Thankfully, fevers aren’t as dangerous as many people fear, but comfort is just a cup of herbal tea away. When a loved one gets a fever, we want to reduce it instantly.
When your body temperature rises because of an infection, it’s called a fever. Fevers are caused by chemicals called pyrogens flowing in the bloodstream. The purpose of a fever is thought to be to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses sensitive to temperature changes. It also helps to regulate our immune system.
If the fever is over 102 F, your doctor should be consulted. But, if the fever is low grade, I don’t take anything, or give a loved one anything such as an OTC medicine. I prefer to brew up an herbal tea. Herbal teas help to:
- Warm and stimulate the body
- Encourage detoxification through sweating
- Provide extra hydration
- Relieve pain and unpleasant symptoms
- Offer immune-supporting vitamins and antioxidants
- Boost mood and relaxation (sleep)
FebrifugeHas a cooling effect to help reduce fevers.
Here are my favorite herbal teas for fever and body aches:
It is also one of the most useful, potent herbal allies that I can think of! Yarrow is both an anti-inflammatory as well as being antimicrobial. It reduces pain, is an anti-catarrhal, relaxes circulation, and is a mild sedative, too.
Yarrow infusion is most effective when taken at the onset of the flu symptoms, but it can also help before the problem starts. Do not take yarrow daily for more than two weeks, even less if there are known liver weaknesses.
Yarrow will help you to get rid of a dry fever when taken as a hot infusion. As a diaphoretic, it opens your pores and induces perspiration. This seems like the opposite of what you want, but the heat and sweat are supporting the action your body is already taking to evict the flu. Combine this with a thick blanket, a hot water bottle for your feet, and get ready to sleep and sweat. All the sweating will eventually help cool you off a bit.
Lemony-mint tasting, catnip is a cooling, gentle, and relaxing herbal nervine especially good for children, and soothes hyperactivity, colic, fever, constipation, stomach ache, and insomnia. It helps relax the smooth muscles of the intestines, and is an anti-catarrhal (dissolves and prevents formation of mucus and prevents mucus membrane inflammation).
Ginger eases pain and inflammation, soothes nausea as well as gas and cramps in the digestive tract, stimulates the appetite and bile secretion in the liver, stimulates the circulatory system and promotes sweating, loosens trapped mucus in the lungs, and is antimicrobial. While ginger is clearly an herb with many uses, its antimicrobial activity, ability to thin mucus, and diaphoretic action are the actions that help the body progress in resolution of a cold or the flu.
Peppermint has an array of health benefits. Not only does it help to prevent vomiting, nausea and motion sickness, but it also helps reduce fever and discomfort, boosts the immune system, helps to improve breath, aids in relieving mental stress, cough and cold, and relieves stomach discomfort.
It is used to ease tension and stress, emotional upset, nervousness, and insomnia. Happily, chamomile is gentle enough for children while still being helpful for adults. Don’t use chamomile if you’re allergic to the Daisy family, you may have an allergic reaction to this herb too.
Though cinnamon has medicinal uses, it’s mostly used in this case to improve the taste of the herbal tea.
The flowers are known for their high antioxidant content and Vitamin C which is great for boosting your immune system. Elderflower also helps fighting flu and respiratory disturbances by encouraging water to leave the body, helping you to “sweat it out”.
A Favorite Tea Blend
Of course, the herbs listed above can be used as a single tea, but this is a great herbal tea blend for fever, aches, and sleep. This recipe is for an adult to 12 years of age. For ages 11 and under, cut recipe according to age and increase the water a little. Never give honey to a child under 1-2 years of age, use a sugar instead.
- ½ tsp fresh ginger (minced) OR 1/8 dried ginger
- ½ tsp catnip leaf (dried)
- ½ tsp yarrow flowers (dried)
- 1 tsp peppermint leaf (dried)
- 1 tsp chamomile flowers (dried)
- 1/2 tsp elder flowers (dried)
- 1 pinch cinnamon powder (optional)
- Place herbs in a cup or in a tea ball or strainer
- Boil water and pour into the cup
- Cover the cup with a plate to keep the steam and important oils in.
- Steep for 10 minutes
- Strain tea through fine mesh strainer or remove tea bag
- Sweeten with 1 teaspoon honey, if desired
- Add a lemon, lime, or orange slice, if desired
Options: 1/2 teaspoon each of elder flowers and peppermint to one cup water.
Of course, I’m not a doctor, so if a fever become dangerously high, please consult your doctor ASAP.