Thursday, 16 July 2015

Treating a fever with herbs

A fever is the body’s first line of defence. The reason for the increase in temperature is to kill the invading bacteria or virus. Modern medicine decrees that we suppress the fever. This is a fear based idea, which does more harm than good. There is altogether too much suppression of natural disease processes these days, which can lead to chronic illness.
Breastfed babies rarely get ill so it's not very likely that baby will get a fever while 100% breastfed. However, your baby might have an older sibling at preschool who brings home a bad cold, which is passed on. If this happens and a fever develops, it's a healthy and normal response and shows that the immune system is working well. If your baby develops a fever, just keep him warm, and continue to feed regularly as normal. Don't give any pharmaceuticals to lower the fever, as this can prolong the problem. The fever needs to do its work - to fight the infection.
What has caused the fever? It could be a virus or bacteria. There may be an ear infection, tonsillitis, bronchitis, measles, chickenpox or any other common respiratory infection.

A fever needs to be well managed. Monitor it regularly. Make sure that your baby gets plenty of fluids. You will be able to see the fever rising over a few hours, and can decide when to take action. Most people worry when the fever reaches 39 deg. At this point you can give a herbal tea to encourage sweating and “break” the fever. Very often the fever only lasts for 24 hours and your baby is fine again. This probably means that the fever did its work. 

Fever tea
Elderflower        1 teaspoon
Peppermint        1 teaspoon
Yarrow                1 teaspoon 

Place in a jug with three cups of boiling water and infuse for 60 minutes. Strain. Drink one cup with every feed, and give baby one teaspoon (in a dinky feeder) every ½ hour.
If baby is older and on solids already, give him some tea to sip every half hour. He might not want more than one sip, but that's fine. Don't try to give solid food while there is a fever. Usually the child isn't hungry and you'll probably end up wiping up a pool of vomit.
If the fever doesn't break within 24 hours, you should take your baby to your phytotherapist (Herbal Practitioner) who will examine his ears and listen to his chest and generally check baby over for signs of a rash or other symptoms. Your phytotherapist will also be able to make up a medicine to help fight the infection. Herbal medicine helps the body without destroying vital microflora, which antibiotics would do.
If you don't have a phytotherapist near you, then of course go to a doctor but don't insist on an antibiotic. You need a diagnosis and then you can use the appropriate medicine, herbal medicine or homoeopathic medicine to treat your child.
In some countries doctors won't give antibiotics for a normal respiratory infection. In South Africa you will most probably get a prescription for an antibiotic. Studies are showing that antibiotics cause resistance for up to two years after a short course.  Infections are very common in small children and many are getting antibiotics for every single infection. If the child gets a serious illness, antibiotics might not be able to save his life, because of the resistance that has been built up. Antibiotics should NOT be used for everyday infections.

DISCLAIMER: This is a herbal blog and advice offered is related to herbal medicine for the reader who is under the guidance of a registered phytotherapy practitioner or medical practitioner. The author will not accept liability for any negative event as a result of reading this blog.

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