Today, we’re going to talk about safe and gentle herbs to lower fevers without dangerous drugs. I’ve done three posts about why I don’t lower fevers:
Part one covered why we’re not afraid of fevers.
Part two covered how a fever works and why it’s important.
Part three covered the dangers of the most common fever reducing drugs.
After all this talk about why I don’t lower fevers, it may seem odd for me to talk about ways to do just that. 😉 Well, I don’t lower fevers, but that doesn’t mean that I will never be in a situation where it would be good to be able to lower a fever.
Sometimes a fever will make an exhausted child so uncomfortable that he can’t get desperately needed sleep. Sometimes a high fever for an extended time can lead to dehydration. In those situations, I would want to be able to lower a fever enough to get the child some sleep or fluids.
I absolutely love lemon balm (order here or here)! Along with being able to gently lower a fever, it is also antiviral, so it helps to fight cold and flu viruses. It’s good for reducing stress, which can help encourage sleep. This one makes a nice tea, but be sure you buy high quality organic or grow your own. The flavor of cheap lemon balm tea from the store is terrible and most children won’t drink it.
Catnip (order here or here), also known as catmint, is another very gentle fever reducer. It is also known for soothing upset tummies and encouraging restful sleep. It makes a delicious tea when mixed with lemon balm.
Along with tossing a few cinnamon sticks into our tea, we also mix powdered cinnamon with honey when we’re sick. It helps lower fever, but we use it for several other reasons, which I’ll post about in the future. Just be absolutely certain to get “sweet” cinnamon (aka true, ceylon or sri lanka cinnamon), rather than “cassia” cinnamon (aka chinese cinnamon). Most of the “cinnamon” you will find in the grocery store is cassia, which can be very dangerous in high amounts. Cassia cinnamon contains something called coumarin, which can cause severe liver and kidney damage. Sweet cinnamon doesn’t have it (order here or here).
Garlic can also help reduce fever and it is fantastic for fighting any bacterial infections. Although I like to finely chop garlic, mix it with honey and swallow it whole, our girls aren’t crazy about that method. When we’re sick, I will crush a clove of garlic in a cup for each of us, let it “activate” for 10 to 15 minutes by allowing it to be exposed to the air, then I ladle in some homemade chicken or beef broth and we drink it down.
Those are my top four herbal remedies for fevers, though there are many other herbs that can help. I’ll be finishing this series with other natural ways to reduce fever, besides herbs.