The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published a report confirming what we’ve all known to be pretty common sense for a while now: Fevers aren’t bad and you shouldn’t bring them down in a healthy child. Why? Because a fever is good and suppressing it drags out the illness.
(Note, this report has since been removed from the Internet.)
Now I know … you’re a little frustrated that doctors (for years) have been recommending toxic Tylenol to bring down a fever and that anyone who recommended leaving it alone was labeled nothing short of crazy; but we’re going to accept the fact that the AAP’s recommendations are usually wrong and are always bought and paid for, which is why it took them so long to get it together when it comes to a good fever.
Here’s what you need to know about all things fever:
A fever is a good thing. It’s your body’s natural way of heating up to kill viruses and bacteria that can’t survive at a higher temperature and is a survival mechanism we’ve had since circa day one. A fever is needed for the body to gain an advantage over whatever it is causing the infection and plays a huge role in mobilizing lymphocytes, our protective inflammatory response, and cell function. I could literally give you 500 more things a fever does but suffice it to say, it’s important and we shouldn’t have been taught, told, or encouraged to suppress it as the monster that it’s not.
So now that you’re coming to terms with the fact that a fever isn’t BAD, what should you do if you or your child gets one? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Our default response to getting a fever should be to slow down, rest, get adequate fluids, and park it (preferably on the couch for a valid Netflix binge).
Don’t touch it.
Don’t suppress it.
Don’t medicate it.
And don’t spend hundreds of dollars on supplements to do what a fever is going to do for free.
How to Approach a Fever Naturally
I recognize that there are times when we may need intervention though. There are children who have autoimmune issues, symptoms beyond the norm that might feel unbearable, fevers that get too high (102 is not “too high”), and parents who need sleep. If this is the case, here’s a list of things you could do instead of reaching for a fever reducer, spending hours in the emergency room over a low grade fever, or pulverizing your gut with an antibiotic:
- Try reducing a fever that is too high with a lukewarm bath and add some epsom salt with a few drops of essential oils to it.
- Crank up the essential oil diffuser.
- Use a humidifier during the dry winter months to reduce sinus infections and head/lung colds.
- Use activated charcoal for stomach bugs and diarrhea.
- Add lemon juice, raw honey, and a pinch of cayenne or cloves to your water to replace lost electrolytes.
- Take lypo-spheric vitamin C and emulsified vitamin D.
- Take magnesium to help with pain or sleep.
- Avoid heavy meals and embrace the fast if you have no desire to eat. (Digestion takes energy and that energy is needed to fight the infection).
- Use colloidal silver to avoid un-necessary antibiotics.
- Take and/or increase probiotics.
- Try homeopathic Oscillococcinum for flu-like symptoms instead of medications.
- Drink herbal infused teas with peppermint, lemon and ginger, echinacea, cloves, cinnamon, licorice root, rosehips, and other spices.
- Take elderberry to prevent the cold/flu and at the first sign of a symptom. Elderberry has been shown to prevent influenza and shorten its duration. (Here’s one of my favorites recipes for making an elderberry tonic.)
- Try one of the other 10+ natural remedies known to kick a cold or flu.
The Bottom Line
Everything we’ve ever been told about the fever is wrong. We’ve been duped at the expense of pharmaceutical companies who market fever-reducers like it aint’ no thing, a medical profession that isn’t trained to respect a good fever, and a medical model that is geared around suppressing symptoms.
Now you know that a fever is a good thing that doesn’t necessarily require “action” and that there are many things you can do to bring it into a safe range, boost the immune system, and help the body heal itself when it does.