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Essential oils can be a powerful tool for treating fevers at home. The benefit of using essential oils for fever over conventional meds is the way the natural chemical compounds work with the body’s physiology instead of against it.

It is important to remember that although fevers can be scary, they are merely a symptom of a problem and not the problem themselves. That is why our family choses to never use a substance like Tylenol for fevers because you are shooting the body in the foot before the race.

There are many different natural remedies that can be used to support the body during a feverish illness. In this post, we will specifically look at how to use essential oils to reduce a fever by calming down inflammation.

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Fever treatment at home

Fevers are the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight off infection. Although you may not feel well with a fever, know that your body is doing it’s job to restore your health faster. In all my research, I have not found any scientific evidence that a fever is something we should fear but rather a sign of a healthy immune system, even high fevers.

The biggest concern is to stay on top of hydration by replacing fluids and electrolytes. A fever will increase the function of your immune cells, cause vasodilation, and make you start sweating.

More info about the physiology of fever in this post.

All of this helps to kill viruses and bacteria and carry them out of the body.

The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking a mix of water, bone broth, andย coconut water to replenish electrolytes.

It is also important when you have a fever to make sure you get plenty of extra rest. This is not the time to clean the house, fill up your daily schedule, or go to work. You want to divert all your body’s energy to healing which is why extra stress can be detrimental.

Sometimes it is hard to get older children to slow down even when they have a fever. This is a good time for a Disney marathon!

You should also support yourself nutritionally by consuming immune boosting foods and teas like echinacea with elderberry. You may find that you are not hungry when you have a fever. Your body does not like wasting energy on digestion when you are sick.

My best recommendation is to eat high-value, easy-to-digest foods like green smoothies and homemade bone broth.

How to use essential oils safetly

Even though essential oils are natural, they are powerful so it’s important to consider the route of delivery and the dilution after you choose an essential oil.

You can apply an essential oil topically by diluting it with a carrier oil. For adults, use 3 drops per teaspoon of a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojabo oil. If you are using essential oils for a fever in a baby or child, only use 1-2 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil. Certain essential oils shouldn’t be used for babies like peppermint and eucalyptus because it can affect their lungs.

You can diffuse essential oils into the air. This option is safer for babies and also allows more members of the family to receive the benefits of the essential oil.

You can also ingest some essential oils safely by placing a drop in some water or inside a vegetable capsule.

Related: Have an infant in the house? Here’s what to do when they have a cold.

Essential Oils for Fever

 

Peppermint

The active compound in peppermint essential oil is menthol, which modulates thermoreceptors, provides a cooling sensation, and reduces pain. (source) This oil works best in combination with Eucalyptus essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is the top choice essential oil for fever reduction in adults.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Add 3 drops of organic peppermint essential oil in an epsom salt bath.

๐Ÿ”ถ Mix 1-3 drops with coconut oil and apply to the bottom of the feet and back of the neck.

๐Ÿ”ถ Diffuse a few drops in a diffuser 2-3 times a day

Safety:

Can cause breathing problems in young children. Do not apply near the face of young ones. Consult with a naturopath or certified aromatherapist for guidance around use in children.

 

Eucalyptus

The main chemical compound in Eucalyptus Radiata is 1,8-Cineole & alpha-terpineol. Both are powerful antioxidants and help reduce the oxidative stress from inflammation. (1, 2) Your body has to get into a self-limiting inflammatory state to kill the microorganism causing the fever.

Eucalyptus essential oil takes the edge off this inflammatory process. It also provides a cooling effect and works well in conjunction with peppermint essential oil.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Add 1-2 drops of eucalyptus EO with peppermint EO in a carrier oil like coconut oil and rub on the bottom of the feet, back of neck, and on the chest.

Safety:

Can cause breathing problems in young children. Do not apply near the face of young ones. Consult with a naturopath or certified aromatherapist for guidance around use in children.

 

Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil was one of the gifts the Maji gave to baby Jesus and for good reason! Frankincense contains almost 30 different active chemical compounds and is one of the most beneficial oils you can use to restore health. It is also safe for children.

It is very high in the compound alpha-Pinene, which is a highly bioavailable to humans and boosts immunity while reducing stress. Frankincense essential oil is useful for fevers because of its powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. (source)

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Soak in a warm epsom salt bath and add 3-5 drops of Frankincense essential oil. If you have a baby dealing with fever you can lay them on your chest while you both soak in this bath.

๐Ÿ”ถ Diffuse Frankincence EO a few times a day.

๐Ÿ”ถ Add a drop of Frankincense EO to a warm washcloth and drape over your forehead.

Safety: Frankincense is generally safe.

