Fostering a Fever
March 19, 2020
Do they have a fever?
The anatomy of a fever
Helping the fever to do its job
- Give warm beverages - especially ginger, garlic, onion, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves. (Horseradish, mustard and thyme are warming too and have specific functions if there is a cough or chest congestion involved - Horseradish eaten or Mustard plasters applied over the chest can help to loosen up congestion, and Thyme taken as a tea is an expectorant so it can help to get phlegm moving up and out)
- Bundle up in layers of clothes and blankets
- Do a foot bath with a fingertip pinch of cayenne pepper added to the water, and 1 drop of clove and/or cinnamon essential oil
- If you have chest congestion - do a Mustard plaster - 1 tbsp of Keen's mustard powder mixed with 4 tbsp any kind of flour, add enough hot water to mix into a paste and spread on half of a clean cloth rag, fold over the other half so no paste is exposed. Using your hand apply a thin swipe of olive or coconut oil to your patient's chest or back and apply the mustard plaster over top. Put a snuggly fitting t-shirt or PJs on to hold it in place. Periodically check for heat by sliding your fingers under one edge - this can burn the skin if you do not use oil on the skin and if you let it heat up too much - but you'd have to be not feeling the temp for that to happen. Keep in place as long as the heat is not too much.
- If you have congestion in the head and chest - do Warming socks - wet a pair of thin cotton socks and wring out until they are just damp, put on the feet and cover with a dry pair of wool socks. Get into bed. This works over time to draw blood away from the head taking the congestion down then as the feet warm up the blood will come back up the body bringing nutrients to fight that infection. As the feet cool the blood moves away from the upper body again in a cycle that continues until the socks are dry. If they are too uncomfortable they can be taken off.
Once the fever is up and going:
- Give lots of fluids to stay hydrated and allow the fever to build until it breaks. Low appetite is normal - this goes with folk saying "feed a cold, starve a fever" - we want to continue with fluids like coconut water, electrolyte replacers even homemade ones, water and herbal teas, and have the patient eat as they are desiring - preferably juicy, easy to digest foods that are rich in protein - like homemade chicken vegetable soup, vegetable or bone broth or miso soup. These foods provide the body with the type of fuel it needs for energy to heat up the body. We want to avoid high sugar items including too much fruit as sugar feeds the virus and suppresses our immune system, high fat foods as they digest too slowly and can irritate the stomach and caffeinated or alcoholic foods/beverages as they are diuretic so they dehydrate the body.
If the patient is glassy eyed, headachy, fatigued, achy bodied, or uncomfortable - now we need to make sure the pores open so that heat can continue to build in the core but escape to keep us comfortable and from being worrisome in the brain especially of young children, we can do the following:
- Body temperature bath (not cold) with fever tea added - yarrow, peppermint and catnip - you can watch that floating child go from glassy eyed to feeling so much more comfortable right before your eyes as their fever breaks. Dead sea salts or epsom salts can be added especially if the body is achy
- To drink - lots of fever tea, room temp or cool (not cold) water
- Pat dry after the bath and dress in light PJs/clothes to allow heat to continue to release
- gently tuck them into bed until the next round
There are additional homeopathics, and herbs that can be very beneficial for helping with fevers - they are good to keep in your medicine cabinet as you never know when you'll need them. Contact Dr. Laura, ND for specific instructions for yourself and your family members. We carry most of these remedies in the clinic.
- Homeopathics - Aconite and Belladonna can help that fever be really efficient and ease the burden on little people and adults alike.
- Tea herbs - Fever tea is 2 parts yarrow, 1 part peppermint, 1 part catnip - 4 tbsp steeped in 4 cups boiling water until it is cool enough to add to bathwater; 1 tsp per 1 cup steeped at least 5 mins to drink
- Tincture herbs - Children and Adults Cold and Flu Elixir dosage varies per body weight, this is a yummy potent anti-viral, vitamin C-rich, and fever encouraging tincture that can be used in the midst of a cold.