Home Medications and Treatments for Fever
Although a fever isn't an illness itself, it's usually a sign that something's going on in your body. Yet fevers aren't necessarily bad. In fact, they play a key role in helping your body fight off a number of bacterial and viral infections. It is a common ailment, which occurs both in children and adults. Normal human body temperature is approximately 98.6°F or 37°C.
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The diet should be more of fluid and at frequent intervals during the first two to three days of fever. The fluid intake must be liberal to compensate for the losses from the sweat and to permit adequate volume of urine for excreting the wastes. Milk, glucose water, soups, fruit juices and water can be included to meet this demand.
The calorie requirement may be increased as much as 50% if the temperature is high. It may be difficult to meet the calorie needs during the peak of the fever but a high calorie diet with frequent feeding should be given as soon as fever is controlled. The carbohydrate should consist of glucose, sucrose, and starch. Glucose, which is less sweet and readily absorbed into the blood stream, is preferred. For starch, cereal and cereal grains cooked into gruel and pudding to be given to the patients. Fats in the form of butter, ghee, vegetable oil, and fried food should be avoided during fever.
Liberal intake of milk, fruits, fruit juices and two or three eggs will take care of the above requirement. As soon as the temperature comes down readily digestible bland food should be given to the patient for better digestion and rapid absorption depending on the patient's need the food can be soft or normal consistency. Initially the interval of feeding should be 2 hours. Later on improvement it can be made into 4 hours interval or 4 meals a day.
The leaves of holy basil are one of the most effective of several home remedies in the treatment of common fever. A decoction made of about twelve grams of these leaves boiled in half a liter of water, should be administered twice daily with half a cup of milk, one teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of powdered cardamom (chhoti elaichi). This will bring down the temperature.
A tea made of fenugreek seeds is equal in value to quinine in reducing fevers. This tea should be taken twice daily. It is particularly valuable as a cleansing and soothing drink. Fenugreek seeds, when moistened with water, become slightly mucilaginous, and hence, the tea made from them has the power to dissolve a sticky substance like mucus.
A tea made from saffron is another effective home remedy for fever. This tea is prepared by putting half a teaspoon of saffron in 30 ml of boiling water. The patient should be given a teaspoon of this tea every hour till the temperature returns to normal.
The use of an extract from raisins is beneficial in the treatment of common fever. This extract is prepared by soaking twenty-five raisins in half a cup of water and then crushing them in the same water. They are then strained and the skin is discarded. The raisin water thus prepared becomes a tonic. Half a teaspoon of limejuice added to the extract will enhance its taste and usefulness. It will act as a medicine in fevers, and should be taken twice daily.
A cup of fresh juice of apricots mixed with one teaspoon of glucose or honey is very cooling drink during fevers. It quenches the thirst and eliminates the waste products from the body. It tones up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart, and nerves by supplying vitamins and minerals.
The juice of grapefruit is a valuable diet in all fevers. It quenches thirst and removes the burning sensation produced by the fever. Half a glass of grapefruit juice should be taken with an equal quantity of water.
Orange is an excellent food in all types of fever when the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered. The patient suffers from blood poisoning called toxemia and the lack of saliva results in the coating of his tongue, often destroying his thirst for water as well as his desire for food. The agreeable flavour of orange juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. Orange juice is the ideal liquid food in fevers. It provides energy, increases urinary output, and promotes body resistance against infections, thereby hastening recovery.
Bloodwort is one of the best known herbal remedies for fevers. A hot infusion of the herb prepared by steeping 15 gm of the herb in 250 ml of water should be taken twice daily. It will induce perspiration, which will, in turn, cool the fever and expel toxins.
Another herb found beneficial in the treatment of fever is hog weed. It should be taken twice daily in the form of an infusion prepared by steeping 15 gm of the herb in 250 ml of water. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.
The patient should be put on a fast of orange juice and water at the beginning of the treatment. The procedure is to drink the juice of an orange in a glass of warm water every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. after the temperature has come down to normal and the tongue has cleared, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for a few more days. In this regimen, he should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits. Thereafter, he may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet according to his age, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw or lightly cooked vegetables.
While the patient is on an orange juice fast, a warm-water enema should be given daily to cleanse the bowels. Cold compresses may be applied to the head in case the temperature rises above 39.4 degrees C or 103 degrees F. if this method does not succeed; a cold pack may be applied to the whole body. The procedure is to wring out a sheet or any other large, square piece of linen material in cold water. It should be wrapped twice right round the body from face downwards. The body should then be covered completely with a thin blanket or similar warm material. This pack should be applied every three hours during the day while the temperature is high, and kept on for an hour or so each time. Hot water bottles may be kept on the feet and against the sides of the body.