Updated: May 22, 2019
This is a follow up to my blog: Embrace your fever!
I hope that I have given you compelling arguments to question the use of antipyretics (acetaminophen, aspirin etc.) for treating fever in general. The next question obviously is how to manage fever.
1.Treat the cause
Fever is just a symptom and is not the cause. It is a response of the body to any form of stress. This stress could be:
physical (undue exertion, over-working, manual labour, sun stroke etc.),
psychological (anxiety, tension, shock, grief etc.),
diet (wrong food, over eating, etc.) or
microbiological (bacterial, viral, parasitic etc.)
2. Apply your brakes
Fever is a sign that you have pushed your body over the edge and it needs to rest. Reducing the stress will go long way in a quick recovery.
3. Maintain your diet
1 degree rise in temperature requires 10-15% increase in the metabolic rate of the body. This shows that it is important what kind of food you eat during fever. So, the aim is to conserve as much energy as possible.(1)
Liquid diet (like soups, broths etc.) and light diet(for example have rice instead of bread) will ease digestion and the energy utilized for digestion will be diverted to fighting the illness.
Do no consume raw fruits or vegetables. Again, raw food requires more digestion compared to cooked food.
Avoid milk, milk products, heavy proteins and fatty substances. Again, proteins are the hardest to digest and require more energy.
Healing foods: have loads of pepper, cumin and turmeric in the diet. Coconut oil (containing Caprylic acid has proven antibacterial properties). (2)
The aim during fever should be to conserve as much energy as possible to fight off the infection. Eat only if you are hungry. Appetite can be lost if the fever is due to indigestion or stomach troubles. There is no harm in skipping a meal or two. Drink plenty of fluids if thirsty.
Homeopathy is the safest and most efficient for any kind of fever. The remedies do not suppress the fever but let the body express it more efficiently thereby reducing the recovery time. The invading organism is immaterial for homeopathy because the remedy strengthens the defenses in general. Though the remedies differ depending on the symptoms and the type of fever, some commonly used remedies are:
Belladona: Sudden high fever with redness of the face and eyes. Burning hot with absent thirst but cold feet. Superficial blood vessels distended.
Aconite: Sudden onset fever after exposure to cold air (or damp air). Icy cold sweat and coldness of the face. Excessive thirst and restlessness. Chilly if uncovered. Sweat relieves all symptoms.
Rhus-tox: Intermittent chills with dry cough and extreme restlessness. Usually aggravated by cold and damp but better by heat. Maybe accompanied by loose motions.
Gelsemium: Wants to be held because he shakes so much. Extreme fatigue. Pulse is slow, soft. Muscular aches. All symptoms accompanied by NO THIRST
Baptisia: Chills with rheumatic pains and soreness all over (bones feel broken). Heat all over, with chills around 11 am in the morning.
Tincture: Echinacea tincture is a natural antibiotic. 5-6 drops in a quarter glass of water 3 times a day would help reduce infection.
5. Home remedies
Elderberry juice (without sugar) (3), cranberry juice (natural), lemon juice with honey all help strengthen the immune system through the fever.
Cold packs or sponging has also been proven effective in reducing the temperature.
I am not an advocate for antibiotics because I feel our defense mechanisms have been warding off infection for millions of years and this is much more powerful than any antibiotic. However, if you do wish to take antibiotics, take a minimum dose (ask your GP about it) and do not take any antipyretic medications with it. Maintain your diet and take plenty of rest along with the antibiotic.
All in all, be happy that your body is strong enough to fight and enjoy the forced rest that you get!
1Evans SS et al. Fever and thermal regulation of immunity: The immune system feels the heat. Nature reviews: Immunology (2015); 15: 335-349.