduce fever naturally. This is the one I have.

What ways have you tried to reduce fever naturally?

Disclaimer: Although I am passionate about healthy and natural living, I am not a certified or a licensed medical practitioner who can counsel anyone in medical issues and cannot be held responsible for any decision you make regarding your health. What I am sharing are what I have learned and applied to my family but may not necessarily work for yours. My hope is that this blog may encourage you to learn more about healthy and natural living which will hopefully help you as you make decisions for your own family.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

1 comment:

  1. It's unfortunate that only now do I come across this article! Kana was on mild fever last week, it lasted for two days (for reason unknown to us) and opting for the fastest easiest solution we gave her paracetamol =(.
    Btw ci Vicky, is ginger drink okay for babies? What about the traditional ways to bring the temp down such as placing cold pad on forehead, wiping the body with damp cloth, egg white, or thinly sliced potato, etc? Are they considered as supporting or suppressing the fever as the body's means to heal itself?
    Thanks for the article!