Conventional doctors have been taught to treat every symptom that comes to their attention. As an example, medication is often prescribed to reduce childhood fever. Yet fever is the body’s mechanism for destroying viruses and bacteria. Work with the body and reduce a fever naturally by using these holistic approaches.
An alternative to medication
Alternative practitioners take a different approach to managing a fever. Their goal is to bolster and support the child’s immune system so that it can learn to recognize and respond quickly to invading organisms. In fact, certain childhood infections may be valuable in challenging the child’s immune system and consequently strengthening it.
There are many alternatives to aspirin or acetaminophen that are safe, inexpensive, and have no side effects (homeopathy), and others that enhance the immune system and contain antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties (herbal medicine).
Here are 6 natural, holistic approaches to a fever:
1) Homeopathy – According to Dr. Moskowitz, M.D., producing a fever is one of the signs of a healthy child. As immune systems develop in children, they respond acutely and vigorously to infections. If parents are worried as to whether or not a fever or infection should be treated by a doctor, Dr. Moskowitz believes that the best thing for them to do is monitor their child’s response. Are they sick, vomiting, in pain, not eating, or not responding at all? If the child seems to be coping, the parents may feel confident that the child’s immune system will be able to handle the illnesses with the help of homeopathic remedies. The remedies recommended do not eliminate fever, but rather help the immune system finish its job of healing. Such homeopathic remedies may include Aconite, Belladonna, Ferrum phos., Gelsemium, Pulsatilla, and Bryonia.
2) Ayurvedic medicine – Virender Sodhi, M.D., considers a fever below 102 degrees Fahrenheit to be beneficial in a child, and he does not like to give children medications such as aspirin or Tylenol. He recommends a light, nutritious diet, cold sponging, or homeopathic remedies such as Belladonna, Aconite, and Sulfur.
3) Herbal Medicine – David L. Hoffman, B.Sc., M.N.I.M.H., believes that a fever can be beneficial in a young child and that a low-grade fever does not need to be reduced. The child should be given a lot of support and comfort along with plenty of fluids. Herbal teas such as peppermint, elderflower, and yarrow will help the body cope with a fever but not suppress it.
4) Aromatherapy – To cool the system, use peppermint, bergamot, or eucalyptus. To induce sweating, use basil, tea tree, lavender, rosemary, cypress, chamomile, or peppermint.
5) Hydrotherapy – To lower a high fever, use a wet sheet pack or immersion bath. A neutral application can also be used to reduce fever to a manageable level.
6) Topical treatment – To lower fever, use a poultice of Echinacea root. A cold compress to the forehead and cold pack to the trunk of the body may also be used, or rub the body with apple cider vinegar.
One may also consider probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, or therapeutic soups that use vegetables and spices that stimulate the immune system so it can go about healing the body.
Check out this great soup recipe.
Also, keep in mind that a high fever (over 104F) can cause severe brain damage, so consult your doctor when necessary.
Sources for this article include:
Trivieri, Larry. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 2002. Print.