HOW TO LOWER A FEVER NATURALLY.
THE UNEXPECTED USEFULNESS OF FEVER.
Fever is nothing other than a rise in body temperature above the levels deemed “normal” (that is, with slight variations, between 36 and 36.5°C). By itself, the fever is not a disease but a symptom; it is in fact, a body’s response to external aggression, aimed at eliminating the destabilizing agent.
Typically the high fever can be associated with other symptoms, such as for example:
- loss of appetite;
Fever can occur on several occasions, for example when the patient is infected or for any alteration of the body’s parameters. The causes of fever may be different, as a trivial air blow, a flu virus etc. To understand when to intervene and how to lower the fever you need to identify the root causes to avoid performing unnecessary actions if not harmful.
For example, the intake of antibiotics is ineffective in the case of fever due to the influence. These drugs, in fact, are only useful against bacteria, not viruses, and inappropriate use may be counterproductive, encouraging drug resistance.
Drug resistance (the increase of bacterial resistance to antibiotics) is dangerous because the antibiotic taken when not required may not work when we will need it, exposing us to also very serious consequences. So better not to improvise or change prescriptions.
So the best way to deal with a fever is to understand the causes, consulting your trusted doctor. But after excluding serious diseases or the need to use antibiotics, we can resort to “tricks” and natural substances that help us to lower the fever.
This article will try to explain precisely how to lower the fever with natural aids and what rules to follow in case of high fever in children. In particular, we will face the following topics:
- Plants useful to reduce fever and their mechanism of action
- How and when to take natural aid for fever: benefits and contraindications
- How to deal with fever in children: the rules to follow and the most effective herbs
- Can you measure body temperature without a thermometer?
NATURAL REMEDIES TO LOWER A FEVER: PLANTS AND RULES
As mentioned, the fever has its uses and it is a fundamental defense mechanism. Sometimes, therefore, it is unwise to try and reduce it at the beginning. However, temperatures above 40 degrees, if persistent, may prove to be harmful. This is especially true for individuals “at risk” as small children and elderly people.
To mitigate high temperatures is however also possible to make use of natural aids. So let’s figure out how to lower the fever naturally when it is too high and persistent.
4 USEFUL PLANTS FOR FEVER
There are some plants that, by adjusting the process of sweating, can help our body to disperse heat more quickly.
In fact, the ‘evaporation of sweat from the skin, or better the water contained in its interior, is able to induce a lowering of the body temperature.
There are plants, however, that can promote healing by supporting the immune system.
Let’s look at them.
The plant elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is very common especially in the woods or along water courses. The extract of the flowers of the plant is used in herbal medicine for the formulation of specific supplements to combat the diseases of the cold season. To the extract of elderberry are, in fact, recognized properties useful for the welfare of the upper respiratory tract; its intake can also adjust the natural process of sweating and, accordingly, promote the thermal regulation of the organism. Several studies have confirmed these effects of the plant; in particular, the flowers are considered diaphoretics (ie promote sweating) and are used when colds accompanied by fever are in place.
THE ELDERBERRY: GOOD EVEN IN THE KITCHEN!
As seen, the elder tree has properties phototherapeutic quite useful in the presence of fever; however, there is also a pleasant culinary use of Elderberry. In fact, when the flowering occurs, in June and July, its large corymbs can be collected to make excellent sweet and fragrant pancakes.
The fruits ripen from August to September and are prepared in jams and syrups, from laxative properties and bechiche, widely used in northern Italy and central Europe.
The jam made from the berries of elder does not, of course, have any of the herbal effects of the plant’s flowers. However, it could be a sweet tonic to help recover better when passed a fever.
From the dried bark of the plant Cinchona Calisaya, you get the yellow china, very rich in alkaloids.
It has been used since the sixteenth century as febrifugal. Today it is chiefly used for the extraction of quinine. Its extract can help to mitigate the fever and the localized tensions connected with it; In fact, the salts of quinine (in particular sulfate) have been employed for a long time together with other antipyretics in the treatment of fevers from colds. The main therapeutic effect is due to an increased radiation of heat through the skin for peripheral vasodilation and increased sweating.
For this reason, the china extract is often used in the formulation of specific natural supplements, in synergy with the elder or with plants that support the immune system (skullcap, chiretta, astragalus etc.).
The willow (Salix alba and purpurea) is a majestic tree native of central and southern Europe which typically grows in damp places. The part of the plant used in herbal medicine is the cortex, whose virtues were already known in antiquity; in the writings of Hippocrates and Pliny, the willow is in fact mentioned for its pyretic virtues.
To figure out how to lower the fever with the willow, it must be remembered its mechanism of action. The extract of the bark helps the regularity of the process of sweating and it contrasts states of localized tension. The willow bark has a wealth of salicylic glycosides and, in particular, of salicin; for this reason, its extract has recognized properties of analgesic and antipyretic.
It may be taken alone, in the form of liquid extract, or in synergy with other plants (such as china) and foods.
