Monday, December 5, 2011

Building Your Medicine Chest: Natural Treatment of a Fever and an Herbal Spray Recipe

Fevers seem to strike suddenly. A sign that our immune systems are under attack and working hard to fight back. A fever allows our body to produce a antiviral substance called interferon. Interferon is critically necessary for fighting infection. A fever will also increase the movement and activity of white blood cells which is also important for healing.

Benefits of a Fever

The benefits of a fever have been acknowledged for thousands of years. In fact, history tells of many patients who have been cured of disease with therapeutic fevers. Presently, there is significant research suggesting that mild to moderate fevers should be allowed to run their course. A fever may actually:
  • shorten the duration of the illness
  • reduce the chances of spreading the disease to others
However, during the creation of the pharmaceutical movement in the mid-19th century, aspirin compounds became available commercially and were marketed heavily to the public. By the start of the 1900's, the drug companies had, with great success, convinced general practitioners and patients to become wary of fevers and vigilant in bringing them down. 
In reference to the common cold, the flu, or a regular viral infection, it may be counter-productive to suppress our body's natural defense. Of course there are exceptions; for example, you should seek medical attention for fevers over 104 degrees Fahrenheit lasting longer that 4-6 hours or for any level of fever in infant's under 6 months of age.

Natural Treatment Alternatives

When it comes to fevers in our home, I treat primarily for comfort. No doubt it is a frightening thing when our children or spouses are hit suddenly with a fever. But, by immediately treating with Tylenol or Ibuprofen we may not be providing the best care.

So here are a few tips for providing comfort and assisting the body in healing: 
  1. Herbs – Elder flowers, feverfew, and yarrow are known to assist in treatment of fevers. Ginger has a warming effect and is therefore useful in providing relief for the chills. I like to prepare herbal teas when administering medicinal herbs to the children. It also helps me know that they are staying hydrated and nourished. A few of the herbal teas I offer for fevers include: chamomile, echinacea, red clover, and peppermint. Lemon juice and honey can also be added to the tea for an extra dose of vitamin C and to sweeten. (Note: It is advised to never give honey to infants under one year of age).
  2. Homeopathy – Belladonna, Aconite, Nux Vomica and Pulsatilla are four of the most common homeopathic remedies that I have used for fevers with great success.
  3. Provide Nourishing Foods and Fluids – We often lose our appetites when sick with a fever, so it is super important to provide nourishing fluids like fresh fruit/vegetable juices, herbal teas, and homemade bone broths to maintain energy and hydration levels.
  4. Rest and Simple Activity – While it is very important for persons with a fever to rest often, simple activity is very beneficial. A simple walk around the block in the beautiful fresh air will raise anyone's spirits!
  5. Essential Oils – Lavender, thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, and sage essential oils provide comfort when treating fevers. They are also known to help support the work of the immune system to support the body's natural defenses. For example, apply a few drops of lavender essential oils in cool water and soak a washcloth in the solution to wipe a child's forehead for a cooling, relaxing effect. I have also had great success with the following recipe:

Herbal Spray for Fevers

-1/4 cup 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
-1/4 cup witch hazel
-3 drops peppermint essential oil
-3 drops lavender essential oil
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to mix. Store in refrigerator to keep cool.

To use: Spray on pulse points up to every hour while awake. Pulse points are areas where you can easily feel your pulse with your fingers: wrists, sides of the neck, and behind the knee.

Cautions: Label spray bottle "EXTERNAL USE ONLY". Avoid spraying into eyes and mouth. Use sparingly on children under 4 years of age (due to the content of the alcohol).

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What have you found successful in treating a mild fever?

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here are the sole opinion of the author and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. You should never substitute these suggestions for conventional wisdom. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Inspirational Sources:


At December 5, 2011 at 9:47 AM , Blogger Vanessa said...

This is really good to know! Thanks. BTW I love your blog! My friends think I'm wacky for going the natural route but for me an my family it is the way to go. Thanks for the info!

At December 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Pam said...

Thanks for the wonderful info. I have everything already at home to make the herbal spray. I'm going to bookmark this, though I hope we don't have to use it. :0) Also, I haven't used any of the homeopathic remedies. I should probably write those down so I can start building a better herbal medicine chest.

At December 5, 2011 at 12:29 PM , Anonymous Stacy Makes Cents said...

Andrea, I think your blog is my new favorite hobby. It used to be Pioneer Woman....but now it's TOTALLY YOU. Pinning this for later reference.

At December 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Stacy You're too much:) Thank you for the sweet compliments!!!

At December 5, 2011 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Stephanie G. said...

We treat naturally in our house but I am at loss when it comes to homeopathic stuff. Any reccomendations for learning more about homeopathy? The remedies are so specific but I love how safe and effective they are!

At December 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM , Blogger Theophanie said...

Awesome!!!!! Thank you. :)

At December 5, 2011 at 7:08 PM , Anonymous Jill@ said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

At December 6, 2011 at 11:44 AM , Blogger the momma (aka Shannon) said...

i'm going to try this! with 5 kiddos we usually have something running through our house a couple of times a year. and i'm a firm believer in letting a mild fever run it's course--but anything that can help make my babes more comfy sounds great!

At December 6, 2011 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

This sounds good, especially because it is made with things you might have on hand or might not be too hard to find. I don't like all these other recipes for natural things that have ingredients you have to track down in them! Thanks :)

At December 6, 2011 at 10:35 PM , Anonymous chiropractic care said...

Great Post my friend..I appreciate the knowledge you have about the natural treatment alternatives..Thanks for this wonderful info..

At December 7, 2011 at 7:30 AM , Blogger Danielle Durand said...

Thank you for this information, I pinned it to my Pinterest because it's something important for so many people to know!

I thought you might be interested in this website of other great natural herbs and what they can be used for:


At December 7, 2011 at 10:10 AM , Anonymous Perspective Parenting said...

This was great! Going to post on my FB page. I actually physically feel calmer when I read about all natural remedies. I am an under-medicater for my children by choice, but I love these natural and soothing options. Thanks!!

At December 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Amy said...

I try to use natural treatments when possible, so I'm going to bookmark these ideas. I've often used ginger as a fever aid because it helps with the nausea that often accompanies a bout of flu, but I haven't tried some of these other ideas. Thanks!

At December 7, 2011 at 8:04 PM , Anonymous Kimberly @ The Brown Eyes Have It said...

This is very interesting. I try to prevent illness all together by taking Vitamin D. It REALLY helps during the winter months to keep my family healthy.

At December 8, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Good Girl Gone Green said...

Thanks. i will be a deign this to my list of homeopathic alternatives. WIll be pinning this!

At December 9, 2011 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Marty Turner said...

This web site is what I have been looking for. It's great.

At December 15, 2011 at 10:04 PM , Blogger Jo's Health Corner/ said...

Great information! I love aromatic sprays and use them a lot.
However, I prefer the aromatic sponging method on young children younger than three years old instead of a compress.


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