You’ve probably heard the phrase: “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Well, even though cutting back on food consumption is wise when you’re battling a fever, feeding your fever certain things should help it go away quickly.
Fevers are usually short-lived, so cures may be unnecessary. However, sometimes the body needs a little extra push to help it heal. These remedies are not meant to take the place of your doctor’s care.
What’s Considered a Fever?
Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is little room for temperature fluctuations before it’s considered a fever. In fact, anything 100 degrees or higher is considered a fever. The worst and most dangerous fevers soar past 104 degrees. Prolonged temperatures (a few hours) above 104 can damage major organs and cause death.
Fevers can be caused by infections, injuries, chronic medical conditions and adverse reactions to some medicines. Similar to inflammation, fevers are one of your body’s defense mechanisms when some sort of germ or disease invasion is going on in the body. It’s your body’s way of trying to burn off what’s causing the internal problem. Usually, fevers succeed and, thus, they subside in a few short days. You can choose to ride it out or take measures to help restore your body’s temperature to normal.
Starve a Fever
The idea behind starving a fever seems to be that eating less (but drinking more fluids) will lower body temperature since it gives the digestive system the chance to rest and recover. Starving, however, is never a good solution. Instead, cut back on the amount of food you’re eating or only eat when you’re hungry.
Feed a Fever, Too
To speed your recovery, drinking lots more clear fluids is essential. In addition to water, soup and the like, you can try any one of these great herbal remedies for fever:
Elderberry – This herb not only stimulates the immune system so that your body is better able to fight disease, it also causes the body to sweat more – and guess what? Increased sweating equals a decrease in body temperature and, therefore, a reduction in fever. You can make a delicious tea using elderberry, yarrow and peppermint leaves that you can drink throughout the day as needed until your fever subsides.
Eucalyptus – The leaves of the eucalyptus plant apparently have antiviral and antiseptic powers, such that drinking 1-2 cups a day of tea made from these leaves or soaking in a warm bath containing the leaves or eucalyptus oil will greatly help to reduce fever.
Willow Bark – Willow bark is another powerful herb that, when steeped to make a tea, can help bring down a fever. Its power lies in its active ingredient – salicylates, which are also the active ingredient in aspirin, a known fever reducer.