Fever: Friend or Foe

Infections and Fevers

Unbeknown to most people fever is the fundamental stimulator and regulator of the immune system. it can breed fear into the hearts of mothers when they see their little children burning up with a fever, or laying there lifeless, maybe vomiting with chills. Doctors use it medically to determine infections and immune dysfunction.

When considering the inner working of how the body reacts, fever is an indicator of vitality and ability of the immune system to respond to illness (bacteria, viral, fungal) Did you know that a very effective way to deal with cancer is through fever therapy? That is to induce an artificial fever in the body and it heals from cancer!

Traditional Approach

Traditional medicine uses antibiotics and anti-pyrectic’s to force the fever response down. Have you noticed often the fever will abate but then return after 1-2 weeks, then another course of antibiotics is prescribed as the infection has not resolved. This is because the immune system was not allowed ample time to mount defences and fever to burn up the pathogens. When this process is repeated regularly throughout childhood, the immune system starts to slow down in vitality, and illness starts to affect deeper organs precipitating chronic disease formation in the future, if suppressive treatment continues or if severe life shocks are experienced. One of the mechanisms how this occurs can be seen with repeated antibiotic prescriptions, which damage the gastrointestinal tract, and the microbiome of the gut where 70% of the immune system is located

Natural Approach

When looking at body function from a biological perspective and how it naturally deals with pathogens we see that it mounts a fever, which has the effect of stimulating white blood cells and other immune stimulators, it also raises the body temperature for the reason of literally burning out the pathogen. Let me use the analogy of cooking a piece of meat, which is made up of protein. When you add heat to the protein you denature the protein(break it down) Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi etc) are also made up of bits of protein, which when heated,(ie a fever is mounted) the pathogen is destroyed and the metabolic waste products are burnt, leaving little to no residue and the immune system remains strong.

Children get fevers frequently as their immune system battles it out with pathogens to build strength. The secret to good health, vitality and a long life rests in the bodies ability to mount a fever. Now there are treatments that support the body to mount this fever response and overthrow the pathogen or toxin using homeopathic and naturopathic principles. They are not suppressive and don’t have any side effects. Let’s look at some homeopathic remedies for fever and practical mechanisms to use when ‘nursing’ our children or ourselves with a fever.

Often with a fever we feel fatigued and drained, this is the bodies way of telling you to relax as it is using most of its energy reserves to fight the fever. Remember when you have a fever your bodiy’s enzymes are not in the perfect environment to produce chemical reactions and energy, but is rather attempting to destroy the pathogens at this time.

  • Don’t try be overactive or run the normal daily activities. Relax, stay in bed, sleep or even attempt a sauna, which further raises body temperature to kill the pathogen.
  • Ensure that your electrolytes are balanced, drink enough water. If you don’t feel like eating, then do a mini fast until your energy returns. Remember that your body uses a lot of energy to digest food, which can better be apportioned to fight the fever.
  • Get adequate sunlight in the mornings for 15 minutes. Sun exposure stimulates vitamin D production which is immune stimulatory.
  • Stay away from blue light of electronic devices and decrease your screen time as this is very inflammatory

If parents just followed this simple advice, use nothing but homeopathic remedies to bring down the fever, remain warm, calm, take in plenty of fluids, keep the bowels open, and rest during this time. We would definitely have far fewer problems with chronic disease than we have now and a much healthier population.

Acute Fever Management

Low fevers are not dangerous at all, but when fevers rise above 38,5-39 degrees centigrade, some intervention is needed, as there may be a tendency to neurological symptoms such as convulsions.

Follow these handy tips to ensure your child’s fever is treated in a safe positive manner:

  1. Frequent bathing in tepid water when the body temperature rises, to which a little, Epsom salts or apple cider vinegar has been added. ( 2 cups of Epsom salts to a bath, or 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. )
  2. Application of a damp cloth which has been soaked in vinegar to be applied to the back of the neck. The thermoregulatory centre of the body is located in the hypothalamus and by cooling this area the temperature sensor of the body reduces the body temperature.
  3. The correct prescription of a well indicated homeopathic remedy for fever often works wonders, allowing the bodies defence mechanism to throw off the fever in dramatic fashion.

Lets look at some different applications for homeopathy in acute fever

ACONITE – Sudden onset fever, from catching a cold, dry fever with intense thirst for large gulps cold water, very anxious and high pulse.

BELLADONNA – sudden onset of fever, red face, with congestion in the face, throbbing headache, sensitive to light and noise. Fever is undulating

APIS – Constant fever, in place of undulating, fever of Bell and Acon. Usually sore throat > cold application, no thirst.

GELSEMIUM – catching cold after being too hot. High fever, red dusky drowsy face with dull eyes. No thirst in febrile condition, with a tendency to trembling and weakness. Heaviness of eyelids with dull feeling

MERC SOL – Fever plateaus with a shivering of the skin. Nocturnal sweating, with false membranes on throat.

EUPATORIUM PERF – fever with bone pains, intense desire cold water

RHUS TOX – weakness and exhaustion with a febrile state, joints ache, improved by movement

CHAMOMILLA – High fever, irritability and tantrums, with teething and diarrhea of chopped egg and spinach diarrhea

FERRUM PHOS – Gradual onset of fever, that is not high, moist skin with patient being weak. Tendency to anemia, tendency to ear infection

ARSENICUM ALBUM – weakness, anxiety, fear death, burning pains, fever with frequent small sips of water, esp useful with food poisoning, diarrhea. Fever is often worse after midnight

VERATRUM ALB – weakness, collapse, exhausted. Skin and perspiration cold but body feels burning inside. Often with a lot of diarrhea

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