Fever is an unpleasant and debilitating sensation that we have all experienced at some point.
Occasionally, fever can be treated with scientifically recognized natural alternatives, but at other times it requires medical attention.
In the following article we will let you know what fever is, what can cause it, and how we can reduce it using homemade ingredients.
What is fever?
Fever is the elevation of body temperature beyond normal figures (37.5 ° C). However, this is a bit more complex.
Body temperature varies from individual to individual depending on their age, gender, time of day, levels of physical activity, fluid and food intake, and much more.
The method of measurement also alters the precise figures. The rectal temperature tends to present higher figures than the oral, while the axillary is lower than the oral and rectal.
Despite this, there is a cut-off point to determine if a person has a fever or not. In adults, a body temperature of 38°C is considered a fever.
In children under 11 years of age, body temperature tends to be slightly lower, but it is not a very substantial difference. Going beyond 38°C, it is also considered a fever.
Causes of fever
Fever is a bodily reaction by our body. In a way, it is a mechanism that tells us that something is happening and the body seeks to solve it.
Similarly, fever is a stereotyped response.
It is a common symptom in many diseases since the human body does not have a specific mechanism for each one and responds to noxious stimuli in a similar way.
Here are some of the most common causes of fever in the body.
Viruses and infections
Microorganisms in general are frequent causes of fever. In hospitalized patients, 74% of fevers are caused by infections.
Microorganisms are external pyrogenic agents. That is, they cause fever. Upon entering our body, our defenses detect them and begin the fight against them.
This involves the release of inflammatory substances known as leucines. Among these, we have interleukin-1, 6 and alpha tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
These substances travel through the blood to the central nervous system. There, they stimulate the hypothalamus, triggering a series of chain reactions that maintain the person’s feverish state.
Inflammatory conditions are also fever-producing. In fact, inflammation consists of four cardinal signs: pain, swelling, loss of function of the inflamed tissue, and finally heat.
Faced with an injury or any injury to a tissue, the body responds by releasing substances that cause fever.
Some examples of diseases that cause fever are hepatitis, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel syndrome, kidney disease (glomerulonephritis) and many more.
Thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism can cause hyperthermia.
High temperatures raise body temperature to the point of causing the so-called heat stroke.
In this, heat loss through sweat is exceeded by heat gain in the body. Additionally, excessive sweating leads to dehydration, which contributes to fever and general fatigue.
Medicines and vaccines
Certain drugs mention fever as a possible adverse effect. As we have mentioned, allergies are the cause of inflammation and, in turn, fever.
The entry of a foreign substance in certain people induces the body to fight against them, accidentally.
Among these we have antibiotics, antiepileptics, antidepressants, antihistamines for asthma and much more.
In the case of vaccines, fever is a rare but benign adverse reaction. In most cases, the fever disappears shortly after.
Fever is a common complication in patients suffering from malignant tumors.
Fever caused by cancers arises for several reasons: First, the malignant tumor interferes with the person’s immune system, exposing the body to potential bacterial infections.
Second, patients undergoing chemotherapy have very low defenses due to the aggressive treatment involved. That, like the previous point, increases the risk of infection.
Fevers due to malignancies without infection are rare, but pose a higher risk since there is no identifiable cause.
home remedies to reduce fever
In uncomplicated cases, fever can be treated at home through infusions of herbs and medicinal plants or other methods that lower your body temperature.
Next, we will provide you with a list of possible home solutions for fever.
cold water compresses
They represent a simple and effective solution.
Similar to drinking a refreshing glass of water after strenuous physical activity, the cold coming from the compress applied to our skin lowers the temperature.
Infusion of thyme and chamomile
Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help fight infections that cause fever.
It is due to its polyphenolic compounds, such as flavonols that include quercetin and luteolin, capable of stopping the replication of microorganisms and boosting the immune system.
Among the polyphenols that chamomile contains, is chlorogenic acid. Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil , demonstrated that it has potential as an anti-inflammatory and against fever.
