Using Essential Oils to Support a Healthy Body during a Fever

Is that fever from a bacteria or virus? In the U.S. we have the option of taking a drug or medications at the first sign of a symptom to take this symptom away or mask it until it might go away on it’s own.  A fever is a classic example of this.  Controlling a fever does reduce a body’s burden, but it’s also the body’s natural defense against bacteria or even a virus. Each person is unique and may respond differently to a fever, it’s important to discuss with your doctor how you should treat a fever.

I am not a medical doctor and am not diagnosing or treating any medical condition.  I’m just a mom with a lot of kids and have dealt with non-emergency situations in a natural way.  I do know a fever is one of the body’s defenses for fighting infection and viruses.   This is especially important in children whose immune systems are just developing.   I realize there are differing views on this, and I choose to follow a natural approach to supporting a healthy body that is experiencing a fever.  It’s been years since I looked at over-the -counter fever reducer ingredients, it’s surprising how easy it is to compromise healthy living principles when you are uncomfortable. For a moment I’m not sure which is worse, the fever raging in their little body or the list of chemicals and artificial colorings and flavorings in the drug.

steam distilled from the buds

High quality Lavandula angustifolia should have no detectable levels of camphor

Starve a cold, Feed a Fever  CASE STUDY: One of my client’s daughters  spiked a low fever in early Fall.  Her first reaction was a fleeting feeling of panic because this was an unknown.  She didn’t know why she had the fever – her daughter didn’t have other symptoms – and she didn’t know how long this would last.  After talking with her pediatrician she was instructed to keep her hydrated, comfortable and rested.  If the fever continued for longer than a designated period she should call back.  Your doctor may treat things differently, so it is important to know and discuss these things with your pediatrician. My client consulted with me and we decided to work with lavender essential oil as part of her daughter’s stress management in the situation.

A fever is the body’s response to threats from infections and viruses   One option you have in your first line of defense is to look at natural ways to support a healthy  immune system. When you focus on keeping hydrated with high quality drinks like a goji fruit juice the body can function at it’s best. There are some natural ways to cool the body:  cool compresses under the arms, behind the knees, on the forehead or peppermint or lavender essential oil applied to the bottoms of the feet.

Peppermint oil is too strong for children under 3 as it is a very potent oil and can cause respiratory distress if not diluted sufficiently.   When the littles develop a fever, consider their size: height and weight as well as stature. If you are not sure, opt for a more conservative option and avoid using peppermint essential oil –

 Lavender  (lavandula angustifolia) is a very gentle essential oil that not only cools the body in a gentle way, it’s very soothing and relaxing to the senses (that is as long as the receiver is not averse to the lavender aroma 😉 ) In Mind/Body work, managing stress, whether from a fever, illness or overloaded schedule can protect your immune system to a degree. Lavender essential oil is a good fit for keeping someone calm and cool (pun intended) when they have a fever. When stress levels are reduced, the body’s immune system can do what it’s supposed to. A simple way to use lavender essential oil in this situation is to dilute 1-2 drops of lavender in the palm of your hand with a teaspoon of pure aloe vera (this is the one I like best) applied to the bottom of the feet.  Essential oils can safely be applied every 1.5 hours for comfort.

If you are going to use essential oils to support the body during a fever, they must be pure therapeutic grade oils (I used Lavandula angustifolia which has different properties than Lavandin, Lavandula stoechas or Lavandula latifolia which all have high levels of camphor in them. Camphor may be a mild neurotoxin (Schnaubelt 1998).  Make sure your lavender doesn’t have detectable camphor in it, a red flag that it might be adultured in some way. Lavender absolute is extracted by solvents and results in a semi-solid material that might contain up to 1.2% camphor, but True Lavender essential oil: Australian, Bulgarian, French, Moldovan & Ukranian do not have camphor in their chemistry profiles. (Tisserand & Young 2014). It should also have 2.5-4.5% Lavandulyl acetate, since this additive is expensive, low levels of Lavandulyl acetate are often an indicator of adulteration (Aroma 2000)

The FDA has not evaluated these statements and this information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases.  If you are sick, seek treatment from a medical doctor.

Aroma. Nr. 1/Winter 2000. Terra Linda Scent and Image Inc.

Schnaubelt, Kurt. Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press. 1998.

Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 2014.

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