Essential Oils For Fever
If you notice the signs of a fever, then it’s important to try and bring your temperature down as quickly as possible. Should the fever get too high, it can end up leading to dehydration and also causing a number of other health issues.
Unfortunately, there is currently no ‘treatment’ for a fever. In most cases, the advice from the doctor will simply be to ‘ride it out’ while trying to address whatever caused it. That’s where home remedies and treatments can come in handy, including essential oils and other solutions to help you feel cooler or to provide general relief. Note though that none of these are ‘cures’ for fever and that it’s still very important to speak with your GP if you notice the most severe symptoms.
What is a Fever and How Can Essential Oils Help?
A fever is a common side effect that comes from a virus (such as the flu) and is considered to be any temperature that’s higher than 38C or 100.4F (the average temperature for a healthy adult is 98.6F or 37C). This tends to present alongside chills, goose bumps and clamminess and might make you feel very cold or very hot. In extreme cases it can also lead to hallucinations and nausea.
Interesting to note is that the fever is not actually caused by the virus itself. Like most of the unpleasant side effects we get from being ill, it is actually the result of our own immune systems trying to fight the infection.
In fact, the fever is thought to play a role in fighting the infection (although it is not known exactly how). This means that it might actually be a mistake to try and ‘cure’ it anyway!
So if you were to go to a doctor, what would they recommend? Commonly, the solutions offered involve helping the patient to feel cooler and offering analgesics and blood thinners which can reduce the fever as well as providing some comfort.
This is where essential oils come in as a useful solution – seeing as essential oils can serve both as analgesics and as blood thinners. What’s more is that some essential oils can also be useful for offering comfort – many such as menthol oil offer a ‘cooling’ sensation for the skin and can thereby be pleasant for those suffering with the sensation of extreme heat.
Another advantage offered by essential oils is that they can be highly relaxing. This is not only a good way to offer some relief for those who are suffering with an unpleasant virus but it may also help to further reduce the temperature by slowing the heart rate! As an added bonus, some can even be useful for the other symptoms of a cold or flu – such as congestion.
The Best Essential Oils for Fever
With that in mind then, what are some of the best essential oils for fever?
Eucalyptus oil is sometimes referred to as ‘fever oil’, so that’s something of a clue as to how useful it is for combating fevers! This is a cooling oil that can help you to feel a little cooler and which can be very pleasant for someone suffering with a fever. What’s more though, is that eucalyptus oil is able to improve blood pressure through its vasodilator properties. What this means is that the blood vessels (veins and arteries) actually get wider, thus allowing more blood to pass through and get around the body and lowering the heart rate.
Aspirin and ibuprofen are often recommended as analgesics for treating fever and the reason for this is that they too are vasodilators. Just be careful when using both those painkillers and eucalyptus oil – seeing as combining too many blood thinners can be dangerous.
When you mix the Eucalyptus with Lavender oil, you get even better effects. This is a naturally relaxing essential oil that many people use to induce a sense of calm. This can help to further reduce the blood pressure in itself and also makes it easier to get to sleep when you’re suffering with fever.
To get the best effects, mix a little lavender oil and eucalyptus together and then apply them to the forehead.
Peppermint oil is another popular choice of essential oil for fevers. That’s because it contains menthol, which is able to clear the respiratory tract and help improve congestion while at the same time providing a cooling sensation to help the patient feel more at ease. This won’t actually bring your temperature down but can offer good temporary relief when you feel like you’re burning up! Again, this works very well when applied to the forehead, or alternatively the temples.
Bergamot oil is a great essential oil to use for aromatherapy. That’s because it can help to increase the production of serotonin, which is the brain’s happiness hormone. A big benefit of serotonin is that it also happens to be a natural painkiller. When you combine these effects, it’s ideal for making the side effects of fever a little more tolerable. And better yet is that serotonin converts into melatonin in the brain. This is the ‘sleep hormone’ and is very useful for helping you get to sleep, even when you’re stressed and struggling with fever!
Chamomile oil can be used on the skin to encourage sweating. This is actually a very helpful treatment seeing as sweating is actually the body’s natural means of cooling down. We sweat and then the moisture steals our body heat in order to evaporate. Thus camomile is a great oil for sponging a child down with that is suffering from a fever.
Some people will actually attempt to try and induce sweating by wrapping their children up in cling film. Note that this is not a good idea as they’ll get hotter a lot faster than they’ll cool down!
Lemongrass is another great choice. This contains anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. The best way to use this essential oil is to add a few drops into a bath. This will then help to ease joint pain and muscular pain which can sometimes come with a fever and will simultaneously help to ease the pain thanks to its natural analgesic properties.
Other Things You Can Do
As well as using essential oils, there are a few other things you can do to help yourself stay cool.
The most important tip of all is to drink plenty of cold water. Water is what your body uses to regulate its own temperature and what’s more is that dehydration is actually the primary risk associated with a temperature. So keep a glass of water to hand and make sure to keep topping it up.
Another tip is to avoid wearing woolly or clawing clothes and to ensure plenty of air gets into the room. That said, applying a cold sponge to the forehead is generally not considered a good idea as the sudden cold can be a bit too much. This is where using a gently oil like eucalyptus is a better idea!
As mentioned, you can also use some basic painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin. These serve double duty by improving comfort while simultaneously actually lowering the blood pressure. A lukewarm bath or shower is also very advisable but this is made even more effective when you add drops of essential oil to the water.
Also crucial is simply that you take time off and give yourself the time and space you need to recover.
When to Call a Doctor
While it’s fine to try and treat some of the mild symptoms of a fever yourself, there comes a point at which it is very important to call a doctor. Specifically, you should seek professional medical attention if your temperature exceeds 103F or 39.4C. For children, this should be much lower; call a doctor if their temperature rises above 100.F or 38C.
It’s also important make sure that you seek medical attention if the fever persists for over three days. Likewise, you should look out for the symptoms of meningitis. If you notice that your joints are sore and you find it hard to look into the light/have diarrhea or neck pain, then it’s definitely worth checking with a doctor to rule out this condition. Other than that just be vigilant. It’s unpleasant now but it will pass with time!