An Essential Oil That Reduces Fevers

essential oil

I have found a new favorite way to reduce fevers!  Well, I actually can’t take credit for it.  I’ve had a few readers tell me on my facebook page that there was an essential oil that reduces fevers that they use on their own children.  If you ladies are reading this – thank you!  I don’t remember your name, but Thank You, Thank You!

And no, my favorite fever reducer isn’t Tylenol.  Are you surprised?  ;) Be sure to read my post, Why Tylenol Is The Last Thing I Would Use For Fevers if you don’t know that answer. :)

So which oil did I use?  Peppermint!

I’ve been a huge fan of peppermint oil for years because of its effectiveness in relieving nausea, but now my love increases due to its effectiveness for fevers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe there are 2 Ways A Fever Is Good For Your Child, and I do like to let a fever do its work.  I don’t pull out all of my fever reducers at the first sign of a fever.  Remember that fevers are your friend, and God’s way of helping the immune system kill the invading microbes that are causing the illness.   Always work with a fever and not against it!

But those fevers can soar high and cause the patient to be miserable, so sometimes it’s a great idea to reduce them.

How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil To Reduce Fevers

  1. Place a teaspoon of a carrier oil like olive, almond, coconut, etc. in a bowl
  2. Add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil and mix.
  3. Apply the oil on the bottoms of the feet and back of the neck.
  4. In 30 minutes to an hour, the fever should be reduced by a degree or two.  Notice that I didn’t say that the oil would break the fever.  Our goal isn’t to break a fever, but to reduce it to a more comfortable level if needed.  This works for me every time.

Repeat as needed if the fever rises too high again.

It really is that simple!

Here’s to skipping the Tylenol and using something much safer!

Buy peppermint essential oil here.

A word of caution: Do not use peppermint oil internally for under the age of six.

Updated caution: Since writing this post, I have had several people tell me that using peppermint oil on children is not safe.  I consulted my essential oil guide book before using the oil on my child and the only caution it had was for internal use for under age 6.  I did not know that anyone had concerns for external use until I wrote this post. :-)  There seems to be different opinions concerning this matter.  Some say that it’s not safe for children externally at all, others say that externally is fine as long as it’s not near the face, and others (like my guide book) says the only caution is internal use.  From my personal experience, there have not been any adverse reactions at all, and I always dilute the oil and keep it away from the face of those under 6.  I found this oil to be much safer for my children’s fevers than what I feel to be the dangers of Tylenol.  Each parent must do their own research to do what they feel is best.  I’ve had another reader say they use lemon oil for fevers and it works well for them.  I may just try lemon oil if we encounter a high fever again.  :)

Buy lemon essential oil here.

fever

 Do you use oils for fevers?  What other ways do you reduce fevers or use essential oils for natural remedies?

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How To Treat a Fever Naturally

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Over the past month or so I’ve written about my take on fevers.  2 Ways A Fever Is Good For Your Child and Why Tylenol Is The Last Thing I Would Use For Fevers are a couple posts I’ve written on this subject.  So if I think fevers are a good thing and I avoid using Tylenol for them, exactly how do I handle them?

I’m glad you asked. :)  Fevers are a very vital part in fighting illnesses and should be worked with and not against.

How To Treat A Fever Naturally

Help The Body Heat Up With Herbal Teas

Many times when a person comes down with a fever, they are cold.  The body begins to shiver trying to heat up and get the fever going.  Besides covering the patient up with a cover or sheet that is 100% cotton {Why It Matters What Your Children Wear When They’re Sick}, administering warm herbal teas greatly aids a fever.  The herbs you should turn to for fevers are the ones that stimulate, produce perspiration, and help to heat up the body’s system.  The thing about these herbs is that they aid a fever, but they also help to keep it in control.

Catnip - Catnip is a gentle herb, making it a great choice for children and people of all ages.

To use in babies under 1 year of age – administer 1/16 cup of tea 3 times a day
Children 1-5 years old – administer 1/4 cup of tea 3 times a day
6-12 years old – administer 1/2 cup 3 times a day
13 and over – 1 cup 3 times a day

Elderflower - The elderberries of the elder bush are a favorite flu remedy and preventative, and also make delicious pies and jellies.  The elderflowers are what blooms before the berries and are a great remedy for fevers!  I have found myself out in the woods more than once gathering elderflowers for a fevering child.

Yarrow - Yarrow is also great to use for colds, flus, and fevers.  It opens pores, relaxes the skin, and produces perspiration.  For fevers, it must be drunk warm.  Yarrow is a bitter herb and combines well with peppermint for improved flavor.  Combine equal amounts of yarrow and peppermint and make a cup of tea as normal.

