by Dr. Katka Novakova
Fever is one of the greatest allies our body has to help fight off pathogens. When invaded by viruses and bacteria, the immune system tells the brain to increase our body temperature, and since viruses and bacteria cannot survive in a higher temperature environment, a fever helps to literally burn off and destroy them.
It is important to allow the natural progression of fever — when we give our children Tylenol or aspirin to bring down their fever, we suppress this innate function of the immune system and decrease the body’s ability to fight off pathogens. If we do this repeatedly, we may create a state where the body loses its ability to mount a fever when necessary, which can lead to chronic illness.
There are some homeopathic remedies that can decrease fever naturally without suppressing its healing effect and help the sick to feel better in general. Belladonna is beneficial for higher fevers, when one is burning hot and red. Ferrum Phosphoricum is a remedy more beneficial when one is restless and irritable, while Gelsemium is helpful for lower fevers and when the one is lethargic.
Another way to decrease fever is to bring the external temperature of the body down via cold sheet wrap, tepid bath or cool shower.
Plenty of sleep and fluids are crucial during any illness, but especially for fevers. Sugar is a known immune system suppressant, so it is best to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Also, a fever tends to slow down the digestive tract, therefore smaller amounts of light foods such as soups, pureed food, vegetables and fruits will help to prevent the stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting which often accompanies a fever.