Returning to Our Roots: Rediscovering the Incredible Curative Powers of Fever

  • Posted on
  • By Valerie Blankenship
  • 0
Returning to Our Roots: Rediscovering the Incredible Curative Powers of Fever

Fever has traditionally been used to fight infections. Until the 1960s, inducing a fever has been used in conventional medicine for the treatment of chronic diseases.

First, a rant. Never in my lifetime has the concept of “Western medicine as savior of the world” been so

thoroughly ingrained in so many. Particularly during this pandemic, I have been amazed at how most

people are thoroughly convinced that COVID-19 has no viable treatment except for allopathic. But the

allopathic treatments are few and aren’t always great. Patients who receive mechanical ventilation, for

example, have significantly increased mortality. Looking at a 2021 literature review,“Mortality in

mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-19” the writers conclude: “Significant variation and high

mortality rates in mechanically ventilated patients necessitate….increased consideration of risk factors to

reduce intubation.”


More concerning to me as an herbal clinician is that we have a country full of folks who fear a possibly

deadly infection - that supposedly has no known cure, while a miraculous ancient ally- inherent in our

own immune systems is largely ignored. In my clinic, I see lots of folks who view fever as an

inconvenient, even harmful side effect of disease that must be treated immediately and thoroughly

stamped out. When symptoms of infections are felt, and temperatures begin to rise, lots of folks

immediately reach for a fever reducer: Tylenol, Motrin, Aspirin…the idea is so ingrained in most of us:

fevers are a nuisance. Even dangerous! And fevers require suppressive treatment.


How little regard do most of us give the incredible power of our body’s miraculous ability to raise its’

temperature at will? In fact, fever is one of the most valuable aspects of our immune system. It is also one

of the most underused. Fever, part of the body’s acute phase response to viral and bacterial infections, is

generally self-limited - an indication of a robust immune system. In fact, the ability to mount a fever of at

least 3-5 degrees, or even up to 7 degrees, has been found to be a good indicator of immune strength in

patients with viral or bacterial infections. In my opinion, fever should be viewed as a valuable

opportunity. For those who rarely experience fever, it can provide an even more valuable opportunity to

fortify the immune and circulatory systems. I will discuss these concepts below.


The history of fever

The natural method of inducing fever by using thermal or heat therapy as a therapeutic treatment has been

around for thousands of years, with records dating back to 500 B.C. Ancient Greeks, Romans and

Egyptians, as well as ancient civilizations in India, China and Scandinavia, have been recorded to have

used heat therapy for healing illnesses. Hippocrates, in the 5th century BC, was believed to be one of the

first to understand and characterize fever as part of the immune response. And his belief was strong in the

usefulness of fever to cure disease. Hippocrates once stated, "give me power over fever and I will cure all

diseases.” and “Those who cannot be cured by medicine may be cured by surgery. Those who cannot be

cured by surgery may be cured by heat. Those who cannot be cured by heat are to be considered

incurable.” –

– Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC). Centuries later, Physician Sir Thomas Sydenham, considered “the

English Hippocrates” of the 17th century, also revered fever, stating fever is “nature’s engine which she

brings into the field to remove her enemy” (her enemy being infection). He further emphasized that

"Fever itself is nature's instrument."


Until the 1960s, inducing increased fever has been used in conventional medicine for the treatment of

chronic diseases. Then, along came asprin, antibiotics and corticoids, which was possibly a blessing in

some ways, but also a curse for the future of healing, especially in the treatment of acute diseases, as it

abruptly stopped the long tradition of heat therapy within the western medical field. I hope to do my part

in reviving that tradition.


How fever works within the body

Fever appears to have evolved in both warm- and cold-blooded vertebrates as a mechanism for

controlling infection. Warm-blooded animals like us produce fever by increasing heat production

(through shivering) or reducing heat loss (by peripheral vasoconstriction). When a cold-blooded lizard

like a desert iguana is sick, it seeks out a sunny rock to raise its body temperature. That may boost its

immune system, in a similar way to how a fever helps us fight infections. Our bodies contain their own

natural thermostat which is part of our immune system. This thermostat, located deep in the brain in the

hypothalamus, works together with the metabolic and integumentary (skin) systems to mount, and

regulate, a fever state. Our thermostat has its own “set point” which ranges, depending upon the person,

between 97 – 100 degrees.


