As uncomfortable as they can be, fevers are actually one of the body’s most powerful defense mechanisms. They’re a good indication that the body is fighting back against infection or disease by raising the body’s temperature in order to eradicate the threat. Sometimes, however, a fever can soar over 104 degrees for a bit too long. When this happens, it’s important to pay close attention and slowly lower the body temperature to safer levels when appropriate.
Essential Oils for Fever
Essential oils are especially handy during cold and flu and at the onset and duration of a fever. When symptoms of shivering, coldness, hot flashes, sweating, body aches, or delirium start to set in as a result of your body’s immune response, cooling anti-inflammatory essential oils can be used topically to help pull heat away from the body offering quick relief while still allowing it to fight off infection and invaders.
It’s important to note that a fever is your body’s best defense in its struggle against micro-organisms. The sweat caused by a fever helps control body temperature and speeds up the removal and elimination of suspect toxins and invaders in the body.
The best course of action is to gently assist the body’s natural defenses by:
• Using supportive essential oils to help control and alleviate symptoms of fever.
• Resting – it’s important to rest and allow the body to focus on fighting off infection.
• Fasting – the body will automatically decrease digestion and the assimilation of nutrients as a fever progresses. It’s best to fast during this time and allow the body to focus on its immune response. Broth and coconut water is generally recommended and will offer some strength, sustenance, and electrolytes.
• Increase hydration to help the body eliminate toxins.
• Drink diaphoretic teas like ginger, elderflower, or yarrow to help induce sweating and increase blood flow.
• Support immunity with Echinacea tea or tincture.
• Do not use cold compresses or water to reduce temperature as it will constrict the blood vessels and trap in heat (this includes cold showers and baths). Use cool or luke-warm compresses instead to pull heat from the body.
The best essential oils for fever include:
• Balsam fir – warming
• Black pepper – warming (max dilution 3%)
• Cinnamon bark – warming (max dilution 0.07%)
• Copaiba – warming
• Coriander – cooling
• Eucalyptus radiata – cooling
• Frankincense – warming/cooling (one of the most handy essential oils for fever!)
• German chamomile – warming
• Ginger – warming
• Grapefruit – cooling (max dilution 4%)
• Lavender – cooling
• Lemon – cooling (max dilution 2%)
• Lemongrass – warming (max dilution 0.7%)
• Manuka – cooling
• Myrrh – warming
• Nutmeg – warming (max dilution 0.8%)
• Peppermint – cooling/warming (max dilution 5.4%)
• Roman chamomile – cooling
• Rosemary – warming
• Spearmint – cooling (max dilution 1.7%)
• Tea tree – cooling (max dilution 15%)
I’ve listed maximum dilutions for the essential oils that require more careful use. Also keep in mind that not all of these essential oils are safe for children, especially peppermint essential oil. Please refer to my post How to use Essential Oils Safely for Babies and Children for further information.
Essential oils like peppermint, ginger, or cinnamon are known to be circulatory diaphoretics because they enhance blood flow and increase warmth. This can help the body kill off bacteria and viruses while still maintaining control over body temperature. These are great to apply to the bottoms of the feet, especially mid-arch on the right foot (this is the vita-flex point for the liver).
Essential oils like German chamomile, eucalyptus, and spearmint are cooling in nature yet increase peripheral vasodilation and therefore help control and resolve overheating. These are wonderful to apply diluted to underarms, the inner thighs, temples, neck, and chest area.
Use warming essential oils when chills are present and cooling essential oils when temperatures are high and there’s uncomfortable sweating.
I find it most useful to make a roll-on blend that can be applied with ease even if you’re the one with the fever!
Essential Oils for Fever – Cooling Roll-On Blend Recipe
This blend if for when you feel like you’re burning up and need some soothing relief.
To make it, you will need:
• A 10ml roll-on bottle
• Carrier oil like sweet almond, fractionated coconut, grapeseed, etc.
• 2 drops peppermint essential oil
• 2 drops frankincense essential oil
• 2 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
Add the essential oils to the roll-on bottle and then fill to the shoulder with carrier oil. Cap closed and roll between your palms to mix. This makes a 3% essential oil dilution.
Essential Oils for Fever – Warming Roll-On Blend Recipe
This blend is best for when you’re experiencing chills and need better blood flow and circulation.
To make it, you will need:
• A 10ml roll-on bottle
• Carrier oil
• 2 drops German chamomile essential oil
• 1 drop lemongrass essential oil
• 3 drops ginger essential oil (make sure it’s the CO2 extract or you’ll smell like an old sock!)
Again, add the essential oils to the roll-on, add your carrier oil, cap, and roll between your palms to mix. This is a 3% essential oil dilution.
Apply these blends as needed during a fever to help reduce symptoms and ease discomfort.
What have been your favorite essential oils for fever? Please let me know in the comments!
Want to learn more about treating fevers naturally? Check out the links below:
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