Thyme is another historically used medicinal herb. With potential similar to that of chamomile, in addition to providing a pleasant flavor. Its effect is due to the action of thymol.
- 10 grams of dried thyme.
- 10 grams of dried chamomile.
- 1 cup of water (the amount varies depending on how concentrated you want the drink to be).
- Pour the water into a pot, place the herbs and heat to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and let the infusion rest for 5-10 minutes, with the pot covered.
- Strain the infusion and serve.
Lemon and honey infusion
Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant used as a cofactor during our body’s metabolic processes.
Honey is not only used to treat coughs, it is also used as an antibiotic. The enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide attacks the microorganisms responsible for fever.
A study published in the medical journal Metabolic Brain Disease showed that honey has an anti-inflammatory effect. The inflammation triggers, through the release of substances known as leucines, the onset of fever.
Particularly during infectious processes.
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- 2 tablespoons of honey.
- 1 cup of lukewarm water.
- Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil until hot.
- Add honey and lemon and mix very well.
- Let the temperature of the drink drop and enjoy while it is warm.
Basil is consumed to treat bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, arthritis, and other conditions. It is an antioxidant that attacks virulent microorganisms during an infection.
- 10 basil leaves.
- 1 cup of boiling water.
- Boil the water until it is hot enough.
- Place the leaves in the water for 5 minutes.
- Strain and serve in a cup.
Controlling a fever in many cases means controlling an infection. Ginger is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
The latter act as modulators that inhibit the production of molecules that cause fever to avoid damage to our tissues.
Metabolic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease decrease our defenses, making us prone to infection and, by extension, to fever.
- 3 cups of water (one cup per tablespoon of ginger).
- 3 tablespoons of ginger root (45 g).
- In advance, prepare the ginger. If you bought a whole root, grate until you get the desired amount.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Bring to the boiling point.
- Pour in the ginger, cover the pot, and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
- The strength of the drink will depend on how long you let the ginger sit in the water.
- Strain and serve!
Fenugreek is a plant, member of the Fabaceae family. It is native to the Indian subcontinent, where it is part of the region’s gastronomy. It has also been used for therapeutic purposes.
Fenugreek contains flavonoids , vitamins and saponins. They help manage fever and related symptoms.
However, there are contraindications: drinking is not recommended during pregnancy, nor is it recommended for people with diabetes who are under treatment.
There is also the risk of allergies that can cause diarrhea, flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain.
- 1 tablespoon of raw fenugreek seeds.
- 400 ml of water for each tablespoon.
- Mix both ingredients until well combined.
- It is recommended to drink during fasting.
Cinnamon is loaded with anti-inflammatories (such as cinnamaldehyde) that control fever-causing infections.
It was still shown that it has some effectiveness against bacteria such as Salmonella, responsible for a clinical picture where fever is found.
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- 1 tablespoon of honey.
- 1 cup of water.
- Pour the water into a pot and heat to a boil.
- Place the cinnamon (powder) in the cup and mix with the honey until it forms a mixture.
- If you use the cinnamon stick, place it in the bottom of the cup next to the honey.
- Pour the water into the cup and mix all the ingredients. Remove the branch.
Garlic contains a component called allicin, with antimicrobial properties. Garlic is particularly useful during infections to treat symptoms, such as fever.
It also provides you with vigor and is an adjuvant in the fight against inflammatory diseases.
- Minced garlic (3 to 4 heads of garlic).
- 2 to 3 cups of water.
- Pour the water into a pot and heat, together with the garlic, to a boil.
- Remove from heat and let rest for a couple of minutes.
- Strain and serve. You can use a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it.
infusion of raisins
Raisins are rich in fiber, they are an excellent source of iron and calcium. It also contains phytonutrients such as linoleic acid and polyphenols that safeguard your health.
- 150 grams of raisins.
- The juice of ½ lemon.
- Two cups of water.
- Pour the water into a pot. Add the raisins and heat for 20 minutes.
- Remove the infusion from the heat and add the lemon juice. Mix the ingredients very well.
- It is recommended to prepare this drink at night to drink it the next morning, while fasting.
