Why We Don’t Treat Fevers

Why we don't treat fevers

Why do we choose not to treat fevers? This is a very important way to how we heal! Fevers will happen at some point for everyone but there are a lot of good things that can come from them, so let’s chat about why we do what we do.

Keep in mind, I am not a doctor, I am just a Mama who loves finding natural options for her family. My education on oils and supplements and Natural Wellness is how our family has used these over the years and the benefits we have seen. You are the gatekeeper of your home and know your family so please keep that in mind while following us on this journey. Also, when speaking about essential oils, we use Young Living in our family and have for over six years. These are the oils that I have researched and feel comfortable with for our family. Not all oils and supplements are created equal. I fully believe there are other options out there other than to just medicate and slap a band aid on things.

I am also not saying that we would never treat a fever. If I ever felt any of our family was in danger or other symptoms presented themselves, I would adjust and treat accordingly. However, in the past 6+ years, I haven’t had the need to use any additional help other than our natural options. We haven’t had the need for antibiotics or Over-The-Counter medications. The goal will be to build up your immune system so it can do the fighting for you.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk fevers.

It’s one of my favorite changes that we have made in our natural wellness journey and one that has made a huge positive impact for our family.

I feel like, at least for my age and even the way my Mama was raised, is that if you get a fever, you were given an OTC (over-the-counter) medication to get rid of the fever. That’s just what was done. We didn’t really question it, you just took medication(s) to reduce fevers and suppress the symptoms. We treated the number on the thermometer. Maybe not for everyone but for the vast majority that’s what we are probably used to. Fevers were instantly considered bad and the goal was to get rid of it quickly.

But what if we were to change our thinking and ask the question, are fevers actually a good thing? What if our body is doing exactly what God designed it to do. I don’t believe God makes mistakes. He knew exactly what He was doing when He designed us and how we work, and I believe He gave us fevers to serve a purpose.

What is a fever?

“What is a fever? A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, often due to an illness. Having a fever is a sign that something out of the ordinary is going on in your body.” – The Mayo Clinic

“What causes a fever? A fever is not an illness by itself. Rather it is a symptom that something is not right within the body.” – John Hopkins Medicine

A fever is your bodies way of defending itself.

It is a symptom of an illness; it is not the illness itself. When you develop a fever, it means that a signal was sent to your brain that something is off and your bodies defense, troops, immune system, whatever you would like to call it needs to kick it into gear and defend. You have something that you need to fight off and the fever is responding. 

So what if instead of treating a fever or the number on the thermometer, we focused on supporting the body and treating the symptoms instead?

In our home from 3 months and up, if a fever develops, I let it ride unless I think it needs addressed, which in the last 6 plus years, I haven’t treated a fever with an OTC medication at all. We have strictly used natural methods. This doesn’t mean I will never use an OTC medication again, but I haven’t had the true need, and our essential oils, natural supplements and real foods have served us well. For babies under three months, I personally would still use the natural methods, but I would also let your Dr. know what all is going on just so they were aware. If you have a child that has a history of febrile seizures, I would also use the same natural methods but again, let your Dr. know, keep them informed. 

What causes a fever is not an illness by itself.

Why are symptoms important?

Coughs, runny noses, headaches, stomach aches, body aches, etc… these are all symptoms. A fever is also a symptom and it means your immune system is working. Without symptoms we wouldn’t know that anything was wrong and it’s important that when something is off our body lets us know.

Our body was designed to heal itself, and for the most part if we can just assist and let it work through the process, as much fun as it’s not, it can actually help you heal quicker and stronger.

Why we shouldn’t mask a fever or make it just go away.

Have you noticed that if you have been sick and have taken an OTC medication it may reduce the fever or mask the symptoms of a cough, stuffy nose, headache, etc… so you can “get” through your day? But have you also noticed that your illness is lingering and you don’t feel like you are getting over whatever has you down? Maybe it’s been months even, that it just keeps coming back. You think you are over it and BAM two weeks later you get it again. Odds are your body has never fully healed from the illness or whatever is making you sick. It has been masked or suppressed, never fully allowing your body to heal or kill off the illness so a part of it was still lurking.

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Reducing the fever is not the main goal.

What else should you be looking at? What else is important?

There are so many things to take into account other than just the fever. Is the child, or you, or whoever you may be caring for eating, drinking, talking, watching TV? It’s ok to not feel good with a fever, that can be normal even, that is your body telling you to rest and for us, as long as my kids are doing all or some of the above, I will let it ride and let their body heal in its own way.

A fever is calling you to rest, if you suppress it, it can make you feel like you have more energy and feel better than your body actually does, which can do more harm in the long run. 

If you suppress a fever and I am just throwing out numbers here… If you suppress a fever of 102.2 and you give a child or an adult something to bring it down to 99.5, it is doing just that. The fever is being suppressed so it is not working at full force. Instead of sending out all of the troops to defend your body, you are basically calling half of them back, leaving openings for things (more sickness) to sneak through. You want all of the fight you have to fight off the invader. 

Over the counter medications shouldn’t be our first line of defense, BUT, if a time does arise when they are needed there are other important things to take into consideration.

If needed I will always choose dye free children’s ibuprofen over Tylenol. You basically have to pick your poison here in my opinion. Every medication comes with side effects and none of them are 100% safe. Ibuprofen can cause GI problems and can bog down your liver, but Tylenol will deplete your glutathione level which is necessary for detoxification and so important to your immune system. Tylenol is also easier to overdose on and is also damaging to the liver. You need a nice healthy liver because that is your bodies filter. It is what helps to detox your body and flush out all of the gunk for lack of a better term.

Temperature outline for fevers.

Ok, so how do you support your body through a fever?

If you have hung with me for this long then you must be curious as to the “How”. How do we support our bodies naturally?

The best thing about natural wellness is that it’s natural. Your body knows exactly what to do with it and how to use it to support the immune system. Unlike some medications, you can combine all of these things listed below to flood the body with support.

Essential Oils

As I stated above, Young Livings essential oils are the only oils I have done in depth research on and the only ones we use medicinally. Essential oils can penetrate your cells which when you have pure essential oils is amazing for healing and cellular repair and health. I have a post walking through how our family naturally supports a virus and it is applicable here as well. Peppermint essential oil diluted is the one I reach for first to help cool and make the body comfortable. Thieves essential oil diluted is the second grab. I use both on the back, bottoms of feet and peppermint, diluted along the side of the neck or temples. Peppermint is very strong so you only need one drop OR you can create a roller for easier application. Those are both explained here as well for Peppermint and Thieves.

Detox Baths

These are one of my tried and true, I swear by natural wellness options. Detox Baths can support the body in multiple ways and for Colds, Flu, Fever, Skin Issues, Respiratory Issues, Aches and Pains… pretty much any issue… when in doubt, we take a detox bath. A detox bath is a natural way to remove toxins from the body by adding ingredients like Epsom salts and essential oils to your bath. They allow minerals, commonly in the form of Epsom salts to draw the toxins from the body. I walk you through how we take Detox Baths here.

Cool Rags

This one is pretty simple, just wet down a rag and drape on the back of the neck, forehead and/or pressure points to help keep the body comfortable.

Cooler Clothing

Just because you have a fever doesn’t mean you have to bundle up, unless you also have the chills and actually want to be warm. You can wear cooler clothing in the home if that helps to keep the body comfortable.


There is a reason that we feel tired and wore out when we are sick or have a fever. It is our body telling us to stop, rest and listen. If we don’t, we will pay for it by not healing properly. There is nothing wrong with taking an off day or several if needed to heal.


Watching for hydration is huge, you may not be hungry and that is ok as long as you are drinking and staying hydrated. Water itself doesn’t hydrate the best. You need minerals and electrolytes as well and I’m not talking about the colored drinks that start with a G. Those can actually set you back because of the food dyes, sugars and other preservatives that your body is then forced to process on top of everything else. You can add a quality salt like Celtic or French Grey to water with minerals. You can also mix that in with Orange Juice that has no added sugars. These are some of my favorite electrolyte drops that we love to add to water and that our kiddos love to drink. They make that easy button very easy!

Eliminating Sugar

ALLLL processed white sugars need to be avoided completely when sick. Sugar literally feeds sickness. When you are trying to fight off a fever you need to give your body all the support you can and by eliminating all sugars, you are doing just that. And I’m not saying you can’t eat an apple or orange but most juices, popsicles, “hydrating” drinks, things that we may typically grab for comfort contain a lot of sugars, which can feed the sickness or virus causing the fever, making it linger longer.

Think of it like this…

I know that a fever isn’t fun but every now and then it can help to reset and kill off unwanted things. Think of boiling your wooden spoons to make sure that the bacteria is gone, or doing a deep clean on clothing, or boiling water if you are on a boil order. Sometimes you need to heat things up to fully clean it.

Treat Symptoms instead of the number.

More great options to have on hand to support the body…

You can also support your body and boost your immune system as well by taking the following:

Again, everyone is different. But there are so many things to take into account. Is your child lethargic, pale, not responsive? There is a time to treat. But if they are talking, watching TV, playing, drinking, going to the bathroom, sleeping soundly, then their bodies are doing what they need to do and we just need to offer support.

We will fully lean into plants first, always.

One of the reasons I love essential oils is that I have so many tools with them. Some contain the same constituents as a medication that is made with the synthetic version but minus the side effects. I don’t feel helpless when my kiddos are sick or if the hubby or I start to come down with something. We have the tools on hand to support our bodies from the first sign, quickly and effectively. I don’t wait until things get bad before using our oils and supplements. This will help us most of the time to where we don’t have a high fever to deal with at all.

Remember a fever is a sign of a healthy immune system, it wants to do its job. Help that fever, support it, lean into it within reason and be grateful for it. It serves a very important purpose. 

Other related posts:

How to Naturally Support a Virus
Essential Oils 101: The Basics
Why Does It Matter Which Essential Oils I Choose

These are the oils our family has used for years (and that we know are safe for the uses mentioned above). I hope this encourages you to ask questions if you have them and to think outside the box.

I’d love to hear back if you try! Tag me on Instagram @naturallychaoticlifestyle!

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you next time!

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