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Before we dig in, if you've arrived here because you or your child has a fever, please note, this is not medical advice. Please see your doctor if you are concerned it's something serious or you have a high fever, higher than 104F or you have an infant with a fever.
That being said, my daughter Vienna is now 7, and she's had numerous fevers over the years. As a toddler, she was prone to high fevers (104F+). If we were worried, instead of medicating it, we called Telehealth and they never seemed too concerned if the rest of her symptoms were not serious. We were always told the same thing: only medicate it if we felt that she was uncomfortable. Instead, we did all the things I'm about to outline below.
The upside of a fever is that it's your body's natural way to fight infection.
What's the deal with a fever anyway?
It's a great sign your immune system is up to the task as the increase in body temperature stimulates infection-fighting white blood cells to do their business. It slows the replication of the virus or bacteria. The fever is not the illness but rather a symptom of an underlying illness ie. virus or bacteria. Simply removing the fever, does not make the virus or bacteria go away. It might make you or your child feel better but it may slow recovery time. Keep in mind, as mentioned in the first paragraph, none of this applies to an infant three months or younger, you should seek medical attention.
These different methods will not completely eliminate the fever but they will make you or your child feel more comfortable allowing your body to fight whatever is causing the fever.
Here are 6 ways to reduce a fever naturally.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
When the body temperature goes up from a fever, the body gets dehydrated. This is why you may end up with chapped lips or constipation after having a fever. An important first step is to ensure you or your child drink plenty of water.
Making sure you are hydrated will reduce heat in the body and make you feel more comfortable.
Solution: Try adding a splash of juice to water as that can help your little one drink more water. Rather than drinking one full glass at a time, focus on drinking frequently, when you have a fever. Bone broth is another wonderfully nourishing drink to sip on with many immune-supportive compounds.
2. A hand towel or washcloth immersed in cold water.
This always makes you feel better when you put a cool cloth on your skin. Doing this repeatedly can help make you feel cooler. It can also help ease the pain of a headache as well.
Solution: Run a small cloth in cold water, squeeze out the excess water. Place on the forehead, nape of the neck, chest, armpits or groin for the most relief. If the fever is high, the cloth will warm up quickly, so repeat as many times as needed.
3. Suck on ice cubes or have a popsicle.
As a child, this was my favourite - popsicles. A great excuse to get my mom to make apple or orange popsicles in the middle of winter, ha! Sucking on something cool helps to bring the body temperature down. Keep in mind the opposite is true so if you're slurping on bone broth, keep it lukewarm, not piping hot.
Solution: When Vienna was a baby, she had her first fever around 11 months (if memory serves me correct). I had this mesh silicon ice cube holder that I would put ice cubes in as a safe way for her to suck on a icecube. You can do this with frozen fruit too - frozen mango was always a hit. Smoothie popsicles are another favourite and then you're getting good nutrition too.
4. Take a lukewarm bath.
As popular as cold immersion therapy is, this is not the time to force your child into an ice bath. This is way to shocking and intense for a child who is already fighting a virus or you! Instead, lukewarm water in a bath tub (making sure it's cooler than the fever) is an effective tool and one of the best ways to bring the fever down. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will be worth it. Check out this detox bath - it's heaven, even when you're not sick!
5. Wear light breathable clothing.
When you have a fever, it's usually accompanying the chills and the last thing you want to do is remove the wool blanket and warm clothes, however that's exactly what you need to do. Wrapping up in warm blankets can actually make your body temperature rise.
Solution: Get rid of the heavy blankets while sleeping and wear light breathable clothing so that the heat can escape from your body and provide some relief.
6. Look into natural health supplements.
The difference between natural health supplemens and medications like Tylenol or Advil is that they help reduce the fever, not by supressing it, but supporting the body and the immune system to overcome the problem causing the fever.
Solutions: For homeopathy - different remedies work for different types of fevers. Look into pulsitilla (that was our favourite), belladonna or aconite. You can find these at your local health food store, some supermarkets and even drug stores.
Consider Elderberry and Echinacea. Those are two of my favourite natural health supplements for viruses to support the immune system. New Chapter makes yummy elderberry gummies for adults and kids. St. Francis Herb Farm has an Echinacea supplement for kids and adults. Use my code JOY15 to save 15% off your order on their website.
It's not surprising, that the love and nurturing from another human can make you feel better. If you're a parent and you find your child is extra clingy, allow them to be that way and give them plenty of love and cuddles. If you live alone, call someone you care about and let them know how you're feeling so that you can get support from friends or family. It seem inconsquential but the love and care of another human has a profound influence on our well-being.
Stay well my friend,
Ps. If you enjoy learning more but prefer a video format, check out my video on Tik Tok about how to reduce a fever naturally.