To strengthen the immune system against fever, the plant of echinacea is one of the best known and exploited plants in herbal medicine. In nature, there are different species of echinacea, but in the formulation of natural supplements mainly three are used: Echiacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea pallida.
The extracts of the roots of these plant support the ‘efficiency of the immune system and promote the well-being of the respiratory tract. The echinacea extract so, though not acting on the thermoregulatory process may help the body defend itself from the action of external agents and to quickly restore its balance. Several studies have confirmed that “the plant is able to strengthen the body’s defenses against colds.
BENEFITS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS OF NATURAL AID FOR FEVER
As we have seen, the aspect that unites almost all natural aids useful to counteract the fever is the action on the process of sweating. The sweat generates, in fact, an immediate heat dissipation and helps our body to lower the temperature.
On the market, there are natural supplements that contain the plants listed above. Those most complete are fortified with vitamin C, to support the immune system, and other plants also useful for the welfare of the nose and throat; in this way, you get a synergistic effect and greater effectiveness in the restoration of health.
It is good to take these products in the doses indicated at the first signs of fever and continue for a few days, as long as the temperature is not corrected. Plants such as willow, elderberry, china or echinacea have no side effects and are safe if taken according to the procedures and the correct dosages.
As a caution, the people who are following treatment with specific drugs, or suffering from specific diseases, should also hear the opinion of their doctor before taking any supplements. The same also applies to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, although undoubtedly a natural remedy has fewer contraindications of many synthetic drugs that you are taking in general for fever.
HOW TO LOWER FEVER IN CHILDREN
5 RULES VALID ALSO FOR ADULTS
Fever is always a cause of distress in adults, it is even more so in children, especially if it reaches very high temperatures. A high temperature in children often creates alarm among parents who are wondering how to lower a fever and handle the situation. In the presence of high fever (over 39 degrees C) which persists beyond 2-3 days, it is always good to consult a pediatrician and avoid any kind of self-prescription.
When the temperature does not rise excessively, however, you can help the child to recover even by following a few rules. These simple measures are also still valid and can give benefit also feverish adults.
1) DO NOT FORCE THE CHILD TO EAT
Even adults when they are debilitated do not have much desire to eat; so it’s normal to be so even for a child. It is good not to insist too much if the child does not want to eat because of the fever.
2) BEWARE OF DEHYDRATION
The high temperature may easily cause dehydration. It is, therefore, necessary to drink plenty of water to keep the child hydrated. Preferably at room temperature and not cold! Particularly if the fever is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea: in these cases, it is good to take liquids in small sips a bit at a time.
3) DO NOT COVER TOO MUCH THE BODY
Although the instinct probably suggests that we cover the baby when a high fever, pediatricians instead recommend avoiding heavy clothing; these should only be used when the child has the “chills.”
Actually, to help the body to dissipate heat, it is good to have the child wear clothes of lightweight fabric, breathable, and not to cover him too much with the blankets.
4) NO ICE ON THE FOREHEAD
Although part of the popular beliefs, the ice on the forehead is counter-productive species with a high fever. Extreme cold can indeed ” fool ” only temporarily the body heat regulation mechanism; fever so lowered will then return more intense.
5) GIVE SPONGING OR A WARM BATHTo mitigate high fever, it may be useful to give the child tepid water sponging or baths. Avoid cold baths and cold sponging, which not only make the situation worse, they would cause more chills.
FEVER IN CHILDREN: CONCLUSIONS
In summary, we can say that the fever in children does not have to generate an excessive alarm.
Before you give your child any medication it is always better to hear the opinion of the doctor.
Recall that in the first months of life, fiver should be measured often to monitor temperature. If there is fever, immediate pediatric assessment is needed; the same goes for babies aged between 1 and 3 months if the temperature rises above 38 degrees C.
In each age group, you should always monitor if with the temperature there is also the presence of other symptoms: neck stiffness, abdominal pain or shortness of breath. Combined with a persistent fever, these are signs that a visit to the medical officer is required.
If the fever does not go up too much, it is usually enough to follow the rules listed above and to use some natural help. To help the body of the smallest ones thermoregulate, natural aids are OK; the ideal is a concentrated extract liquid, easy to take, of plants such as elderberry and lapacho.
CAN YOU MEASURE A FEVER WITHOUT THERMOMETER?
At times you may star unwell when you are away from home. When you have some fever symptoms (chills, headache, muscle pain) but you do not have at hand a thermometer, you can still make an approximate estimate of the temperature.
The heart rate and respiratory rate vary with the increase of the temperature: tin fact, fever does indeed increase both. By measuring the heartbeats (resting the fingertips on the pulse of the hand) it is, therefore, possible to have a rough estimate of body temperature.
Taking into account that the beating of a healthy adult at rest are between 60 and 80 per minute, if you can measure at least 10 beats more is possible that’s a sign that there is a slight fever.
Until next time.