I recently blogged about how to reduce a fever for your child after vaccinations, but what if your child has a fever due to a cold or flu? There are some great natural remedies to safely lower fevers in those cases too. One of the easiest ways is with herbal tea.
There are several you can try, but one of the most effective would be catnip tea. It’s a little bitter, so if your baby is over a year old you can add a little honey. Or make the tea with catnip and lemon balm to make it more palatable. If you’re nursing, you can drink the tea yourself and the benefits will pass through the breastmilk shortly after drinking it. I usually steep about a teaspoon of tea in a mug of hot but not boiling water for about 10 – 15 minutes. You can administer a dropperful every 15 minutes until the fever starts to come down, then increase the dosage to 1/4 cup every one to two hours. After the temperature is normal, continue giving 1/4 cup of tea 3 – 4 times a day for a few more days to help support recuperation.
Remember, though, that having a fever is not always a bad thing. It’s the body’s natural defense against viruses, so you don’t always need to fight it. If the fever is 103 degrees or higher, call your doctor right away. But if it’s 101 or less, it can often be managed with plenty of fluids. (Warm fluids help to encourage sweating, which also lowers a temperature. Older children may enjoy ginger tea, which although spicy, has a wonderful warming effect.)
As always, if anything at all raises the alarm in your parental radar, call your doctor regardless. Don’t be afraid of sounding silly or of asking too many questions. A good pediatrician will be more than willing to help you.
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