When the body senses an infection, the immune system signals our metabolism to increase, which pushes

the body’s temperature higher than normal. The higher-than-normal temperature heats up and kills foreign

bacteria, leaving healthy bacteria and gut flora intact. A 2019 study from the Shanghai Institute of

Biochemistry and Cell Biology in China shows that fever seems to help immune cells reach and attack

harmful germs more quickly. They found that fever alters surface proteins on immune cells like

lymphocytes which allows them to travel faster to reach infection sites. In addition, the fever mechanism

also boosts the immune system by increasing production of natural killer cells, dendritic cells, T-helper

cells and antibody-producing cells which strengthen the body’s ability to fight off infection. One timely

example is seen in the severe stage of COVID-19 disease, which is associated with reduced interferon

activity. Interferon is an important part of the body’s natural response to viral infection. Fever is one of

the main symptoms of sickness from coronavirus infection, along with cough and shortness of breath.

High body temperatures are known to increase the production of interferon, which has antiviral

properties, and may effectively treat COVID-19.


Beneficial effects of fever have been reported in research as well as observational trials. In two studies of

sepsis and severe infection in Sweden and Denmark, each involving more than 2000 patients, fever was

associated with lower mortality, and those with the highest temperatures had the best survival. Overall,

the best survival occurred in those with the highest core temperature within the first 24 hours. In fact,

patients with lower fever temperatures were associated with higher mortality, according to an

observational study which looked at a group of 269,078 ICU patients with infection in New Zealand and

Australia. The same result was seen in a group numbering 366, 973 in the UK.


Sweat kills infection too

Honoring this critical aspect of our immune system not only allows the body to fight off infection

efficiently but it can also act as a cleansing by way of sweat being released through opened pores. Notice

how sweat tastes salty? Besides water, sweat contains salts, ammonia, and proteins - waste products that

the body efficiently gets rid of through sweating. This sweating during infection also helps our bodies

expel extraneous proteins, toxic debris and unwanted dead cells and tissues. This purge helps strengthen

our immune system overall, making us more resistant to pathogens and disease in the future.

Sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics on our skin, which protect us from dangerous bugs. If our skin

gets injured by a cut, scratch or the sting of a mosquito, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as

dermcidin, quickly and efficiently kill invaders. These natural substances, known as antimicrobial

peptides (AMPs), are more effective in the long term than traditional antibiotics, because germs can’t

develop resistance against them.


In fact, researchers have found that sweat produces 1,700 natural antibiotics that can rapidly and

efficiently kill invaders after an injury. An international team of scientists from the University of

Edinburgh has isolated one such antibiotic named dermcidin, which is an antimicrobial peptide that can

puncture the outer membranes of bacteria or virus! Researchers stated that dermcidin is a highly efficient

tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous bugs.


Can saunas give us the same benefits as fevers?

With portable home saunas becoming increasingly popular, many of my clients are reporting health

benefits with regular “sweat therapy” in their homes. Some of the benefits they have shared include

reduced colds and flu, faster healing from infections, reduced inflammation, increased circulation and

lower blood pressure. The research seems to back that up. In a 2020 Finnish study of 50 volunteers, half

participated in Finnish sauna bathing, with half abstaining from saunas. In both groups, the frequency,

duration and severity of common colds were recorded for six months. There were significantly fewer

episodes of common colds in the sauna group. In fact, during the last three months of the study the

incidence was roughly half in the sauna group compared to controls.


In response to intense heat stress, your body produces something called Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs).

They are highly conserved proteins that protect the cells from all kinds of different stresses, including

heat. In addition to that, HSPs increase muscle protein synthesis (increased hypertrophy) and protect

muscles from atrophy if an athlete gets injured or is immobilized. Over the long term, heat stress will

augment some other beneficial adaptations like more capillaries, more mitochondria in the cells to

produce energy, better efficiency of the mitochondrial proteins, and improved endurance capacity.


One reason for health benefits of sauna is likely due to the fact that sauna therapy is well known for

boosting nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps preserve the elasticity of all the vessels in the body, because it is

a "signaling molecule" that tells the blood vessels to dilate which may lead to a better vascular relaxation

and blood flow. This is important because optimal blood circulation is key in all areas of health. One

study found twice weekly sauna bathing for 3 months was associated with significant reductions in resting

systolic and diastolic pressures averaging 20-23 mmHg and 14-18 mmHg respectively. Additionally,

sauna may have antiviral effects via the increased nitric oxide production.


