A guest post by Heather Michelle*

F E V E R

That dirty little 5-letter word indicating our normal 98.6ish body temp is climbing, spikes our anxiety level as well. Particularly mothers of young children sense fear’s grip as they touch their child’s warm forehead, imagining what’s to come. Visions of crying, sleepless nights, puke, dehydration and potential doctor’s visits back us into a scary corner of panic..we’d do anything to make it go away, disappear – POOF! 

We head to the cupboard and dig out the dreaded thermometer. We eye it with uneasy suspicion, trying to get the most accurate reading.

It hovers at 100 degrees. 

BOOM. 

We sigh deeply.

Our first thought is, ‘make that number drop STAT, or chaos will ensue.’

But as the mother of a toddler myself, I would invite you to S T O P for a second and ask yourself “W H Y?”

Why is there a fever? 

Why are we so afraid? 

Why do we feel that number MUST go down immediately? 

What is triggering this reaction in our minds? 

Where did we learn our beliefs about fever?

I attribute much of this consternation to what I call, ‘fever phobia.’ I think parents tend to overreact and over-treat due to this phobia which, according to my informal but diligent studies, took root around the time anti-fever drugs like Motrin and Tylenol were released. I believe God created our bodies wonderfully* and maybe, just maybe, that fever is there for a beneficial reason.

Mom-Life. Keeping it Real.

The simplest analogy I can think of is our kid’s dirty, germy hands and belongings after time spent at the park, the zoo, the grocery store touching communal surfaces, picking their little noses, licking the shopping cart, dragging blankie across filthy floors of public places – you get me – if these scenarios don’t scream ‘mom-life’ right there LOL! How do we then proceed to erase the diabolical dirt and germs threatening? 

With heat. 

We wash our hands with the hottest water we can endure, draw a warm bath for Junior, march straight to the laundry room and toss blankie, teddy bear, and every stitch of clothing into the machine, selecting ‘hottest’ on the Maytag console to sterilize and obliterate the looming infectious microorganisms.

Heat disinfects, and this is what our bodies are trying to accomplish with a fever, yet we sabotage it from minute one by dropping that Tylenol/Motrin ‘ice cube’ into ‘the boiling water pot’ because we are afraid of the inconveniences that come with that word. 

Dr.Kathi J. Kemper, Director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness and a Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University weighs in with, 

“Fever is often a good sign of a robust immune system,” and “a fever in and of itself is not dangerous.” She reminds us to, “treat the child, not the thermometer.”

Our Miraculous Physical Bodies

The human body is a self-regulating organism, which means it’s programmed to heal and correct itself when given the tools necessary. Due to our compromised diets and other lifestyle factors, sometimes we need to give it a boost toward healing and restoring; but let’s be careful not to sabotage it just to reduce a symptom. 

Fever is just one tangible indicator of a problem going on within. Removing the fever doesn’t remove the bacteria or the infection, its just removes the engine from the train on the track to healing. Not addressing the root issue just means it continues to live on or grow into something greater like an ear infection, or pneumonia, or a myriad of possibilities.

Dr. Suzanne Humphries says this about fevers,

“trying to smack down a fever when a child is sick, is like shooting your attack dog when someone is breaking into your house!” 

Here are some practical solutions I turn to first, rather than grabbing the Tylenol or calling the doctor when someone in our home comes down with a fever:

Ginger Bath & Detox Bath

The first thing we do is a detox or ginger bath.These natural ingredient baths actually help the body reach maximum temperature quickly, so it’s able to accomplish its duty – destroying bacteria – then the fever breaks and the body releases pent-up toxins through sweating. When ginger is added to a bath it turns up the heat, encouraging this process. Some people will sweat a lot in the bath and after. These baths also encourage sleep, a benefit toward healing.

Dr. Donna D’Alessandro from Pediatrics at Iowa University says, regarding fever,

“the body is basically trying to do the right thing. Bugs like to live at body temperature. So if you raise the temperature, you kill them off.”

She also points out that the body can function very effectively at temperatures as high as 100.5 degrees. 

Ginger baths can be used on children and adults. If using on littles just know that water temp needs to be more moderate and they can rest on your chest or lap in bath at all times. If you have sensitive skin, wearing bottoms in bath may be helpful. 

Ginger Bath:

Fill tub with hottest water tolerable

Add 2 TBS to ¼ C Organic ground ginger powder

Submerge in tub and stay at least 20 minutes

After bath, dress warmly, drink lots of water, avoid sugar, and rest.

Temperature may continue to rise, but fever should break shortly. May need an additional bath next day if fever persists.

Detox bath:

Fill tub with hottest water tolerable

Add ¼ C Baking Soda to water and let sit 5 minutes

(when detoxing you are opening pores to allow impurities out and you will absorb what’s in the water, so by adding the baking soda, the water is ‘shocked’ and will turn your local water alkaline) 

After 5 min, add:

½ C Epsom Salts

1 TBSP Coconut oil

2 TBSP Bentonite Clay

2 drops Orange Essential oil (optional)

Soak at least 20 minutes

After bath, dress warmly, drink lots of water, avoid sugar, and rest.

Temperature may continue to rise, but fever should break shortly. May need an additional bath the next day if fever persists.

These detox baths can be used for fevers, headaches, muscle aches, and any general ‘under the weather’ feelings. When detoxing, symptoms can increase before leaving just as fevers spike before breaking.

Stats tell us that only 43% of parents know that a fever below 100.4 can be beneficial in a child.

 

Pharmaceutical companies have masterfully used advertising to promote their products using ‘fever phobia’ as a brilliant marketing scheme to keep parents in the dark about what is actually best for children. Before you allow fear and doubt to creep in, running to the doctor for a prescription, trust your body’s ability to heal itself. Help it along by detoxing, hydration, a clean diet and taking quality vitamins/supplements and then if necessary, seek medical attention. 

When our little ones are learning a new skill, it’s so easy to swoop in to do it for them so they don’t have to struggle, but that doesn’t build confidence or muscle for their future success. The same is true with our immune systems! Rushing to erase symptoms with that ‘magical’ liquid will not allow the body to build it’s own defenses in the end. It actually keeps it weak, and dependent on the ‘help.’ 

It’s hard to stand back and watch the struggle of an immune system growing, but if you trust your body and are willing to let it build its muscle, the next time sickness comes calling you’ll be happy you did!

*Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

 

Heather Michelle Mira is a wholehearted wife, mommy, daughter and friend. A lifelong learner with a passion for homeopathics and all types of natural remedies, she loves sharing her victories to empower others in their pursuit of greater health. I’m blessed to call her mine! {Disclaimer: Heather is not a medical doctor and encourages readers to do their own research, seek expert advice and find what works for them.}

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