Fever is a symptom, not an illness, and so there's no specific cure. But there are some useful home remedies to be found right in your kitchen. These fever-relievers may make you feel better for the duration.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Cream of tartar. Try this fever tea. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 1/2 cups warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon honey. Drink 4 to 6 ounces at a time.
Pineapple. Fresh is best. It's one of nature's anti-inflammatory agents that can fight fever. Pineapple is also packed with juice that can prevent dehydration.
Raisins. Put 3/4 cup chopped raisins in 7 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the water has been reduced by one-third. Drink a little of this several times a day to keep yourself hydrated during a fever.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Popsicles. These can reduce the risk of dehydration. Fruit juice bars are good, too. This can be an especially handy way to keep fluids in small children.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Apple water. It tastes good, relieves the miseries of fever, and keeps the body hydrated. To make it, peel, skin, core, and slice 3 sweet apples. Put them in a pan with 3 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the apples are barely mushy. Remove, strain without pressing apple puree into the liquid, and add 2 tablespoons honey. Drink and enjoy.
Blackberry vinegar. This is a great fever elixir, but it takes several days to prepare. Pour cider vinegar over a pound or two of blackberries, then cover the container and store it in a cool, dark place for three days. Strain for a day, since it takes time for all the liquid to drain from the berries, and collect the liquid in another container. Then add 2 cups sugar to each 2 1/2 cups juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes while you skim the scum off the top. Cool and store in an airtight jar in a cool place. Mix 1 teaspoonful with water to quench the thirst caused by a fever.
Fruit juice. It will replace the fluids lost through sweating. Lemonade is a good choice, too.
Lettuce. Pour a pint of boiling water over an entire head of lettuce and let it steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten the liquid to taste, and drink. In addition to keeping you hydrated, this lettuce infusion may help you sleep better.
Home Remedies from the Sink
Water. Drink lots of it to prevent dehydration. Sponging the body with lukewarm water can relieve fever symptoms, but it's recommended that you use fever-reducing medication first to reduce the possibility of chills and shivering. Do not use cold water or ice on the body.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Basil. Mix 1 teaspoon basil with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Steep in 1 cup hot water to make a tea. Add 1 teaspoon honey. Drink two to three times a day.
Oregano. A tea made from a mixture of some spice-rack staples can help reduce fever. Steep 1 teaspoon each of oregano and marjoram in a pint of boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain, and drink warm a couple times a day. Refrigerate unused portion until needed, then gently warm.
Now you've got some great ideas to help you fight a fever the next time you come down with something.
For more information on conditions commonly associated with fever, try the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Fevers are an important aspect of your body's attempts to fight off illnesses. Herbal Remedies for Fevers won't actually help you fight a fever, but rather help the fever run its course.
- Find out how to prevent respiratory infections and stay healthy.
- Learn how you can prevent the flu, and keep your immune system strong.
- Read about great Home Remedies for the Flu, and get great ideas on helping yourself heal.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.
Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.
Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.
Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.
ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:
Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.