Natural and Herbal Remedies: Fever

Whenever I had a fever in the 1950s, my parents gave us liquids like warm chicken broth and sipping on water or ice chips to help bring our temperature back to normal. We had to rest in bed and they would place a cool cloth on our foreheads. Sometimes they would also give us a bath with lukewarm water in a bathtub where the bathroom was warm. We used standard over-the-counter remedies for the 1950s. I don't remember what they were; and in this day and age, they would probably no longer be recommended.

When I had my own daughter, I became interested in natural healing and began to build a library of books from different sources. I have used a few good herbal references over and over again for over twenty-five years.

One of the sources is "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss. I own two different copies of this book. The original text was first copyrighted in 1939. My older copy has a copyright date of 1983. This volume of "Back to Eden" has a lot of terms that would puzzle the modern reader. The names for ailments were familiar to people in the 1930's but by the 1980's many of the terms were antiquated. This makes it difficult to look up an ailment quickly and get information for what to do naturally without a dictionary. The revised edition for "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss that I own is copyrighted 1995. The antiquated terms have been updated for quicker reference but the body of the text has not been compromised.

I mention “Back to Eden” by Jethro Kloss in particular because it is a book that gives a lot of good information about health. It is written around natural healing using such methods as healthy eating to prevent sickness, herbal remedies, and how to use different water treatments to strengthen the body. There is a section in the book on fevers. The text includes some opinions on what the causes of a fever might be. You may not agree with what you read, but it may cause you to explore areas that you hadn’t thought about previously. I find it good to try to find out why something may be occurring by reading, consulting a doctor, and naturalists, etc. This book is one of the basic books for natural health enthusiasts and can be found in almost any health food store.

One evening, when my daughter was small, I was home alone with her. We did not have a phone at the time and we lived out in the country. My husband had gone out with the car and was supposed to be back soon. My daughter was a little congested but no more than a kid would have with a common cold. It seemed that without warning, she began to run a high temperature and was saying incoherent things to me. I didn't know what to do. I didn't have an over-the-counter remedy in the house to give her. The car was gone, we didn't have a phone, and it was snowing outside. I grabbed "Back to Eden" and flipped to the back of the book and looked up fevers. I already had a cold cloth on her head. That was not working.

I kept a general supply of basic herbs in the house for various uses as I was in the middle of studying about herbs. When I went to page 349 of my older text, which listed herbs for fever, I realized that I didn't have any of the herbs listed in the book readily available. I then went to the section under fevers listed in the index as "fever, causes, treatment, 424.” On page 426 (still under the subject of fevers) I found a beautiful sentence for a panicked mother to read. It said, "Red raspberry leaf tea is excellent to reduce fever in children."

I had just made a pot of red raspberry leaf tea and it was in a pitcher in our refrigerator. I poured some in a plastic baby bottle and proceeded to squirt some of the red raspberry tea into my daughter's mouth through the nipple. I was so surprised because as soon as she swallowed the tea, her fever broke and she was like normal again. The fever seemed to break instantly. She told me she had to use the bathroom and had a good bowel movement. By the time my husband returned home, she was our usual healthy bouncy little girl. Red raspberry leaf has many good medicinal uses but I always keep the leaf in my home in case we ever have another fever. It has always worked beautifully for us.

When using herbs, it is best to be in contact with someone who is trained as a master herbalist as some of the suggestions in books like "Back to Eden" may be harmful if not used properly. You need more of a background than just a quick reference. I had studied red raspberry in depth during my pregnancy before my daughter was ever born and knew the basics about it. You also must use herbs that are grown organically on pesticide free land or you may do more harm than good to the body. Don't be afraid of natural healing. Just be informed.

Above and beyond all, always consult your doctor before doing anything for any ailment.

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