Herbal Remedies for Fever
A fever, or sudden rise in body temperature, is often on of the first signs that something is wrong healthwise. Any time your body temperature increases to above 98.6 F (or what’s normal for you), you have a fever. Low-grade fevers are often accompanied by additional symptoms like shivering, sweating, general aches and pains, headaches and loss of appetite. Very high fevers sometimes bring about more serious complications like confusion, irritability, convulsions or even hallucinations.
The most common causes of fevers are viruses and bacterial infection, but fevers can also be caused by a number of other problems including bee stings, allergic reactions, dehydration or overexertion. Often uncomfortable but rarely dangerous, a fever is simply one of the body’s mechanisms for fighting off infection. By raising its core temperature, the body creates an environment in which many viruses and bacteria have difficulty surviving. An increase in body temperature also promotes increased white blood cell production and enhances the ability of white blood cells to fight infection.
In most cases, fever will disappear within a few days of its first occurrence – a sign that the underlying infection is on its way out. Unless the fever is very high (102 F or lower) or causing quite a bit of discomfort, most doctors recommend allowing it to run its course.
Whereas over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are used solely to bring the body temperature down, there are several plant-based remedies that may instead actually make the fever more effective, shortening the course of the illness. Here are a few of the most common herbal remedies for fever.
Catnip can be used to help a fever “break” by promoting sweating, one of the body’s natural cooling mechanisms. This increase in perspiration also aids in ridding the body of toxins. Elderflower tea is sometimes used in combination with catnip to fight fevers.
Widely used to treat upper respiratory problems, Echinacea may also help the body to fight fever-causing infections and illnesses.
Bloodwort is another, very common herbal remedy for fevers. Like catnip, bloodwort promotes perspiration, cooling the body and helping it to expel toxins. Alternately, hog weed can be used for stubborn fevers. Hog weed generally induces copious sweating quickly.
When a fever is causing discomfort, holy basil can be used to help lower the body temperature. Holy basil is usually prepared with milk, sugar and cardamom – a traditional fever remedy in India. Other options to reduce fever include angostura bitters and gentian.
Fenugreek, thanks to powerful soothing and cleansing properties, can also be used to fight fever-producing illnesses. In addition to detoxification benefits, fenugreek can also help to dissolve the mucus that often accompanies viral infections.
When fever accompanies inflammation, licorice root is often recommended. Licorice root has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to help the body fight a variety of underlying infections.