Preventing Viral Fever
Flu is a seasonal disease and we need to take precautions during the advent of spring as well as the rainy season. During these times, the virus is most active and increases the chances of you catching the virus. To prevent the infection, we take several precautions ranging from having immune-boosting foods or receiving the flu vaccine.
The flu virus mutates fast, and the antibodies in your body may not be sufficient enough against the mutated virus, and you may catch the disease. Still, it is crucial to prevent the disease by adopting a few essential tips. You must wash your hands periodically with soap or use a sanitizer and must not touch your face without disinfecting your hands. Always stay hydrated and have healthy food. During the flu season, you must keep a safe distance from people in general. If any person is seen coughing or sneezing, you must stay away from them.
However, despite all precautions, you may still be down with flu. You may try some home remedies to start with and check if the fever subsides. In this article, we have discussed some of the home remedies for viral fever. If the temperature does not subside and you still have the flu symptoms, you should seek the advice of a doctor.
Home Remedies for Viral Fever
Take Lots of Rest
When you have a fever, the natural way to treat it is to have adequate rest. You must not do any strenuous activities. It will make your body lose focus on the job at hand. Running a high temperature is because your body is fighting off the virus. You need too much energy to fight off the disease, and the energy needs to be conserved to fight against the virus.
You may have noticed that your fever tends to increase at night. It is because your body is busy fighting the virus and needs the required energy to fight the infection. You must not stay awake or do any other activity as it will hinder the immune system in its fight. Also, if you are deprived of sleep, it reduces the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. It is because the immune system gets suppressed and produces fewer antibodies against the virus.
Taking rest also prevents your body from coming into contact with other pathogens. When you have a fever, your immune system is busy fighting off the virus. It would be unable to fight off another pathogen during this period. When you sleep, your body is also rejuvenating itself, and the white blood cells that fight the virus are being replenished. Studies also say that you must stay at home until at least one day after your fever subsides.
When you are sick, the temperature of your body rises. It can lead to sweating to cool down your body temperature. In the process, your body loses the necessary water that is required. And if you are vomiting or have diarrhea, you are losing more water from your body. Drinking lots of fluids can help in retaining the balance of water in your body. However, please note that all fluids are not useful during this period. You must stay away from carbonated beverages and caffeine-based drinks during this time.
Apart from having lots of water, you must also have lots of juices, broths and soup, sports drinks, etc. You may have more hot liquids as will soothe your sore throat and relieve you from some congestion in your nose. You can have fluids with several spices like cinnamon and cardamom that can ease your throat. Having a cup of green tea and chamomile tea can also help. Chamomile tea can help in reducing the symptoms of cold and help you relieve anxiety, relax and fall asleep.
Keeping yourself hydrated can help in loosening up the mucous that forms in your head and nose. It can lead you to feel better. Staying hydrated also allows your body to remove the harmful elements from your system.
Since ancient times, herbs have been used to treat viral infections, and some of them are used in various medications now. Elderberries have many medicinal benefits and have been used in many pills. Studies show that they have significantly reduced the symptoms caused by viruses. They are used in the treatment of common cold and flu.
Sage, also a herb from the mint family, is known for treating antiviral infections. The antiviral properties are due to a compound named safficinolide present in the herb. Garlic is also known to be a cure against viral infections and can act against influenza, viral pneumonia and the common cold. It improves the immune system by stimulating the immune cells.
Oregano is known for its medicinal benefits too. Studies have shown that oregano oil has reduced the effect of murine norovirus, which is the cause of stomach flu. It has also demonstrated significant antiviral activity against numerous other pathogens.
Herbal teas are also known to be effective against viral fever by strengthening the immune system. White willow bark, echinacea and lemon balm can help in curing fever.
Fight the Virus Through Nutritious Food
While it is essential to have nutritious food when you have a fever, you may not be in the mood to do so. Having nutritious food can boost the immune system, and you can get well faster. Your immune system needs to be boosted, and proteins can provide the required nutrition. However, you must stick to fish and lean meat like poultry. Oily fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids and strengthen the immune system. Vegetables can also provide much-needed nutrients like vitamins and minerals to get well faster.
Chicken soup is known to be a remedy that can clean the mucous in your nose. Chicken contains amino acids that act as an anti-oxidant and breaks the mucous. Similarly, broths can also be helpful as it can keep you hydrated when you have a fever. You must have fruits which are rich in Vitamin C and taking fresh juices are recommended. Citrous fruits like lemons, grapefruit and oranges contain flavonoids and increase immunity to fight the flu virus.
Having carrots and bananas can also help. Blueberries can act as natural aspirin and reduce fevers. Mustard can also loosen the mucous in the air tract. Coconut water also helps as it rehydrates the body and is especially crucial if the fever is associated with diarrhoea.