Hyperthermia treatments

The benefits of working with - instead of against - the amazing fever process go beyond fighting off a

cold or flu. Whole body hyperthermia is a novel therapy that can achieve dramatic healing results in

certain cases. The induction of fever through sauna and medical heat applications has more recently been

used to treat autoimmune diseases and serious, hard to treat infections such as Lyme, for which there is no

known cure. Hyperthermia is the name used to describe the treatment of diseases by carefully increasing

the temperature of the body in a controlled medical environment.


Whole body hyperthermia can be achieved a number of ways, including saunas, hot baths, and infrared

blankets, a heating lamp. or inside of a special thermal chamber. A special machine called a “Heckel” is

considered one of the safest and best ways to administer hyperthermia treatments. The Henkel measures

and monitors the body’s core temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and respiratory

frequency to achieve the best therapeutic effect with minimal patient toxicity. This is considered a safe

and effective way to heat the body up to intense temperatures.


Autoimmunity and Lyme treatments using hyperthermia

Whole-body hyperthermia can raise the patient’s entire body temperature to at least 105.8° F, a

temperature that kills many spirochetes, although in Lyme treatment, the goal is typically to bring the

patient’s body temperature to at least 106° F, the point at which many strains of Borrelia (Lyme disease)

are killed. If the patient can tolerate higher temperatures, doctors at several clinics in the US, Germany

and Mexico believe it is preferable to try to reach 107° F as higher temperatures increase the effectiveness

of the treatment.


Doctors at these clinics report that a dramatic increase body temperature increases the effectiveness of

antibiotics, decreases microbes’ resistance to antibiotics, and enables them to get inside the cells more

easily. When a person has chronic Lyme disease, biofilms form around the spirochete, preventing antibiotics

from reaching the pathogen. Increased heat breaks down these biofilms, allowing antibiotics to penetrate

them. This kills Lyme microbes and disrupts the structural integrity of biofilms.


Can fever treat cancer?

The discovery of an association between fever and the regression of cancer was noted as early as 1866 by

W. Busch, who observed cancer remission in patients afflicted with severe erysipelas infection who

experienced a period of fever following surgery. He found these patients survived much longer than

patients who did not experience fever. He also observed that spontaneous tumor remission mostly

occurred after a fever period.


A similar case report on a complete sarcoma remission using hyperthermia encouraged W.B. Coley, a 28-

year-old surgeon in New York City in 1890, to inject an IV of Streptococcus erysipelatis and Bacillus

prodigiosus in his cancer patients suffering from untreatable progressing cancers. The injections came to

be known as "Coley toxins". His interest in treating cancer with fever induction began when a poor

German immigrant named Stein came to him. Stein had had surgery for round cell sarcoma four times,

and his case was considered hopeless. Then he contracted the infection erysipelas, a form of cellulitis.

Symptoms include fevers and chills. He nearly died from the infection, but when he recovered, the cancer

was gone. Coley searched for Stein throughout the lower East Side ghetto until six years later, when he

found Stein in perfect health! At that point, Coley decided to administer the vaccine to late-stage cancer

patients, injecting them with Erysipelas and Serratia marcescens bacteria, thereby inducing a fever. The

vaccine was injected directly into a tumor, which was generally followed by a fever of 101° to 104° for a

few hours. This was generally repeated for around a month until full remission of the cancer was achieved

or the patient died.


By the spring of 1896, Coley had treated 160 cancer patients with his toxins. Nearly half of these 160

patients had shown a degree of benefit; for a few of them, the results had been nothing short of

remarkable. In 1897, Coley took the post of head of the Sarcoma Ward at Memorial Hospital in New

York City. Coley's daughter Helen Coley Nauts founded the Cancer Research Institute in 1953. In 1956,

she had Coley's Toxins made at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Coley's old hospital, and

she offered it to doctors for cancer treatment. Records were found of around 1,000 cancer patients who

had been treated with Coley's Toxins. Nearly half were free from cancer for at least five years.


One of Dr. Coley's colleagues was Dr. James Ewing, a pathologist who came to Memorial Hospital about

the same time as Coley. He thought that the newly discovered radium and the X-ray machine was the

utopian cure for cancer and became known to the news media as “Mr. Cancer”. You can probably see

where this is going. Coley and Ewing soon had a bitter rivalry between them. Ewing became Coley's boss

and worst enemy. As a result, for many years, Coley could not treat sarcoma patients with Coley's Toxins;

he was only permitted to treat cancer patients using radium — with poor results.


The American Cancer Society, founded in 1913, has also been a bitter enemy of Coley's Toxins. In June

1962, an amendment to the Pure Food and Drug act was passed, giving great power to the FDA. At this

time, the American Cancer Society had a list of unproven treatments of cancer, and Coley's Toxins was

on that list. The American Cancer Society held that Coley' s Toxins had never helped a cancer patient.

