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10 Herbs That Help Manage Fever & How To Use Them
By Meagan - October 22, 2014
Fever. It's something we've all experienced. A fever is a friend and the sign of a healthy immune system. It helps the body by making it an uncomfortable environment for viruses and bacteria to thrive in. But never mind a fever's good intentions because there are times when it doesn't feel much like a friend. There are times when a fever can be a scary ordeal, especially if you're dealing with a small child or it's uncomfortably high. Thankfully, there are natural options for fevers... herbs to be exact. These herbs can help you manage a fever safely and efficiently without needing to opt for over-the-counter medications that have their own set of pros and cons unless absolutely necessary. Today I'd like to talk about 10 common fever reducing herbs and how to use them. Some of these herbs you may already have on hand. As for the others, you may want to stock up on them so they're handy when you need them.

10 Herbs That Help Manage Fever

  1. Catnip
  2. Lemon Balm
  3. Chamomile
  4. Ginger
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Cloves
  7. Peppermint
  8. Elder Flower
  9. Yarrow
  10. Boneset

Two Types of Fevers

The first thing you must do when a person has a fever and you want to use herbs to manage it is to look at the person with the fever and ask yourself two questions.
  1. What do they look like?
  2. How are they acting?
Does their skin feel hot and dry? Do they look red and flushed? Are they uncomfortable and fidgeting? Or, do they feel cool or slightly warm? Is their skin damp? Are they weak and pale? You see, fevers usually present in one of two ways. The person is either deficient therefore they appear cool, damp, weak and pale, and their fever is most often a low-grade fever that doesn't seem to want to go away. A person with an excessive fever will appear hot, dry, flushed, and uncomfortable. These are most often sudden fevers that are high-grade and scary.

Choosing Appropriate Herbs

The next step in using herbs with a fever is to chose the correct herbs for the correct type of fever... a deficient fever or an excessive fever. With fevers, you want to use herbs that stimulate sweating as a way to cool the body down. Sweating therapy is typically used to treat externally caused illnesses like colds, flu, and fever. These herbs are referred to as diaphoretic herbs and the work to open the pores in the skin and allowing the body to sweat which allows the heat a pathway out of the body.

Diaphoretic Herbs

Diaphoretic herbs induce sweating. They are to be taken hot because if they're taken cold they will act as a diuretic rather than a diaphoretic and the goal is to sweat not pee. When it comes to choosing which diaphoretic herbs to use for a fever there are two categories to chose from.
  1. Stimulating diaphoretics
  2. Relaxing diaphoretics
The herbs you use will depend on the type of fever you're dealing with. If you're dealing with a deficient fever (cool, moist, pale, and weak) you'll chose stimulating diaphoretic herbs. If you're dealing with an excessive fever (hot, dry, flushed, uncomfortable) you'll chose relaxing diaphoretic herbs. Stimulating Diaphoretics  Stimulating diaphoretic herbs are used with deficient fevers... those fevers where the skin is pale, moist, and the person may feel cool or just slightly warm. They're weak with no energy, and these fevers can sometimes be prolonged and low-grade. Stimulating diaphoretics help to warm the body up so that the fever will do its job quickly, making the body an uncomfortable environment for the virus or bacteria, and the body can defeat the invading pathogens. These herbs increase circulation and promote sweating. Stimulating diaphoretics are herbs like cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and yarrow. To make this easy to remember, think of it like this. Weak fevers need to be stimulated and spicy herbs are stimulating. Relaxing Diaphoretics Relaxing diaphoretic herbs are used with excessive fevers... those fevers where the pores of the skin are closed and no sweating is going on. These fevers cause the skin to be dry and hot. The heat of the fever is trapped deep in the body, and these are usually your high-grade fevers. Relaxing diaphoretics help the body to relax so that the pores can open allowing that trapped heat to escape which essentially helps to cool the body off. Relaxing diaphoretics are herbs like catnip, lemon balm, peppermint, chamomile, boneset, and elder flower. To make this easy to remember, think of it like this. Hot fevers need to relax and mint herbs help to cool the body.

Putting It All Together

When it comes to putting all of this together and using these herbs for fever you need to first assess the person and determine what kind of fever they have. Sometimes a person can have both a deficient fever and an excessive fever in the same illness depending upon what stage of a fever they're in. Find out where they are at the moment and then you can chose the herbs they need to help them through it. Most fever reducing herb recipes mix and mingle the stimulating and relaxing diaphoretics a bit, but they are usually heavier on one or the other based on the fever. And don't forget, the most common way to take herbs for fevers are to drink them as hot infusions.

Treating Fevers Naturally

If you'd like to learn more about how fevers work in the body as well as how to treat them using herbs and other natural remedies, check out my e-book - Treating Fevers Naturally. It's a 70 page digital guide that is easy to read and understand, and it will help you be more confident in managing fevers naturally the next time you face one. In this guide I'll teach you what a fever is and why it's a good thing, what's going on in the body during a fever, what the difference in "degrees" is, when to lower a fever, the most common concerns with fevers and how to deal with them appropriately and safely, the difference in medical and natural treatment options, and natural remedies you can use to help lower stubborn fevers.
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  1. Monica
    Oh, wow, didn't know this Meagan.. So there are two types of fever.. Very informative! Thank you for sharing.. In the med field we were taught a low or high grade fever, but I enjoyed on how to bring down a fever naturally...The part I really like is, what to look for in a person who is ill. What is so scary, taking care of the wee ones..They can't tell you what they are feeling, that freaked me out..Thanks again, love this blog.
    1. Meagan
      You're welcome Monica!