Before getting into anything else, the most important thing you should know about fever is that it can evolve really fast and its impact can be very damaging for your body, sometimes with irreversible effects. Especially in young children, whose natural system of regulating the body temperature doesn’t work perfectly and who take longer than adults to start sweating, fever can happen more often and have more serious effects. So if you or your child experience high fever, the best course of action would be to immediately see your healthcare provider or, if the symptoms persist, call an ambulance. That being said, in most cases fever is harmless and it will go down on its own in a few hours.
The second most important thing you should know about fever is that it is not a disease, but a symptom. Fever is one of the most efficient defense mechanisms of the human body against bacteria and other pathogens which cannot resist at high temperatures. This is why modern medicine no longer recommends immediate intervention for reducing the temperature in mild fevers, especially if the temperature does not go higher than 100.4°F, recommending that instead we help our body naturally fight the infection and deal with the fever – with rest, proper food and lots of water.
According to NCBI (The National Center for Biotechnology Information), 98.6°F (37°C) is considered to be the normal body temperature, though it might be higher or lower in certain individuals and it adapts to the environmental conditions – it goes up when we exercise, it is lower at night and higher in the afternoon. Also, newborns, for instance, have an average body temperature of 37.5°C. A body temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or more is considered to be a fever. Temperatures above 39.5°C (103.1°F) are considered to be a high fever, and very high fever is defined as any temperature above 41°C (105.8°F). A temperature between 37.5°C and 38°C is an elevated body temperature.
Natural remedies for fever
Well, to be fair, these are not exactly “remedies” because, as we’ve seen, fever is not a disease. However, they are great methods to help your body regulate its internal temperature, while also allowing its defense mechanisms to do their job.
The most important thing to do if you have a fever is to rest, to prevent your body from overheating, and drink plenty of fluids, to prevent dehydration. But here is what also works great:
Shower with lukewarm water
It might sound counterintuitive, but cold water does not necessarily help. A water that is very cold will stimulate blood flow to your organs and cause a rise of the internal temperature.
Put compresses with cold water on your forehead and the back of your neck
Use cotton compresses and soak them in water every few minutes or every time they start to feel warm. Add a couple of essential oils to enhance their effects! Tea tree, Lavender, Peppermint and Eucalyptus are some of your best choices. WOW Cold Soother essential oil blend, with 7 essential oils acknowledged in aromatherapy for their warmth inducing, chill busting and cold soothing qualities – Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Basil, Cinnamon Leaf, Tea Tree, Myrrh can also help. It has a warming fragrance with camphorous, woody and spicy notes that help you get rid of chills, while at the same time efficiently reducing mild fever. Read more about how to use essential oils in compresses here: Best essential oils for compresses
Other essential oils that can help:
If you caught a cold, you can also use Patchouli essential oil to reduce inflammation, bring down body temperature and reduce pain. Rub the oil on your hands, neck and chest to reduce body temperature and phlegm.
Studies have revealed that Lemongrass essential oil can also help reduce fever. Used in a vaporizer, it can help you treat colds by balancing body temperature.
Ginger can help reduce the internal body temperature, and it has antiviral and antibacterial properties, so it helps the immune system fight against infections. You can try a ginger tea or a ginger lemonade. Drink them at room temperature.
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Lower fever with apple cider vinegar!
Apple cider vinegar is often recommended for sunburns due to its efficiency in reducing skin temperature. The acid in its composition penetrates the skin easily and cools it. But ACV can also be used to lower the internal temperature of your body. You can use it externally, in compresses with equal parts of water and ACV, but also internally – drink 2-3 cups of water per day in which you dissolved 1 teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of ACV.
Cover your body in a wet sheet
This is an ancient, but still very effective remedy for high fever. Just don’t use very cold water! Water at room temperature will do. Keep the wet sheet on for 10-15 minutes, or until it becomes warm.
Set the right room temperature
If normally your body can handle higher temperatures, when you have a fever the room temperature should not be higher than 68 °F.
Soak your feet in mustard water!
Mix two tablespoons of hot water with two tablespoons of mustard powder and soak your feet in this solution for a few minutes.