The act was called the Kefauver-Harris Amendment contained a grandfather clause that made legal any

drug or vaccine that had a record of success before 1962. Aspirin was at once made legal, but with the

American Cancer Society designation of Coley's Toxins as ineffective with cancer patients, Coley's

Toxins was declared illegal. Despite his lack of acceptance by mainstream medicine, Coley is

acknowledged as the father of anti-cancer immunotherapy. In 1927, Julius Wagner-Jauregg received the

Nobel Prize in medicine for work involving the therapeutic application of hyperthermia.


Higher temperatures yield the best results

According to researchers, the higher the temperature goes above the 'normal' 98.6 degrees F (up to around

108 degrees), the more the body speeds up its natural defenses against tumors, wounds, and infections.

These effects are generally only seen with ‘whole body’ hyperthermia, whereby only the patient’s head is

outside of the machine in order to protect the brain, offering an artificial fever for the rest of the body. At

the Universities of Warwick and Manchester, researchers found that a raised whole-body temperature

kick-starts the release of a protein, A20, that helps protect the body from inflammatory diseases such as

autoimmunity and cancer. Even small rises in body temperature helps the body’s defense systems, the

researchers found. Reducing a fever is often one of the first things a doctor tries to do—but a raised body

temperature naturally protects us against infection and even tumors, making it promising cancer

treatment. As a result of targeted hyperthermia treatment, the progression of malignant growths, may be

controlled or healed.


During hyperthermia therapy for cancer, tumorous tissue is heated using different techniques. As a result

of this heating, doctors using this treatment report damage to cancer cells. One mechanism is through a

reduction in blood and oxygen supply, which increases cancer cell death. Another way the body uses heat

to kill infections is through the stimulation of the immune system to produce a flood of natural killer and

helper cells. The induced fever also increases blood flow to organs and tissues, improving the oxygen

supply to the body.


Hyperthermia is not FDA approved for any treatment in the USA but there are a handful of hyperthermia

treatment centers in the US, Germany, and Mexico. It is one of the basic elements of the integrated cancer

therapy concept of St. George Hospital in Germany. St. George Hospital has worked intensively in

hyperthermia therapy for the treatment of acute cancer and the aftercare of cancer patients since 1998.

According to Dr. Friedrich R. Douwes, specialist in internal medicine and Oncological care coordinator

for the Hospital, “hyperthermia is capable of bringing about a distinct improvement in the course of tumor

diseases…and aftercare or secondary cancer prevention…metastasis and tumors that are inoperable or

resistant to other treatments can be treated favorably.”


Other promising treatments with hyperthermia

The conclusion of a 2016 trial showed that “whole-body hyperthermia holds promise as a safe, rapidacting,

antidepressant modality with a prolonged therapeutic benefit.”


Side Effects of hyperthermia

Doctors administering whole body hyperthermia where the body’s temperature is raised to 104 degrees or

higher would need to examine each patient case individually, to determine if the patient is strong enough

to undergo the treatment. It should not be applied if the patient is in a weakened state, has had lymph

nodes removed in the armpit region, if there is a risk of convulsions or epileptic attacks or if the patient is

claustrophobic and cannot tolerate laying down on their back in a closed capsule for 1 hour.


What about fever suppression?

Fever is the body’s response to infection. We know the feeling of a fever, and it can be unpleasant or

downright awful. Symptoms such as achiness, headache, weakness, lack of appetite and lack of energy

may find us searching for quick relief. And for many, that relief comes in the form of an NSAIDs, nonsteroidal

anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin. Many public health organizations

advise treating a COVID fever with NSAIDS. But some, including the French health ministry, are

warning against the use of NSAIDS to treat fever and pain associated with COVID-19 infection. In fact,

they have stated that “grave adverse effects” have been identified in patients with confirmed or suspected

COVID-19 infection when treated with NSAIDS.


Fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID, occurring in 80% of all cases. Randomized trials

have shown that the suppression of fever does NOT improve infection reduction and may, in fact, be

harmful in COVID-19. In a recent observational study of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, it was

found that having a fever ≥102°F was associated with better survival. However, inhibition of fever with a

fever reducer, has been linked to delayed recovery, including from chickenpox and malaria. The use of

NSAIDs has been linked with complications, including … prolonged hospitalization in children and

adults with lower respiratory tract infections.


