Natural Fever Relievers

Fever describes a condition in which the body’s temperature is higher than normal. It’s a symptom of many types of illnesses and is usually a response to infection or inflammation. Fever can also be caused by exposure to heat, poisons, certain drugs, or injuries to the brain. While it’s usually treated with medication, there are a handful of natural alternatives. Here are some natural fever relievers.

Fluids

Dehydration is often a result of fever, making the sick individual feel worse. The best way to counter this is to drink plenty of fluids. Make sure you drink enough to make your urine appear pale in color.

Note that while water is best, sports drinks (like Gatorade) and rehydration solutions (like Pedialyte) can help replace minerals and electrolytes lost to dehydration. Even grapes can serve as a source of hydration. Orange juice is also a great choice, due to its high vitamin C content. Note that vitamin C helps the immune system fight infection.

Calcium

Part of the reason you may feel achy with a fever is due to a process that removes calcium from your bones. This process allows the body to draw calcium from the bones for the purpose of fighting infection. Supplementation can help provide the needed calcium, reducing the need for drawing it from within the body.

A number of experts believe calcium can actually reduce the duration of an illness by increasing the effectiveness of the accompanying fever. One study involving dengue fever patients showed that supplementing with calcium and vitamin D (to assist in calcium absorption) helped reduce both the symptoms and duration of the illness.

Warm Bath

A warm bath is one of the best natural fever relievers, since it can directly impact your internal temperature. Note that the water will feel cool, because of the fever. Use a sponge to rise off delicate areas like the armpits and groin, since this can help you cool down more quickly. Avoid taking a cold bath, since this can increase blood flow to the organs, which will raise your temperature further.

Sleep

As difficult as it might be to get enough sleep sometimes, it’s one of the best ways to get over an illness more quickly. Rest makes it possible for your body to heal itself through natural processes. While your body is resting, it is producing more white blood cells to assist in the fight against infection. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to the illness, try taking a warm bath first, as described above.

Cold Compress

A cold compress is another effective way to reduce fever naturally. Apply a cool, wet cloth to the forehead or back of the neck for optimal effect. The base of the neck is where the hypothalamus is located, making it an ideal location on which to place the compress.

Note that while a hot compress is effective for relieving pain, it should not be used for a fever. The purpose of using a cold one is that as the water evaporates from the skin, it draws out the heat, reducing the body’s temperature. Once the cloth gets warm, remove it, soak it in some more cool water, wring it out and use it again.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been a popular fever remedy among grandmothers for generations. One way to use it is to soak a washcloth in diluted vinegar and place it on the forehead or abdomen. You can also wrap the cloth around the soles of your feet. The purpose of using the cloth is to provide a path along which the heat can be drawn out. Note that it can also be added to a warm bath or mixed into a glass of water with honey for direct consumption.

Keep in mind that fevers are a vital part of your body’s natural defense system. By raising your temperature, the body triggers your immune system and speeds up the detoxification process. While fevers might be unpleasant, they’re one of the best indications that your immune system is working the way it’s supposed to.