The term sage can refer to both the genus of the Lamiaceae family, although it can also be used to talk about the species Salvia officinalis, a plant with a great reputation in the world of gastronomy and natural medicine.
It contains a wide range of essential oils of physiological importance, as well as flavonols and flavonoids.
An article published by Iranian researchers explains, in great detail, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects.
It works effectively against fever-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella species.
One of the components of sage, thujone, has neurotoxic properties in large properties.
People with renal insufficiency of some kind, pregnant and lactating women are at greater risk of suffering adverse effects.
- 2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried leaves.
- 1 teaspoon of honey.
- The juice of ½ lemon.
- 2 cups of water.
- Heat the water to a boiling point. Add the leaves and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and honey. Mix well and enjoy!
Lettuce is an immune system enhancer as it contains modest amounts of vitamin A, C and K. It also contains calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
If the fever derives from some kind of infection, you can alleviate the symptoms with this delicious drink.
- 3-4 leaves of romaine lettuce.
- A teaspoon of honey.
- 2 cups of hot water.
- Pour the water into a pot next to the leaves. Heat the water to a boiling point.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes.
· To sweeten your drink, add a teaspoon of honey and mix well.
This medicinal herb has multiple properties such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant due to its polyphenolic content. It has antiparasitic action at the gastrointestinal level and improves liver function.
It is also known to be an excellent antimalarial treatment.
Relieves the effects of the flu, such as malaise and fever. Like sage, wormwood contains thujone, it is recommended to consult a doctor about its consumption.
- 1 teaspoon of dried wormwood leaves
- 1 cup of water.
- Boil the water until it is hot enough.
- Place the leaves in a cup and pour the water over them. Let stand 5-15 minutes.
- Strain and serve!
- We recommend not letting the leaves sit for a long time as they give the drink a very bitter taste. You can use mint, anise or honey to slightly sweeten the drink.
When to go to the doctor
Although it can be treated at home, persistent or worsening fever should be treated immediately by a health professional.
Identifying at what point medical help becomes essential is important to keep you, or your loved ones, safe.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for.
Fever higher than 39ºC
When the temperature exceeds this figure, fever becomes a complication that, if not treated, can have a fatal outcome.
Children are particularly susceptible to these high temperatures. Other people at risk include people with underlying respiratory or heart problems as the functionality of these organs may be impaired.
Also known as a headache, it is a symptom that can accompany a fever.
Mentioning this to your doctor is extremely important because it allows the doctor to identify the possible cause. For example, those febrile with headache and a stiff neck may be suffering from meningitis.
Rash on the skin
Along with the headache, the skin rash or erythema accompanies the fever in certain complications.
It is common to observe this manifestation in inflammatory states caused by infections or any other cause.
In diseases such as exanthematic fever or typhus (diseases transmitted by ticks, lice and other invertebrates) it is common to observe fever, headache and erythema.
This complication derives from the involvement of the brain. Remember that temperature control resides in the hypothalamus, just below the brain.
When the fever persists, the release of harmful molecules impacts and damages the brain mass. This leads to a state of general confusion, disorientation and other mental functions.
The fever that accompanies the acute cough generated by respiratory tract infections prevents adequate breathing.
Why? Infections inflame the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles, which begin to produce more and more mucus, in addition to contracting their smooth muscle.
Congestion due to mucus and contraction of the airways decrease the passage of air, causing difficulty breathing and coughing.
Along with fever, they are indicative of an acute infectious process, commonly caused by bacteria (pneumococcal pneumonia, for example).
Seizures and vomiting
Seizures are relatively common in persistent fevers, especially during the first day.
They are common in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and are usually caused by viral infections.
High temperatures lead to hyperreactivity of the brain. That is, an increase in their electrical discharges. As a consequence, the brain is overloaded with stimuli.
Seizures do not last more than a few minutes and resolve spontaneously. They may be accompanied by chills and involuntary muscle contraction.
At worst, seizures and vomiting are signs that the fever may be getting worse and requires prompt medical treatment.