Have Zinc Supplements
How many of us know that zinc is an essential mineral for our body? Apart from curing wounds and supporting growth, zinc also works to boost our immune system. If you are not getting enough zinc from your diet, you need to take supplements. Zinc lozenges are commonly recommended for a common cold. Studies have also shown that zinc can help to reduce the duration of fever significantly. It prevents the rhinovirus, the virus causing the common cold, from replicating in your system.
It is suggested by the Harvard Medical School to have at least 15 mg of zinc every day. The element helps the functioning of the immune cells, and a deficiency will mean that the functions of the T-cells will be reduced. Zinc must be taken in adequate quantities only. Excess intake of zinc has side effects like stomach aches and nausea.
Try Some Ayurveda Tips
Your body temperature is increased when you have a fever as your body is fighting against the virus. Having an illness can leave you drained, but you can also use ayurvedic remedies to get well sooner. When you have a fever of less than 38 degrees Celsius, you are having low-grade fever, and you may try some home remedies. If the fever exceeds this temperature, you may undertake some home remedies.
Tulsi, or basil, is used in many tonics and powders as it helps in reducing the effect of dosha aggravations in your body. It purifies your body and boosts immunity too. Tulsi is known to contain eugenol that has a positive on your immune system. It is known to have antimicrobial benefits.
Ginger is an essential remedy against fevers that all have congestion along with it. Ginger has many compounds like shogaols and gingerols that are bioactive and have therapeutic applications. They also have antimicrobial applications and help in boosting immunity.
Black pepper has been effective in pacifying Kapha and is recommended in the treatment of fever. It is an essential ingredient of ayurvedic medicines and is combined with dried ginger and cinnamon. Basic studies also suggest that it can provide relief from fever and helps resist infections.
Change Your Diet
When you have a fever, you need to change your food habits. You must not have oily food and junk food as they cannot be digested quickly and may lead to stomach trouble. Similarly, carbonated beverages must be avoided. You must have fluids at regular intervals to stay hydrated. It will mean having lots of fruit juices and smoothies. You must avoid taking them with ice as it will worsen your condition. Also, avoid taking caffeine-based drinks and alcohol as it could dehydrate you further.
Coriander leaves can help in reducing the effects of fever. The coriander seeds can cool your body, and they contain Vitamin C, which can also boost your immune system. You can take the cilantro leaves in a blender along with some water and blend thoroughly. Strain the liquid and have it thrice every day when you have a fever. It will aid in lowering the fever.
Grapes can also help in reducing fever. Have grape juice with fennel, sandalwood powder and cumin to reliever the fever symptoms. As your body is fighting the virus, it is losing a lot of calories. Mangoes can have to regain the calories, are rich in vitamins and have high water content. You can have berries too as they are known to reduce the effects of a cold and strengthens your immunity also.
Apple cider vinegar can be effective against fever. It draws heat due to its acidic nature and cools the body. You can blend two spoons of the vinegar with one spoon of honey in a glass of water and have it thrice daily for the best results.
Take OTC Drugs
You can take over-the-counter medicines to manage the fever. You need to take adequate rest after taking the medication as you may feel weak. Some of the OTC drugs you can take are ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen. You must take aspirin sparingly and must not administer it to children as it may lead to complications. Nimesulide is also effective against fever and can reduce body pain too.
You must not increase the dosage on your own as it could lead to complications. You should visit your physician and take their advice before you start any medication.
What More Can You Do?
Being down with viral fever means you would need rest for at least five days to a week. It is fine to choose some home remedies if the fever is associated with a common cold, and the temperature does not cross a threshold. There are some basic home remedies that the patient can have.
The patient must take hot liquids periodically and take a steamy shower or have a sponge bath. You can also place a mentholated salve under the nose can help to loosen the breathing passages and make breathing passages smoother. You may apply some hot packs around the congested sinuses or sleep with an extra pillow to have an elevated height that can smoothen the nasal passage.
When You Must Visit the Doctor
If your body temperature does not cross 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you may try some home remedies to cure your fever. However, if the fever does not subside and you are continuously running a temperature of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you must consult a doctor.
Any flu-like symptoms like muscle cramps or having difficulty in swallowing food, you need to consult an expert. Also, chest congestion and shortness of breath are symptoms that must not be neglected. Moreover, if your cold has no signs of subsiding for over a week or you are having continuous throat pain, it is time to consult your family doctor.
A Word from our Editorial Member:
Fever is a common symptom of infection and inflammation. In most cases, a person may help relieve a fever at home. Fever does not usually need any medical attention. However, taking OTC medicines can lower the body temperature of a person and make them feel more relaxed. It is important to remember that some medications are not suitable for children of certain ages. Always check appropriate treatments and dosages with a doctor or pharmacist before administering them to a child or infant. An individual should see the doctor if they or their child have a high or persistent fever that does not respond to the medication. A fever that is accompanied by more serious signs of illness also requires medical attention.