Fever isn’t just a great song by Peggy Lee. In fact, fevers are the body’s first defense against invading bacterias and viruses. A fever can effectively kill microbes without you even needing to take any medicine, although they can indeed be uncomfortable, what with all the sweating, shivering and the like.

The only time to really worry about a fever is when it is getting up in the 104 F range (102 F for kids), and in that case you should seek medical attention. However, if your fever isn’t so bad but you’d like a respite, there are a number of ways to naturally break a fever that can be extremely helpful.

Infusions of thyme or ginger are natural fever reducers, and if taken with some honey and lemon can also taste quite lovely too (not that you’d probably care if you’re sick and feverish, but anyway). These are both easy-to-find herbs and will help the body sweat out the invaders.

With a fever it’s a good idea to not eat too many solid foods since fevers tend to constipate, and a fever can be prolonged if the person is already constipated. If you have a handheld blender then you can make nutritious soups with meat, beans, veggies, and even juices that will be easy enough for your body to digest. If your throat isn’t too swollen, fibre pills like Psyllium Husk are also a good idea and of course raw fruits like oranges and bananas have lots of vitamins as well as fibre.

Drinking lots of distilled water will also help you replenish fluids lost due to the fever. It’s important to drink quality water, not tap water, since this will boost your immune system and help flush out the microbes. Tap water can be harsh and overly chemical, which only bogs your organs down instead of assisting in organ function.

It is best to avoid Iron and/or Zinc supplements since these also make it harder for the body to fight the infection.

It’s a good idea also to take cool sponge baths (not freezing and not immersing yourself). This can provide a great deal of relief, even if it doesn’t directly contribute to lowering your fever. Ice applied intermittently to the pulse points can be very soothing as well.

Avoid alcohol baths. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is dehydrating on the skin and the smell can be uncomfortable for your nasal passages. It’s best to avoid things that will require your body to put attention elsewhere in needing to fight off offenders.

Finally, you can induce sweating to break a fever if you’ve quite simply had enough. Tightly wrap yourself in a warm blanket for 20 minutes and sweat. Remove the blanket, sponge off, and replace the fluids lost with quality water or juices. You can repeat this as many times as necessary.

All of my natural healing books agree that most times it is best to just let the fever run it’s course. It can be the difference between only suffering from a fever or getting properly sick.