Researchers are also taking notice of the negative effects of NSAIDS on COVID infections. In January

2021, the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology, published a study

that NSAIDS reduce valuable neutralizing antibodies which may blunt the immune system’s ability to

fight disease during the early stages of infection.


Principal investigator Craig Wilen, Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Immunology at Yale

University School of Medicine stated: “Our work suggests that the NSAID Meloxicam dampens the

immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.” “…it might blunt the immune system’s ability to fight the

disease during the early stages of infection. It could also reduce the magnitude and/or length of protection

from either natural infection or vaccination,” said Dr. Wilen. The research points out that NSAIDS’ antiinflammatory activity might be detrimental early in SARS-CoV-2 infection, because at this stage,

inflammation is usually helpful in fighting off infection. That can change at later stages of COVID-19, if

the patient undergoes a dramatic inflammatory response known as a cytokine storm, which can lead to

further complications.


Even non-medication fever-lowering techniques can delay recovery from infection and can even be

harmful in my observation. One example is ice baths, or even cold-water sponge baths. Clients who report

these types of methods, which go against the body’s own attempts to raise its temperature to kill off

infection, often report a prolonged fever up to 2-4 days. A prolonged fever such as this causes the body to

work doubly hard to mount an effective temperature, will weaken the body’s efforts to fight off infection,

and lower the body’s immunity and vitality overall. If this process is repeated throughout the childhood

years, the effects may likely lower the vitality of the body permanently. (Or at least, until the body’s

vitality is encouraged to return through such methods as proper fever management, fasting and sweating

in saunas.)


Where’s the Logic?

These days, with most of the planet constantly checking temperatures as a sign of infection, an additional

consideration is that since fever is often one of the first signs of COVID-19 infection, perhaps we should

not mask the symptoms of fever with NSAIDS (or other pain relievers like acetaminophen) and delay the

diagnosis of infections that feature fever as a symptom.


What is your actual baseline temperature?

Discovering what your own unique baseline temperature is helpful in knowing how high your fever

actually is. For example: if your baseline temperature is actually 97.6 F, and your temperature is 99.6 F,

that is considered to be a rise in temperature of 2 F.


Avg. temps have dropped over the years

Although 98.6 F has long been considered the norm, in fact, avg body temps have dropped by more than

.-1 degree over the past 180 years as people become more deficient.


Since the 19th century, the average human body temperature in the United States has dropped, according

to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Temperature of men born in the early to

mid-1990s is on average 1.06 F lower than that of men born in the early 1800s. The body temperature of

women born in the early to mid-1990s is on average 0.58 F lower than that of women born in the 1890s.


But why the decrease in temperature? A viable theory is that it could be due to a reduction in metabolic

rate. The authors hypothesize that this reduction may be due to a population-wide decline in

inflammation: “Inflammation produces all sorts of proteins and cytokines that rev up your metabolism

and raise your temperature,” Parsonnet said. As a clinical herbalist, I see clients with rampant

inflammatory disorders, not a reduction in inflammation. So, I tend to lean toward their other hypothesis:

that cushy lives, lived in central heating and air conditioning (compared to 19th century homes which had

irregular heating and no cooling) require less need for the body to expend energy to maintain a constant

body temperature. “Physiologically, we’re just different from what we were in the past,” Parsonnet said.

“The environment that we’re living in has changed, including the temperature in our homes, our contact

with microorganisms and the food that we have access to….We’re actually changing

physiologically.” As a clinician, I view this drop in temperature as a sign of deficiency in circulation and

vitality that can put the body at risk of infection and illness.


What is a “good working fever”?

According to the Eclectics, a good working fever was a fever that ranged from 102 and 103 degrees. At

104 degrees, a fever can begin to kill the polio virus.

At 106 degrees, a fever can kill pneumonia virus as well as the organisms that cause syphilis and Lyme

disease. Temperatures ranging from 106-107 degrees will kill cancer cells. At temperature of 108 – 110,

human cells begin to die.


Treating a Fever:

Although fever can be left to do its work without intervention from us, there are many opportunities

where we may wish to intervene. For example, a debilitated, deficient client who has suppressed many

fevers over the years may be unable to mount a good working fever, or a severe infection may warrant

intervention to aid the body in its work and to speed the process. It’s important to know the symptoms of

a fever.


An important memory aid:

• Chilled and/or Shivering? Temperature is rising.

• Sweat? No sweat! Temperature is coming down on its own.


