Fever, this common and frequent ailment that everyone has experienced, is a symptom revealed through abnormally high body temperature in the absence of any intense physical effort.
Indeed, the normal average temperature of the human body is 98.6°F (37 °C).
Depending on the individual, this average can be closer to 97.7°F (36.5 °C) or 99.5°F (37.5°C).
The term “fever” is used whenever body temperatures at rest rise to or above 100.4° F (38°C).
Both in a child and in an adult, fever is usually an immediate body response reacting to an infection.
As long as the thermometer doesn’t show the body to have a temperature higher than 105.8°F (41 °C), the fever in itself isn’t dangerous. It thus doesn’t require specific treatment in most cases.
However, if above 104°F (40°C), this increase in body temperature is labeled a “major and immediate health risk”, especially for young children. If this is the case, it is imperative to meet up with a consulting physician.
But is it possible to control fever thanks to plants? Why? When and how? Let’s have a look around…
- Important note about coronavirus – if you experience any symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, sore muscles, fatigue), use your phone and call your doctor. Don’t travel to visit your doctor unless expressly asked to do so. The remedies presented here might alleviate symptoms, but they cannot replace professional health care and follow-up.
Fever, key facts about this symptom
Definition of fever
Derived from the Latin root word “febris”, fever is defined as being an abnormal rise in bodily temperature without the patient having exerted any physical effort. Measured with a thermometer, fever is diagnosed whenever the temperature exceeds 100.4° F (38°C).
It thus is a physiological response that the body engages as it tries to face possible changes or disorders that occur in the body.
Fever and medicine, a short story
In 1868, the German doctor Karl Wunderlich presented fever for the first time as being only a symptom and not a disease in itself. He established that the human body’s normal temperature stands between 98.6°F (37 °C) and 99.5°F (37.5°C).
About 150 years later, modern medicine has expanded part of his teaching, since it has been observed and explained that body temperature is unique to every individual. Assuming arbitrarily that it stands within the 98.6-99.5°F (37-37.5°C) bracket for everyone would be a mistake.
The year 2016 showed progress in resolving this breakthrough, thanks to scientists working at the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts (USA). Using the Apple “Feverprints” application, they produced a study based on information collected by feverish patients.
Causes and forms of fever
The abnormal increase in body temperature usually is a response to infection.
Indeed, after an infection such as a urinary infection or a mild otitis, the body reacts and elevates the internal temperature of the body. This has the effect of multiplying the impact and effectiveness of white blood cells.
Fever is often associated to pain, sore muscles and shaking or trembling, but there are a range of other symptoms, to wit:
– broncho-pulmonary diseases
– the flu
– ENT diseases (rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis).
Actually, if these symptoms and disorders are followed by stiff neck, hypotonia, confusion or delirium, respiratory difficulties, etc, it is crucial to consult a physician, especially if the fever has been ongoing for at least 72h.
In other cases, fever is the first observable sign that alerts to a potentially serious infectious disease.
The following may be marked as relevant:
– infection of the kidneys, or pyelonephritis
– foreign bodies (transplants, allergens)
– alteration of body tissue or organs (in the case of a heart attack for instance)
– reaction to the intake of certain medicines
– presence of cancerous cells
– certain diseases (among which lupus)
– and deep abscesses.
Although many cases of fever remain unresolved to this day, certain systemic, tumor-related or hematologic diseases might be further possible triggers.
How to lower fever naturally
Like any other symptom or disease, every confirmed fever case must not be disregarded.
Even though it seldom requires urgent medical treatment (depending on the age and patient medical history), it’s essential that action be taken to lower the fever.
First steps are to have the patient remove items of clothing, to lower the room temperature where the patient is staying, to remove bedcovers and hydrate the patient often.
There are a range of medicines designed specifically to lower fever.
But what about natural solutions based on medicinal plants?
Here, in a couple lines, are the key points to know:
– often used in the form of herbal tea for children, lime tree or basswood is a fever-abating medicinal plant.
To prepare a mug of lime tree or basswood herbal tea, measure out one teaspoon of dried flowers for more or less 7 fl. oz. (200 ml) water.
– both as a tablet or a gelcap, white willow is a very effective febrifuge. Consulting an expert for the proper dosage applicable in case of fever is extremely important.
- Recommended as a gelcap or drunk as a herbal tea, elder flowers help flush out toxins in case of fever. To prepare a course, the adequate dosage must be determined on a case-to-case basis by an expert.
- Lastly, decoctions prepared from calendula are another of the traditional options that are often recommended to lower fever.
Good to know about fever
In case of fever triggered by infectious diseases (flu), remember to:
– avoid heavy meals,
– rest and stay out of the cold to minimize exerting any efforts,
– stay hydrated by drinking fluids often (broth, sweetened drinks, water or herbal tea).
Certain diseases (Still’s disease, hyperthyroidisis, Kawaski’s disease, lymphoma, Crohn’s disease, leukemia, sarcoidosis) may trigger bouts of incidental fever. When this occurs repeatedly, it’s recommended to quickly go for a check-up with your local doctor.
Note that a rapid occurrence of fever that appears after a surgery must be monitored seriously. It’s important to consult a doctor in short time for adequate follow-up.