Let's talk about the power of fevers and how to support them with Homeopathy!
What is a fever?
A fever is indicated by the natural elevation of body temperature during infection, illness, or injury. It’s currently understood that a fever is not an immune response, but that it triggers immune response. Recent studies have shown that fevers stimulate specific proteins which turn on (and off) various genes related to the immune system – creating a circuit that regulates fever and immune responses (1).
In your human experience, a fever is: heat, chills, perspiration, pain, thirst, weakness, fatigue.
The great debate when it comes to fevers is, do we suppress it or let it ride?
This question asks us to weigh the pros against the potential dangers of fevers. A fever too high for too long can be life threatening, but knowing that fevers stimulate the immune system, they also serve an important purpose. Is that purpose important enough to risk the damages fevers can cause?
Thinking in black and white like this, kill it or let it ride, it seems that our options are rather limited. It feels like one side or the other, and I hope this blog offers a different perspective. Because when your toddler is burning up, being told to just trust the fever goes against every parental instinct. Yet perhaps suppressing it from the get go feels off to you, you want your child to foster a healthy immune system...how do we balance support and safety (and parental fears)?
Finding a gentle balance
Back in the 1790’s, Samuel Hahnemann began speaking out against the medical practices of the era, peaking when he criticized the doctors of the Emperor of Austria for their use of bloodletting. Emperor Leopold died after having been “bled” four times in 24 hours for a high fever and bloating – Hahnemann was called a “murderer” for not offering his patients the “benefits” of bloodletting.
Shortly after this, Hahnemann discovered Cinchona bark and it’s capacity to heal in malarial fevers. He saw how (aggressively) Cinchona could help a person move through a malarial fever and wondered if he could use this plant in a gentler way, without losing its healing powers. This began his experiments that would soon become the foundations of Homeopathy – and the Law of Similars (2).
Hahnemann believed that cure should come from medicine that is gentle, rapid, and permanent. This is what he sought in building the system of Homeopathy, to support the body in it’s natural healing capacity.
Homeopathy supports the body’s natural processes – fever included. It empowers us with the tools we need to let it ride while also avoiding “too high, too long”. It does not suppress, yet it offers relief. And as always, it’s safe for all, infants to elderly and all in between.
As with any information from the internet, please always consults your healthcare provider before taking on a new protocol and respect the power of fevers. Suppression serves an important role in keeping us alive in critical situations and may be required in certain cases.
Please seek emergency care for any fever that carries cause for concern. What is considered “safe” when it comes to fevers varies depending on age, accompanying symptoms, and existing health conditions. Those guidelines should be followed in all cases to ensure that safety is our number one priority. (See here)
Three homeopathic remedies for fever:
While there are many remedies that support fevers, these three should be kept on hand always!
Ferrum Phos 6x or 12x:
This tissue salt should be in every medicine cabinet for any and all inflammation, especially fevers. Four pellets every 3-4 hours, or added to water and sipped regularly is a great first step in fever alongside rest and hydration.
The following remedies may be used in 30ch or 200ch potency as needed. Beginning with 2 pellets (dry or in water) and repeating as symptoms call for it. If the remedy stops working, reassess symptoms, look for another remedy, or consult your homeopath. As always, stop the remedy when you feel better.
For fevers that come on suddenly, accompanied by redness, heat, throbbing, glazed-over dilated eyes, drowsy/delirium, craves lemon but thirstless.
Belladonna carries an intense delirium with drowsiness and may be accompanied by throat irritation. Symptoms settle primarily in the head – the body may even feel cold (especially hands and feet).
For fevers that are sudden, accompanied by burning heat, pale face, fearful, anxious, very thirsty, alert.
Aconite is much more anxious than belladonna - and active. Aconite is alert and present, may express a fear of dying or feel like they’re dying. They are often less red than Belladonna and are not so “head” focused.
Other well indicated remedies to look at:
Gelsemium (with chill and trembling), Bryonia (dry fever, extreme thirst), Rhus tox (fever with body aches and chill/heat alternating), Eupatorium Perf (fever with bruised pain, bone pain)...and many more!
To explore other remedies, I recommend this book (whether you're a parent or not): The Parent’s Guide to Homeopathy by Shelley Keneipp
Your body is built with an incredible capacity to heal, Homeopathy can help you support and empower that innate wisdom – giving you in return, the gift of health.
(2) Hahnemann Revisited by Luc de Schepper