 

Cinnamon Bark

Cinnamon Bark essential oil is a warming oil that increases circulation, kills viruses, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the immune system. (source)

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ The best way to use this oil is to diffuse it or add a few drops to a warm bath.

Safety:

Do not use in pregnancy. May cause skin sensitivities so dilute well with a carrier oil if you use it topically.

 

Ginger

Ginger essential oil not only contains anti-inflammatory compounds but it can also reduce the pain from a fever. Ginger also increases blood circulation, boosts immunity, and helps with nausea so it’s a handy oil to keep around when any illness is present, fever or not.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Add a drop or two to a glass of water or hot tea.

Safety:

If used topically, be sure to well dilute because ginger EO can cause skin irritation. Use cautiously in children under the age of two.

 

Lemon

Lemon essential oil is anti-inflammatory with the help of D-Limonene.ย (source) Lemon EO is helpful when a feverish infection is present because it stimulates lymphatic drainage which helps clear the body of the dead white blood cells and viruses.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Dilute with a carrier oil and rub on the neck and armpits.

๐Ÿ”ถ Add a few drops of lemon EO to a warm wash cloth and drape across your face for a few breaths.

๐Ÿ”ถ Diffuse lemon twice a day.

Safety:

Lemon essential oil is generally safe but should be diluted with a carrier oil when used topically.

 

Lemongrass

The fever reducing effects of lemongrass essential oil are due to the compound Geranial, which has profound anti-inflammatory effects in the body. (1, 2)

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Add 1-2 drops of lemongrass essential oil in combination with black pepper oil to a capsule and swallow.

Safety:

Should not be used in children, pregnant or nursing mothers.

 

Black Pepper

Black pepper essential oil is another warming oil that helps increase circulation and sweating. It will help detoxify your body with its antioxidant properties.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Mix with a carrier oil and lemongrass essential oil and apply to the bottom of your feet.

๐Ÿ”ถ Place a few drops in a capsule and swallow.

๐Ÿ”ถ This oil is great to combine with many other oils because it helps them to be better absorbed by the body.

Safety:

Do not place this oil near your face or ingest in large quantities.

 

Chamomile

Chamomile essential oil is useful for fevers because it containsย a wide variety of bioactive phytochemicals that are beneficial for so many different ailments.

Chamomile EO calms the mind, eases anxiety, and helps to induce sleep. (source)

Sleep is one of the most beneficial things a person can do when fighting an infection. As we spoke about before, fevers are beneficial for the body to fight infection, they are just uncomfortable.ย If you can sleep through a fever, you are better off.

Suggestions for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Diffuse into the air an hour before bedtime.

๐Ÿ”ถ Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the bottom of feet.

๐Ÿ”ถ Add 1-2 drops to warm water or coconut milk an hour before bed

Safety:

Chamomile has been used for thousands of years without adverse effects and is very safe.

 

Lavender

Lavender essenital oil has a wide range of beneficial chemical compounds that provide pain relief, sedation, and ease inflammation in the body. (source)

It is such a versatile oil and is often the go-to-remedy in our household because of how effective it is in treating so many different problems.

Suggestion for use:

๐Ÿ”ถ Mix lavender essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to the back of the neck and bottom of the feet.

๐Ÿ”ถ Diffuse lavender 2-3 times a day.

๐Ÿ”ถ Add 2-3 drops to an epsom salt bath.

Safety:

Lavender essential oil is generally safe for all ages as long as it is properly diluted when used.

Adult essential oil fever blends

 

Warming Topical Blend

2 drop Lemongrass oil

1 drop Black Pepper oil

1 drop Ginger oil

1 drop Frankincense oil

Mix in 2 tsp of coconut oil and rub on the palms of hands, soles of feet, and back of neck.

 

Soothing Diffuser Blend

2 drops Peppermint oil

2 drops Lavender oil

2 drops Chamomile oil

Add water and oils to the diffuser and diffuse for 15 minutes 3 times a day.

Children’s essential oil fever blends

 

Gentle Topical Blend

1 drop Lemon oil

1 drop Ginger oil

1 drop Frankincense oil

Mix in 2 tsp of coconut oil and rub on the palms of hands, soles of feet, and back of neck.

 

Soothing Diffuser Blend

 

1 drops Lavender oil

2 drops Chamomile oil

Add water and oils to the diffuser and diffuse for 15 minutes 3 times a day.

Should you break a fever with essential oils?

An elevated body temperature makes it hard for bacteria and viruses to survive. The purpose behind using essential oils for fevers isn’t necesarrily to break a fever, but more to boost immunity and slow down the inflammatory process so you don’t feel so miserable.

If you or your child are experiencing prolonged high fevers or other worrisome symptoms such as listlessness, sunken fontenelles, inability to replace fluids, uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea, or recurrent seizures, seek medical attention immediately.