If the patient or client feels a chill and/or is shivering, that is an indication that the temperature is on the

rise. This is an opportunity to help the body carry out its mission by warming it from both the outside and

inside. If, on the other hand, they are already sweating, the temperature should not continue to rise, as the

body has taken care of opening the pores to sweat and already busy “breaking” the fever. As holistic

practitioners, we have methods for working with the body’s fever mechanism to to reap the most benefits

of a fever. The key concepts for the treatment of fever are “warming” and “sweating” and “hydrating”.


1) Warming herbs: with Ginger, Zingiber officinale root being a key herb here, although Mustard,

Sinapis alba seed and even cayenne, Capsicum annuum (all in powdered form) can also be used in a

pinch. The Ginger bath/diaphoretic tea method. My favorite method is the simplest. The patient is

immersed in a hot ginger bath to which 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered ginger root has been swirled. .

hour is a good amount of soaking time. This, I have found, will make a much stronger warming bath then

using fresh Ginger root (although that is an option). While in the bath, several cups of strong, hot herbal

diaphoretic teas should be drunk. These teas will encourage the opening of the pores to release sweat,

which will not only cool down the body, but also allow the release of infection through the pores.

Following this bath, the patient should be rinsed off and placed in bed and covered with plenty of blankets

to warm them and allow the body to continue to sweat out the infection. Using this method, I have

personal experience through my own fever treatments, as well as the treatments of my clients, that

patients commonly wake up fever free within 3-8 hours, depending upon the severity of the infection.


2) Diaphoretic, or “sweat herbs”: These may include infusions of flowers of Elder, Sambucus nigra or

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, Peppermint, Mentha piperita, Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, which is

thought to be called “Boneset” due to its wide use during the 18th century influenza called break bone

fever. Another good choice would be Peppermint essential oil used in a bath. All of these have been used

traditionally by European and American herbalists to open up the pores and promote sweating to support

the body’s immune system defense mechanisms.


3) Hydration: fluids should be taken every 15 or 20 minutes unless sleeping. If the body temperature

rises more than 102 degrees, place a cool cloth on the forehead to keep the brain cool while administering

the warming and sweating herbs. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Coconut water is my

favorite go-to for a mineral-rich, palatable drink to replenish the electrolytes lost through sweating.

Hydration should be achieved with mineral herbal infusions of Oats, Avena sativa, Nettles leaf, Urtica

dioica or Alfalfa herb, Medicago sativa, all high in minerals that need to be replaced. Other great choices

are unsweetened vegetable or meat broth, or simply give filtered water to which a pinch of mineralized

salt such as Himalayan salt has been added.


Important Tips for Managing Fever:

Feed a cold, starve a fever? Yes, that old adage is true. At least the starve a fever part. During a fever, the

best advice is to avoid solid foods, especially dairy, sugar and heavy foods like red meat. Heavy foods

will take energy to process, taking away valuable focus from the body’s fever management. Following a

fever, a mild appetite will return. Ease into eating with homemade bone broth or make traditional barley

water. To make barley water, simmer 2 Tbsp of barley in 1 . cups water, covered, for an hour, then strain

and serve.


According to Rudolph Steiner, researcher and philosopher and naturalist from the turn of the century,

protein should be avoided during a fever as it causes more urea buildup, one of the waste products of

fever. He also suggested the avoidance of electronic or other stimulating sounds and objects in the sick

room during a fever, as well as keeping the lights low. He recommended keeping order in the sickroom

and adding fresh flowers to bring in healing energy. Today’s sickroom might take this advice to heart and

remove the tv, laptop and cell phone as well!


But…Can’t a fever be dangerous?

Under normal conditions, fever will not continue to climb higher and higher due to an effective central

control located in the hypothalamic center. If the fever is encouraged, and breaks naturally by itself, or

with the help of the warming and diaphoretic herbs, then it will do its job and kill the bacteria or virus that

has caused the fever in the first place. At this point the fever will break and the temperature will return to

normal. If, due to fever suppression, or the body’s inability to mount a strong fever, a fever lingers longer

than a day or so, it can be tiring to the body and cease to be a useful tool in fighting infection. In these

cases, a bath cloth that has been dipped into warm temp water (water that is just several degrees below

that of the actual fever) may be used. One limb at a time can be drawn from out of warm bedcovers and

wiped down and then replaced back under the covers. This will gently bring down the body’s temperature

and allow an exhausted patient to rest. Never immerse a feverish child or adult in ice water as this can

squelch the immune system and cause harm to the health of the body!


