Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Natural Fever Remedy (that you probably already have!)

sad, feverish Gabe
If you've ever had a small child with a fever, you know that they are pitiful little things.  The last thing you really want to do is prolong their suffering, but that can be hard when you know that fevers serve a purpose and letting it break on its own without medical intervention is usually best.

At our house, we try many tricks to try to allay the woes of a fever, and lately, we've been able to let fevers run their courses in both of our children without dosing them up with Tylenol or Motrin.

Until this week.  Gabe ran a hot-for-him fever of 102 for 2 nights in a row.  It would, as fevers tend to do, go low-grade during the day, but it was the most uncomfortable I'd ever seen him with a fever.  He was sleeping fitfully during his naps, and between the hours of 8pm till midnight on both nights, both Greg and I took turns soothing him as he would cry about every 30 minutes.  He was not happy.  The first night of the bad fever, we ended up giving him a small dose of Motrin. I'd just been reading about how toxic Tylenol is now considered for the liver (and I used to think Tylenol was the better of the 2! See here: But the Motrin did its trick, and he slept peacefully until 6am, woke up for a quick drink, and then slept till 10am!  He was a tired boy!

However, during the day Friday, his fever crept back up again. I knew if we kept medicinally reducing it, it would probably not have a chance to reach its breaking point anytime soon and he'd just be struggling with it again over the next few days.  So, I was scouring my resources for what I could try.  We'd tried Aconite, elderberry syrup, Vitamin C, probiotics, and an essential oil rub (all at various times).  I remembered reading or hearing somewhere though that cut up onions on the feet underneath socks could help. (  The onions brought the fever out and in the morning, they'd basically be cooked little wimpy things in the socks.

I thought it was worth a shot, and I had a fresh onion, so why not?  Greg definitely looked at me like I was crazy, but this is not the first time I've ever done something insane in the name of health.

Onion: 1, Fever: 0
So I cut up just the very tip of the onion -- Gabe's feet aren't enormously large so therefore I didn't need a lot of onion -- and I placed a couple rings each on the bottom of his feet and put his socks back on.  He smelled delicious, like it was time for tacos, but it wasn't, it was time for bed.  He was still resting fitfully like he did Thursday night (pre-Motrin), and so Greg & I took turns helping him get back down and sleep.  Right before midnight (the last time he'd wake up), I thought he was starting to feel just a little less hot.  I put him back down and never heard another peep from him until 8am!  *heavenly chorus*

When he woke up this morning, he was not burning up.  I could tell he was still feeling unwell, but he was not feverish like he'd been.  Did the onions work?  Our case size was 1, and our experiment only lasted 1 night, but in this case, I'm going to say Onion: 1, Fever: 0.

He just woke up from a 3 hour nap and is not burning up.  We'll see how the rest of the day unfolds, but his energy and temperament already appear better.

Would you try onions? Do you have any unusual tried-and-true home remedies for fevers?

In case you want to read anecdotal evidence about onions, here's some reading enjoyment:

If you are curious about why fevers serve a purpose, read here:

1 comment:

AllyJo said...

My mom did the onion trick on my bad lungs once when I was a kid.