Thursday, November 12, 2009

Self-Reliant Health - Fevers

Heat is a build-up of energy. When you smash your finger, or cut yourself, the damaged part gets hot because your body sends a "repair crew" in to fix the damage. There is more activity going on in the area which creates more energy and therefor, more heat.

A fever from sickness works on the same principle. Your body works extra hard to attack, "burn out" and fight off the invader, and to flush out toxic waste. When you have a fever, you need to take in enough nutrients to supply your cells with the energy they need, but not so much that your body also has to work hard to digest and process the food. Liquids are best - water, fruit juices, vegetable juices, herbal teas, and broths. If you feel hungry, eat light foods that are easy to digest, in small amounts. Meats, cheese, eggs and other high protein foods should be avoided.

I've been told by 3 different doctors that fevers themselves are not dangerous, no matter how high. The danger is in the dehydration. However, the higher the temperature, the greater the risk of dehydrating cells in the brain and other vital organs, and the more difficult it is to ensure that they are staying hydrated, but it is not actually the temperature that does damage. Two of those doctors told me they had a child of their own with a fever of 108 degrees. They let the fever run it's course and come down naturally because they were able to keep the child drinking large quantities of liquid. If the person with the fever is unable to drink enough liquid, or if you are unsure if the amount of liquid is adequate, bring the temperature down!

I have found several effective and healthy ways to lower temperatures, without using toxic or allopathic medications with warnings of liver damage on the labels! Natural remedies do the job just as effectively and nourish your body at the same time, giving it more strength.

When my children had fevers as infants or when they were small, I would first sponge them with tepid water. This would usually be adequate for a low-grade fever. In higher fevers, the best remedy I ever found was a garlic enema. Using one of those blue bulb syringes you get in the hospital to clean the baby's nose, I gently injected warm body temperature water with a few drops of fresh garlic juice I had squeezed from a clove. The baby would break into a sweat within 1 or 2 minutes and the fever would dissipate. Using only 1/2 to 1 cup of solution, the colon absorbs it immediately and nothing comes back out.

Garlic, Catnip and Peppermint are all excellent herbs to give as an enema for fast results. Sometimes an enema of just water, slightly cooler than the body, will work. A warm bath infused with tea made from Catnip, Peppermint, Ginger or Red Raspberry Leaf also work well. The idea is to get the herbs into the body whether through the colon, absorbed through the skin, or ingested. Fresh lemon juice mixed with water (no sugar added) often brings a fever down.

There are many herbs that you can make a tea out of that are known to help reduce fevers. A lot of them may be right in your spice cupboard, or even growing in your garden! If you aren't sure how to make an herbal tea, rather than explain it again here, refer to my October post called "Self-Reliant Health - Lungs and Bronchials". Here is a partial list of some of the herbs you can use to reduce a fever:
  • Garlic
  • Catnip
  • Peppermint
  • Elder Flower
  • Chamomile/Feverfew (photo)
  • Ginger
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Willow bark
  • Sweet Basil
  • Ginseng
  • Marjoram
  • Rose Hips (photo)
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Black Cohosh
  • Yarrow
  • Slippery Elm
  • Choke Cherry Bark
  • Vervain
  • Black Walnut
  • Burdock
  • Blessed Thistle
We also use homeopathic remedies. I especially used them when the kids were small because they are so safe. Homeopathics are each specific in their effectiveness depending on the person's body type, physical constitution and exact cause and symptoms of the ailment. If you can identify the correct remedy to use, they are very effective. Aconitum Nap., Belladonna, Bryonia Alba, Chamomilla, Ferrum Phosphoricum and Gelsemium are some that we have used with positive results. Consult a guide or Homeopathist for proper use.

As always, I believe it is important for us to learn what home remedies are available, how to use them, and have a few good herbs growing in or around our homes that we can use to help ourselves and others in a situation when outside help may not be available. And if you learn to use them now, you can heal in a much healthier way and avoid the high costs of medications and doctor visits.

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