Fevers over 100 degrees are considered by many to be “high temperatures” and can be extremely scary to

parents of small children. “High fevers” are a common cause of trips to the pediatrician’s office, to wait in

crowded waiting rooms amongst other sick kids. But body temperature almost never goes as high as 108-

110 F, which is the temperature range at which brain damage is possible.


Even the greatly feared febrile seizures very rarely cause injury to a normal brain unless they last over an

hour. According to the Mayo Clinic website: “A febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child that's caused by

a fever. The fever is often from an infection. Febrile seizures occur in young, healthy children who have

normal development and haven't had any neurological symptoms before. It can be frightening when your

child has a febrile seizure. Fortunately, febrile seizures are usually harmless, only last a few minutes, and

typically don't indicate a serious health problem.


When to see a doctor: See your child's doctor as soon as possible after your child's first febrile seizure,

even if it lasts only a few seconds. Call an ambulance to take your child to the emergency room if the

seizure lasts longer than five minutes or is accompanied by:


A stiff neck

Breathing problems

Extreme sleepiness


One actual danger with fever is if the body becomes dehydrated, as from diarrhea or vomiting, sweating

or avoidance of fluids. In addition, there are 3 classes of people who lowering even a mild fever may

possibly be beneficial: 1) people with heart disease, because the heart has to beat very fast during the

fever. 2) An already weakened patient, including an elderly or sick patient or someone who has a serious

disease, or 3) someone with pulmonary disease.


Fevers that arise following immunization are quite common, resulting from toxic foreign proteins, heavy

metals and chemical preservatives that are forced into a child’s bloodstream by injection. It is important

to note however, besides the toxic effects of the brew that is injected into a child, the introduction of the

foreign elements injected directly into the bloodstream, and not through the normal mucus membrane

entry, and so therefore the reactions may be more dramatic. In those cases, parents should pay closer

attention to their child’s fever and symptoms and not be placated by doctors who may try to brush off

their fears and advise the administration of fever reducers. Fevers that arise following immunization may

be treated in the same way as normal childhood fevers from infections using the methods outlined above.

However, if a child’s fever lasts more than a day or two, or if there is neck pain or if the child cries out in

a high-pitched, unusual scream, a homeopathic doctor or skilled herbalist should be consulted.


Hot and Cold waters

I hope I have encouraged you to follow the natural way when treating fevers from infection and to

encourage your friends and family to do the same. All this talk of hydrotherapy has made me crave my

own bath for a long hot soak. Or perhaps instead I’ll take an invigorating cold shower! Cold water

treatments have their own amazing properties, including the ability to fortify the nervous system,

strengthen the immune and circulatory systems and even treat infections. But that’s for another day….



1. Maria Tsikala Vafea 1, Raina Zhang 1, Markos Kalligeros 1, Evangelia K Mylona 1, Fadi

Shehadeh 1, Eleftherios Mylonakis 1 Mortality in mechanically ventilated patients with COVID-

19: a systematic review; DOI: 10.1080/17434440.2021.1915764; Accessed March 18, 2022.

2. Pillai PS, Molony RD, Martinod K, et al. Mx1 reveals innate pathways to antiviral resistance and

lethal influenza disease. Science 2016;352:463-6;

Accessed March 18, 2022.

3. Stewart GD, Skipworth, RJE, Pennington CJ et al. Variation in dermcidin expression in a range

of primary human tumours and in hypoxic/oxidatively stressed human cell lines; Br J Cancer.

2008 Jul 8; 99(1): 126–132. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604458 Accessed March 18, 2022.

1.[Internet]. Cologne, Germany; Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health

Care (IQWIG); 2006-.How is body temperature regulated and what is fever? [Updated November

17, 2016] Accessed March 18, 2022.

2. H.C.HasselbalchaV.SkovaL.KjæraC.EllervikbcdA.PoulseneT.D.PoulseneC.H.Nielsenf COVID-19 as

a mediator of interferon deficiency and hyperinflammation: Rationale for the use of JAK1/2

inhibitors in combination with interferon; Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2021 Aug; 60: 28–45.

Published online 2021 Apr 14. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2021.03.006 Accessed March 18, 2022.

3. Lars Ljungström, Rune Andersson, Gunnar Jacobsson; Incidences of community onset severe

sepsis, Sepsis-3 sepsis, and bacteremia in Sweden – A prospective population-based study;

Published: December 5, 2019; Accessed March 18,


4. Sylwia Wrotek, Edmund K LeGrand, Artur Dzialuk, Joe Alcock; Let fever do its job: The

meaning of fever in the pandemic era; Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Volume 9, Issue

1, 2021, Pages 26–35,; 23 November 2020; Accessed

March 18, 2022.

