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General characteristics

General characteristics

A fever is a rise in the normal body temperature (around 98.6F or 37C in adults or between 99 and 100F in infants) to around 38C or 100F and above in adults or 101F and above in infants. A fever usually occurs in response to infection of some sort and is a way in which the body attempts to rid itself of infection. By raising the body temperature infection is weakened and fluids are rendered more free flowing in an effort to cleanse the system of infected and toxic wastes via the excretory systems (skin, lymph and blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and bowels). The symptoms of fever include raised temperature, sweating, chills, shivering, aching, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate and (rarely) convulsions.

Fever as such is not a disease but rather a normal bodily reaction which enables the body's protective mechanisms to work more efficiently, to slow the progress of infection and kill off pathogens and so (unless dangerously high) should not be reduced but rather allowed to run its course.

Herbs and natural healing seek to assist the fever in its efforts to rid the body of diseased matter by opening the skin to gently allow heat release, thinning body fluids to allow faster and more efficient processing of waste and helping the immune system generally.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Feed a cold, starve a fever. Don't actually starve yourself, just don't overburden your body with large amounts of food. Allow plenty of time (several hours) between eating to let the digestion process rest as the body gets on with healing itself.

Drink plenty of fluids in the form of water, appropriate herb teas or freshly squeezed citrus juices to ensure good hydration. Avoid tea and coffee as these encourage greater fluid loss.

You will probably lose your appetite anyway but it is important to stay well nourished during the fever process. The easiest way is to make a large batch of watery homemade soup full of organic vegetables with their skins still on (for vitamin content), culinary herbs, warming spices such as ginger and grains such as barley and to drink throughout the day.

Watery fruits can be eaten in moderation.

Avoid large meals and anything processed that isn't as it grew in nature.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

An absolute classic recipe for helping a fever along is elderflower, boneset, yarrow and peppermint tea. The combination opens the blood vessels and skin pores to allow a more cleansing and effective sweat via the skin, encourages elimination from the kidneys and relieve the burden on the body generally. Use equal parts of each herb and take a cup of the hot tea every couple of hours if needed, until the fever begins to break.

Vervain is another classic fever herb and can be added to the above mixture or used on its own as a tea. Other useful fever herbs include violet leaf, centaury, thyme, angelica root, agrimony, hyssop, neem leaves, lemon balm, lime blossom, ground ivy, pleurisy root, ginger, prickly ash bark and chilli (cayenne).

The gentle digestive tonics such as dandelion root, barberry, gentian, holy thistle, yellow dock, burdock root could be used in tincture form to keep the bowels moving and unburdened. 10 drops of any two, added to herbal teas will work.

Take a teaspoon of echinacea tincture every few hours for a couple of days to help fight infection.

If it becomes vital to lower a dangerously high temperature then make a tea of white willow bark, meadowsweet and sage tea (equal parts). Make in a pint jug using a heaped teaspoon of each herb and drink sips from a cup every few minutes, checking the body temperature regularly.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Add a teaspoon of honey to a splash of hot water and stir until dissolved, then add a splash of cider vinegar and drink twice daily until the fever is completely gone.
Ensure you have plenty of rest in a well ventilated room, fresh air is important so keep a window open.
Soothing baths are very useful. Take a cool one if the fever is raging or a warmer one to help induce sweating and speed up resolution. Most people instinctively know which is best for them at the time.
Place a cold compress on the head to relieve headache and cool the head if the fever becomes uncomfortable.

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