Yarrow-New

How To Make The Herbal Tea

Combine 1-2 tsp. of dried herb with one cup of boiling water.  Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 5-15 minutes for flowers, and 15-20 minutes for harder herbs like berries and bark.  Strain the herbs from the liquid and consume.

Dosage:

Adults – 1 cup 3 times a day
Children 6 and older – half the adult dose
Children 1-5 years old – 1/4 cup 3 times a day
Babies under 1 – 1/16 {which is half of 1/8 cup} cup 3 times a day
Note: I have given doses hourly if the situation is more severe.

Prevent Dehydration

One of the most important things to do during a fever is to make sure the patient stays hydrated.  Dehydration can happen easily, especially with babies and small children, and it can be deadly.  If the patient is too ill or sick to the stomach to drink water and herbal teas by the cupful, give them liquid every 15 minutes or so, even if it’s only a spoonful, or a squirt in the mouth with a syringe.  Food is not always the best idea with fevers because the body will use energy to digest food that it needs to fight the illness,  but make sure the patient stays hydrated with liquids!  

Immune Boosters

When a fever is present, we know that it was designed by God to kick the immune system into high gear and fight whatever is going on internally.  I like to use other remedies to help assist the body in fighting the illness and healing itself.  Many times I will toss in some immune boosting herbs with the herbs I’m giving for fevers {in a 50/50 ratio}.

Some of my favorite natural antibiotics and immune boosters: 

Echinacea – a powerful infection fighter and natural antibiotic 

Elderberry - I’ve already mentioned elderflowers for fevers.  I also use the berries from the elderbush for an immune booster.  They taste really yummy too!  One of my favorite ways to consume elderberry is by making syrup.  Read How To Make Elderberry Syrup here.

Vitamin C – Rosehips are a good source of vitamin C.  You can also buy vitamin C in powdered form for good absorption.  Unfortunately the sugary chewables are not the best option.  Nutribiotic Ascorbic Acid is a great brand that I use of powered vitamin C.  The company Beeyoutiful makes a chewable vitamin C sweetened with xylitol.

Colloidal Silver – Read all about colloidal silver here.  Check out this website for a good silver product.

Double E Immune Booster – You can buy these herbs individually, or only use one of them, but you can also take a combination of immune boosting herbs!  The power of echinacea, elderberry, vitamin C {rosehips}, plus other healthy herbs are all mixed together in this booster!  I almost always have this on hand.  When my children are not well, I will many times make a pint of this tea and have them drink it a little at a time throughout the day.  For adults, I make a quart of tea.  Sweeten with raw honey or mix with juice for a sweetener if needed.  I like it plain, but some may not.

Epsom Detox Baths

An epsom salt bath is another great thing to do for fevers.  Epsom salt provides the body with hydration, magnesium, and helps remove toxins.  Add 2 cups of the salts to a full, warm bath and soak.  It should be sufficient for children to soak for 10-15 minutes, and adults for 20-30 minutes. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a remedy used for fevers for many years.  Read Using Vinegar To Reduce Fevers to see how I use it!

Peppermint Essential Oil

  1. Place a teaspoon of a carrier oil like olive, almond, coconut, etc. in a bowl
  2. Add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil and mix.
  3. Apply the oil on the bottoms of the feet and back of the neck.
  4. In 30 minutes to an hour, the fever should be reduced by a degree or two.  Notice that I didn’t say that the oil would break the fever.  Our goal isn’t to break a fever, but to reduce it to a more comfortable level if needed.  This works for me every time.

Note: Never use peppermint oil internally or near the face of those under age 6.  Some people say it’s not safe to use peppermint oil externally either under age 6, but my essential oil book does not use that caution.  My then 4 year old had no problems whatsoever when I used it diluted on the bottoms of her feet and back of the neck.  Use your own discretion and research.

I buy peppermint essential oil here.

When You Need To See A Doctor

Always see a doctor if:

  • A stiff neck or pain in the neck is present.  Most of us get a stiff or sore neck when we’ve laid around too long, but I’m talking about a stiff neck that won’t go away or be relieved with sitting up and rubbing it.
  • The patient has no tears when they cry, or their skin stays pinched together instead of going back to its normal state.  Also, be sure the patient is urinating as normal.  These are signs of dehydration.
  • If the patient is lethargic and not improving after a day or so.
  • If your parental instincts tell you that a doctor needs to be seen or that you have an emergency on your hands.  No one knows a child like his/her parents.  No one knows when a doctor is needed like a mom or dad.  Most illnesses are not serious, but I never hesitate to get medical help if one of my children needs it.  I’m so thankful for caring, experienced doctors and staff when they are needed!

