Managing a Fever With Essential Oils

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 is 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 treating a fever.  Each time I have a child with a fever, I look at an over-the -counter fever reducer I have on hand and cringe as I read through the list of ingredients.  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.

Starve a cold, Feed a Fever  CASE STUDY: Most recently, one of my daughters had a low fever.  My first reaction was a fleeting feeling of panic because this was an unknown.  I didn’t know why she had the fever – she did not have other symptoms – and I didn’t know how long this would last.  After talking with her pediatrician I was instructed to keep her hydrated, comfortable and rested.  If the fever continued for longer than a designated period I should call back.  Your doctor may treat things differently, so it is important to know and discuss these things with your pediatrician.Best quality peppermint essential oil

A fever is the body’s response to threats from infections and viruses My  first line of defense is to look at natural ways to support the body’s immune system such as keeping hydrated with high quality drinks like a goji fruit juice, cool compresses under the arms, behind the knees, on the forehead or peppermint 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.   Last spring my daughter (6 1/2) developed a fever.  She is petite for her size so I decided to use Lavender  instead, also effective for cooling the body and calming the senses. As a professional in the Mind/Body field I know the importance of managing stress, and a fever or illness puts stress on the body. 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. I applied pure, therapeutic food grade lavender essential oil to the bottom of her feet.  I also applied lavender lotion to her cheeks which  really soothed her.  In a half an hour her fever was gone!  I repeated this several times over the next few hours until the fever had passed.

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 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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