Fever is defined as a reaction of the body to the ingress of many types of germs, accompanied by an increase in body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius (Elsevier, medical Winkler Prins). Bilz New natural medicine defines fever as a general excitement in the life process, associated with an abnormal acceleration of certain functions of the organism.
The body’s thermoregulatory capacity
In a healthy state, the body maintains a temperature of approximately 37 degrees Celsius with the help of its thermoregulatory capacity. Heat is regulated by the secretion of perspiration through the skin, which rids us of excess heat, and by chattering or shivering, which causes us to try to increase our temperature.
Crisis in thermoregulation and various causes of fever
Fever is a crisis in this heat-regulating capacity and can arise from a wide variety of causes. A virus or bacteria, an exciting event, a teeth coming through, sudden cooling can lead to fever, but this does not have to be the case. Developing a fever is as individual as developing any other illness.
Individual experiences and reactions to fever
The way everyone deals with fever is also different. One person may have a fever and continue to work or play, while another person may be so weakened by a mild fever that he or she can no longer function. Fever can come in attacks, be accompanied by convulsions, last for days or be there one day and gone the next. Fever is accompanied by an increased body temperature, with or without perspiration. Heat is involved, a change in our heat organism and heat has to do with movement, with activity.
Fever as an immune response and healing
Our organism responds to an action, for example the intrusion of germs, and takes action against it, develops activity against it, and uses defense mechanisms. The immune system comes into action to tackle “the invaders”. Fever is therefore a reaction of the life energy to restore the disturbed balance in our organism.
The importance of fever for the immune system
At an elevated body temperature, above 38.5 degrees, viruses and bacteria can multiply less well, immune cells come into action, the body forms a defense against viruses, the so-called interferon. The increase in temperature continues to the point where the reaction slightly exceeds the action and then healing occurs. Fever is therefore a healing action of our organism.
Support and care for fever
This will make it clear that it is not useful to suppress fever. You then suppress the natural functioning of the immune system and you deprive the organism of the space to respond to the disturbance on its own. The organism therefore lacks the exercise and resilience to later tackle more difficult tasks than overcoming a feverish infection. Through fever, the life energy ‘exercises’ to make the defenses strong.
Practical tips for fever
Depending on the vitality of the person, you can support the person with a fever, but only if the life force is insufficient and cannot cope on their own. If a person is sufficiently vital, a few days of fever will not cause any damage, on the contrary, he will emerge stronger and healthier. This is especially the case with children who are still fully building up their immune system; an immune system also needs exercise.
Nutrition and environment during fever
If the limbs, especially the calves, feel cool, it is almost certain that the temperature will continue to rise. The calves and feet only become hot when the temperature rise is over and the body itself would like to give up heat. You then apply light coverings and give warm drinks such as herbal tea. If the limbs feel hot and the thermometer reads 39 degrees, it is advisable to apply a calf wrap to support the body to release excess heat through the skin. To do this, soak a cotton cloth in lukewarm water with lemon juice and wrap it around the calf. Sponging with lukewarm water can be pleasant.
Dealing with prolonged or severe fever
It is important to continue drinking, for example, broth or fruit juice (not ice-cold). A quiet environment is best for someone with a fever, so as few stimuli as possible. Screens such as the mobile phone or T.V. may be easy, but is not advisable in this situation. Because excitement raises the temperature and the organism has to work hard enough from within. Reading a short piece every now and then is more appropriate.
A natural route to recovery
Taking food is not important in this phase, what is lost will be added again soon enough when the fever is over. Febrile illnesses offer a new opportunity to move on and almost always tend to recovery. Hence, you can be happy in a way when a fever develops. It says something about the ability to respond. If this persists for too long, longer than 3 days and without a tendency to recovery, it is advisable to consult your homeopath or GP. This of course also applies to rapidly rising fever, which produces an apathetic picture and the patient no longer drinks or urinates.
Even if febrile convulsions occur when the temperature rises very quickly, it is advisable to contact your homeopath/GP. Uncomplicated febrile seizures do not pose a major risk. Of every 100 children, 5 have febrile convulsions once during their entire childhood (= 5%). By the time the convulsion is detected, the temperature has already dropped again. An antipyretic is therefore of no use. It is important to prevent the fever from rising too quickly in too short a time. You can do this by sponging the lower legs with lukewarm water if your child has a high fever.
Summary: fever as a healthy response of the organism
In summary, fever is a healthy reaction of the organism in which the entire body, as it were, glows and thus effectively combats the disruptive influences that have come in from outside. After this action, the organism’s resistance is trained and better able to withstand the next “attack”.
** Tineke Schaper – Classical Homeopathy **