5. Joëlle Micallef 1, Thomas Soeiro 2, Annie-Pierre Jonville-Béra 3, French Society of Pharmacology,

Therapeutics (SFPT) Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, pharmacology, and COVID-19

infection. Therapie 2020;75;355-62; Accessed March

18, 2022.

6. Jack J. Lee; Stanford researchers have determined that average human body temperature in the

United States has decreased since the 1800s; January 7, 2020;

2020/01/human-body-temperature-has-decreased-in-united-states.html Accessed March 18,


7. University of Warwick. "Hotter bodies fight infections and tumors better -- researchers show

how: The hotter our body temperature, the more our bodies speed up a key defense system that

fights against tumors, wounds or infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2018. Accessed March 18, 2022.

8. Clemens W. Janssen, PhD1,2; Christopher A. Lowry, PhD3; Matthias R. Mehl, PhD4; et al Whole-

Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder A Randomized Clinical

Trial JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(8):789-795. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1031; Accessed March 18, 2022.

9. S.B.Field*N.M.BleehenHyperthermia in the treatment of cancer; Cancer Treatment Reviews;

Colume 6, Issue 2, June 1979, Pages 63-94 Accessed March 18,


10. Dr. Kleefe Hyperthermie. (2019). Whole-body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major

Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial; Retrieved

DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1031; Accessed March 18, 2022.

11. St. Georg Hospital. (2017). Lyme Treatment Protocol. Retrieved from

com/lyme-treatment-protocol/ Accessed March 18, 2022.

12. Sanoviv Medical Institute. (2019). Neuroprevention Webinar. Retrieved from Accessed March 18, 2022.

13. Edward F McCarthy, MD; Treatment of inoperable malignant tumors with toxins of erysipelas

and the bacillus prodrigiosus. Trans Am Surg Assoc. 1894a;12:183–212; Accessed March 18, 2022.

14. Ralf Kleef and E. Dieter Hager; Fever, Pyrogens and Cancer; Accessed March 18, 2022.

15. Coley WB. The treatment of inoperable malignant tumors with the Toxins of erysipelas and

Bacillus prodigious with a report of 160 cases. Bull John Hopkins Hospital. 1896a;7:175; Accessed March 18, 2022.

16. Stephen Hall; A Commotion in the Blood by Stephen Hall; 1997.

17. Taylor Ibellia, Sarah Templetonb and Nicole Levi-Polyachenkoc. Intern J Hyperth; Progress on

utilizing hyperthermia for mitigating bacterial infections. 34(2):144–156, 2018; Accessed March 18, 2022.

18. Stasheim, C; New paradigms in Lyme disease treatment: 10 top doctors reveal healing strategies

that work p 270 (2016)South Lake Tahoe, CA: BioMed Publishing Group LLC.

19. N J Cox 1, G M Oostendorp, H T Folgering, C L van Herwaarden; Sauna to transiently improve

pulmonary function in patients with obstructive lung disease; Arch Phys Med Rehabil; 1989

Dec;70(13):911-3; Accessed March 18, 2022.

20. Dorota Gryka 1, Wanda Pilch, Olga Czerwińska-Ledwig 2, Anna Piotrowska 2, Ewa

Klocek 3, Alena Bukova; The influence of Finnish sauna treatments on the concentrations of

nitric oxide, 3-Nitrotyrosine and selected markers of oxidative status in training and non-training

men; International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 2020;33(2):173–

185 Accessed March 18, 2022.

21. E. Ernst, E. Pecho, P. Wirz & T. Saradeth (1990) Regular Sauna Bathing and the Incidence of

Common Colds, Annals of Medicine, 22:4, 225 227, DOI: 10.3109/07853899009148930

Accessed March 18, 2022.

22. Yoshiyuki Ikeda 1, Sadatoshi Biro, Yasuyuki Kamogawa, Shiro Yoshifuku, Hideyuki Eto, Koji

Orihara, Bo Yu, Takashi Kihara, Masaaki Miyata, Shuichi Hamasaki, Yutaka Otsuji, Shinichi

Minagoe, Chuwa Tei; Repeated sauna therapy increases arterial endothelial nitric oxide synthase

expression and nitric oxide production in cardiomyopathic hamsters ; 2005 Jun;69(6):722-9. doi:

10.1253/circj.69.722; Accessed March 18, 2022.


Be the first to comment...

Leave a comment
* Your email address will not be published
Please accept cookies to help us improve this website Is this OK? Yes No More on cookies »