The truth about fevers

We have discussed how to boost the immune system to hopefully avoid getting ill this season. But, I want you to be prepared if you happen to catch a bug.

The truth about fevers is this…they are our bodies’ natural response to an infection be it viral, bacterial or other source. MOST of the times we DO NOT NEED an over-the-counter medication to reduce fevers.  Our bodies work to kill the pathogens that are trying to infiltrate our body by raising its temperature.  When the fever is suppressed it can‘t do its job and could prolong the illness, not to mention how dangerous over the counter medications can potentially be. Studies indicate Acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in some fever reducers, can harm children’s livers and have other harmful side effects. Researching this would be time well spent.

Natural remedies to help fevered patients be more comfortable are tepid baths with Epsom salt and cool compresses placed on forehead and neck. Apple cider vinegar can also be added to baths and compresses. Chamomile and Peppermint tea can help sleep and relaxation.

Fluid is very important during an illness. Water, herbal tea, warm broths or 100% juice is best.  Popsicles made with 100% juice are a good option. Applesauce is great to have on hand for hungry bellies that aren’t ready for solid food. I sometimes mix Vitamin C right into the apple sauce if we are out of the children’s chewable version. Just open the capsule and pour a bit in and mix.

If the sickness seems to be respiratory, natural cough remedies can be made easily at home with honey which is antiviral, lemon, ginger and more.  Recipes are easily found online. Please never give a child under 1 year of age honey. Walgreens has a section of more natural cold and flu remedies for children.

A Neti Pot can be great for sinus issues. This is a ceramic or plastic pot that enables the user to flush out their sinuses with warm salt water. Essential oils such as Oregano can be added for infections. Do not use more oil than recommended as it can be very potent.

Chicken soup really is good for those with colds and flu. It can help with inflammation, relieve congestion and boost the immune system. “One study found that consuming chicken noodle soup can reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms by moving around neutrophils in the body. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that prevent infection in the body. The ingredients in chicken noodle soup provide the body with a boost of vitamin A and selenium. Warm liquids, such as chicken broth, can be used to promote hydration and clear your nasal passages. The vegetables contain vitamins A, C, and other antioxidants that boost the immune system. The chicken is packed with protein and the noodles give you a serving of carbohydrates.”   (

If your family member does not feel hungry please know that it is okay for them not to eat a few meals. They will be fine, even children as long as they are drinking plenty of fluids and urinating frequently. This does not apply to people who may have diabetes, low blood sugar etc.

Fully resting is important. Listening to audiobooks or someone reading out loud instead of watching television all day is a good choice. Eyes and brains need a break. Long naps are even better.

Lastly, I encourage you to round up a few items in preparation and at the very least print out a go-to list to remind yourself of natural actions to take instead of grabbing for the so called “latest and greatest” off the shelf.     

Please use common sense and by all means call your doctor with any signs of illness that causes you concern such as a fever over 103 degrees, lasts longer than 3 days or if your child is listless. Call immediately for an infant with a fever who is 2 months or younger. The more natural fever protocol is not intended for the immune compromised patient unless it has been discussed with your physician.     

Please find a recipe for homemade Chicken and Noodle soup on page

Brooke DeLong, N.D.



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