Cool off and find relief fast with these expert-approved home remedies

Changing weather is often accompanied by fever. Most people fall sick as soon as there is even the slightest change in the season. A rise in body temperature, body ache, head pain are some of the common symptoms of fever. And if you don't already know, fever is one of the ways our body fights infection and protects us from other diseases. But nobody likes to spend the entire day on the bed. So, here are some expert-approved home remedies to get relief from fever.

First, wait it out

If you do have a fever, remember this: Fever itself is not an illness – it’s a symptom of one. So, in essence, your body’s natural defenses can actually shorten an illness with its quick response and increase the power of antibiotics. These natural processes should be weighed against the discomfort involved in not medicating a slight fever and letting it run its course.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

When you’re hot, your body sweats to cool you down. But if you lose too much water – as you might with a high fever – your body turns off its sweat ducts to prevent further water loss, making it more difficult for you to cope with your fever. The moral of this story: Drink up. In addition to plain water, experts favour the following:

Watered-down juice: Straight juice, no matter how nutritious, is too concentrated to drink in any quantity when you have a fever and may cause diarrhea. Always dilute 100 per cent fruit or vegetable juice with one-part juice to one-part water to make it easier for your body to absorb.

Linden tea: Although any tea will provide needed fluid, several are particularly suited for fever. One combination we like is thyme (antibacterial), linden flowers (promotes sweating), and chamomile flowers (reduces inflammation). Steep one teaspoon of the mixture in one cup of freshly boiled water for five minutes. Strain and drink warm several times a day. Linden tea by itself is also good and can induce sweating to break a fever. Use one tablespoon of the flowers in one cup of freshly boiled water for five minutes. Strain and drink hot often.

Willow bark tea: This bark is rich in salicylates (aspirin-related compounds) and is considered nature’s fever medication. Brew into a tea and drink in small doses.

Opt for ice

If you’re too nauseated to drink, you can suck on ice. For variety, freeze diluted fruit juice in an ice-cube tray.

Cool down with wet compresses

Wet compresses help reduce your body’s temperature output. Ironically, hot, moist compresses can do the job as well. If you start to feel uncomfortably hot, remove those compresses and apply cool ones to the forehead, wrists, and calves. Keep the rest of the body covered. If the fever rises above 103°F, don’t use hot compresses at all. Instead, apply cool ones to prevent the fever from getting any higher. Change them as they warm to body temperature and continue until the fever drops.

Pop an OTC pain reliever

If you’re very uncomfortable, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. For adults, aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can be taken according to package directions. The advantage of acetaminophen and ibuprofen over aspirin is that fewer people experience side effects.

So, which one should you take? All are effective, but some work better for particular ailments. For example, aspirin and ibuprofen are common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), so they’re effective at reducing muscle pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen is recommended if you have gastrointestinal sensitivity or are allergic to aspirin. It doesn’t work as well as NSAIDs for inflammation and muscle aches; however, it’s a safer drug to use and has minimal side effects, as long as it’s taken in the proper dosage.

Dress the part

Use common sense as far as clothing and blankets go. If you’re very hot, take off extra covers and clothes so that body heat can dissipate into the air. But if you have a chill, bundle up until you’re just comfortable.

Take your time with eating

Don’t fret over whether you should feed a fever or starve one – just drown it. Most people don’t want to eat when they have a fever, so the important thing is fluids. Once your appetite starts to return, eat what appeals to you. Toast, scrambled eggs, chicken soup, and vanilla pudding all go down easy as part of your recuperation.