How Do You Treat Fevers In Your Home?

Resources:

Visser, M. (2014, January 22). 3 Benefits of Using Herbal Tea During a Fever. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://wellnessmama.com/13173/herbal-tea-fever-benefits/
Grandma’s Organic Catnip Tea & Medicinal Recipes. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.grandmas-wisdom.com/catnip-tea.html
How to Reduce a Fever Naturally. (2012, August 29). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://wellnessmama.com/5820/dont-reduce-fever/

Linked to: Time Warp Wife    Raising Homemakers    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home  Wildcrafting Wednesday

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Why Tylenol Is the Last Thing I Would Use For Fevers

  tylenol Photo Credit: inhuman tsar via Compfight cc

Tylenol is a brand-name of the drug acetaminophen.  I’m referring to this specific name because the marketing technique has been very successful in making the word “Tylenol” a common household word.  Even if someone carries around a generic brand of this drug, we still ask for a “Tylenol”, don’t we?  I guess it’s easier to say than, “Do you have any acetaminophen on you?” ;)

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever-reducer.  It’s commonly used for headaches, arthritis, muscle aches, toothaches, colds, and fevers.  Possible side effects are: nausea, itching, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, and jaundice.  Allergic reactions include: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, face, lips, or throat.  Severe rare reactions are death.  {Source}

From infants to adults, this drug is considered a safe option when used in recommended doses.  Parents all over the country readily give their children Tylenol for fevers and achiness.  I used to be right there along with the rest of them, but through research I’ve discovered Tylenol may not be quite as safe as I thought.

An overdose of acetaminophen is responsible as the leading cause of Poison Control Center calls each year with more than 100,000 calls.  The majority of overdosing is accidental. It also causes 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospital stays, and 458 deaths a year.  The deaths are due to liver failure.  {Source}

I wouldn’t say that Tylenol is exactly the safest over-the-counter drug on the market as is commonly believed.  In 2013, warning labels of liver damage were added to Extra Strength Tylenol bottles.  In some people, taking slightly over the recommended dosage can cause acute liver damage and/or failure.  I have witnessed many people over the years take an extra pill because they said the recommended dose wasn’t enough for them, which is not a safe thing to do.   Normally, the liver filters out acetaminophen and its byproducts, but when it is overloaded, it cannot eliminate these and the liver becomes toxic.  

Why Tylenol Is the Last Thing I Would Use For Fevers

Tylenol raises the threshold of the body’s ability to handle pain by inhibiting certain parts of the brain that register pain.  For fevers, this drug blocks the formation and release of a fatty acid that has the ability to regulate temperature.  

Last week, I wrote a post on why fevers are good for the immune system and how they help to kill whatever foreign substance is causing the illness.  Fevers are produced to work hard at stopping microbes from multiplying and invading the body.  Fever reducers, like Tylenol, literally stop the fever from doing the function it was intended to in fighting an illness, thus many times prolonging the illness and allowing the illness to invade.  Sometimes the illness will come right back when the patient seems better because the microbes were never destroyed, only suppressed. Remember, the fever is not the main cause for concern, but whatever is causing the fever.

Another reason I don’t care for Tylenol for fevers is because any medication taken internally is going to be recognized as a foreign unhealthy substance, which the body has to filter and metabolize and do its best to get rid of.  This is energy that the body could instead be using to get well.  I prefer to use remedies that work with the body and not against it.

If you do feel the need to take Tylenol, or a similar product, be sure to not exceed the recommended dose.  Also, don’t take it with anything that contains alcohol, and don’t take it in addition to taking other products that have acetaminophen.  Many people make these mistakes and they can prove to be fatal.

Common over-the-counter medicines that contain acetaminophen that should not be taken at the same time:

  • Dayquil
  • Nyquil
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels
  • Excedrin
  • Midol
  • Robitussin
  • Sudafed
  • Vicks
  • Tylenol products

There are many more medications.  Be sure to read a complete list here.

When might acetaminophen be necessary?

I am not completely against this drug.  Acetaminophen is a wonderful thing when dealing with acute, serious pain during times of surgery or emergencies.  I am so thankful for pain relievers for emergencies, but on a regular basis, or for fevers and illnesses, they are not my go-to medicine.

I’ll be sharing some natural remedies for pain and fevers soon!

tylenol2 Photo Credit: JeepersMedia via Compfight cc

How do you feel about using Tylenol?   

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease.