Emerson Ecologics – Use of Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Fevers
By Thomas A. Kruzel, N. D.
As we are all aware, fevers are nature’s way of fending off infections or other illnesses, acting to ensure a healthy immune system and preventing disease. Most fevers encountered in childhood are the run of the mill variety, i.e. necessary to fend off a virus or bacteria, or to help the immune system develop and will run their course without too much problem. Occasionally they need prompt attention, as they are a warning that there is a more serious condition developing. In general, a child with a fever who is still playing, drinking, and eating, probably doesn’t warrant a dash to the emergency room, only monitoring and a few natural therapies.
Unfortunately fevers are not always allowed to do their work as advertisers and health care workers worried about profits and possible repercussion advise that antipyretics such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, aspirin or Motrin be administered in order to “control” the fever. What this does in the long run is pervert the temperature control mechanism in the brain stem so that it becomes more difficult for the person to mount a fever and increases the chances that the fever will begin to rage out of control.
Fevers treated with homeopathic medicines tend to follow the normal course that fevers generally do, and will do so in a more rapid and uneventful manner than those treated with antipyretics. Homeopathic medicines can be administered at the various stages of a fever such as during adaptive withdrawal, the aggravation stage when the fever begins to mount, the destruction period when the fever is at its zenith, the abatement stage and the reconstruction period, based upon the presenting signs and symptoms. If the etiology of the fever is known, say for instance it is encountered during teething, the remedy that covers the fretfulness and irritability seen then will probably also cover the fever. If it is due to a viral or bacterial infection, the remedy that covers these symptoms will also help with any fever encountered.
A fever due to a viral illness usually does not last more than 72 hours unless the child has been given antipyretics. Then, it may linger for up to a week as the body tries to reset things to normal parameters. Fevers due to a bacterial infection generally are higher and will take longer to go to completion. A somewhat typical pattern is that the fever spikes rather quickly, remains in the 102°F to 104°F range for varying lengths of time, then once it has broken, may remain at a lower < 102°F for several days. Fevers that get into the 105°F to 106°F range usually remain there for brief periods before decreasing. These need to be monitored closely and more frequent dosing of the indicated homeopathic may be in order.
It is normal for a child with a fever to refuse to eat for a period of time. It is not normal for them to refuse to drink. However, they may refuse sugary drinks or drink less than normal. The most difficult thing about childhood fevers are the parents’ anxiety that their child has one as they have been lead to believe that a fever is the “enemy” that must be controlled. Parental anxiety can be soothed by educating them as to the normal course of a fever and that their child will be fine if allowed to let the fever run its normal course. After several episodes of natural treatments and non-suppression of the fever, future fevers will generally run their course much quicker and do not need to be treated as often homeopathically. For many parents, having allowed a fever to do its work translates to less illness in their children and a quicker resolution if one is encountered.
So what does one do if one does not know which remedy to treat the presenting illness with? A protocol that I have found works well a significant portion of the time is to use Ferrum phosphoricum and Belladonna based upon the temperature encountered. For temperatures of 99°F (37.1°C) to 102°F (38.8°C) administer Ferrum phos 30C every 15 minutes until the temperature remains stable. For temperatures of 102°F (38.8°C) or greater, administer Belladonna 30C every 15 minutes until the temperature has stabilized. Once the fever has broken, no additional medicine needs to be given. If however, the temperature drops below 102°F (38.8°C), an additional does or 2 of Ferrum phos can be administered.*