In Ayurveda, fever is renowned as the ‘King of diseases.’ This is because fever is an associated symptom of the majority of the ailments. Fever is basically a defense mechanism of the body to kill harmful germs.
In 95% of cases, germs are held responsible for causing fever. Even though many antipyretics are available in the market to treat the fever, it is still a temporary treatment.
Ayurveda believes that ama, i.e., toxins build up in the body due to undigested and unhealthy material, aggravates Pitta dosha. This imbalanced pitta dosha causes fever, and hence, removal of the ama is essential to cure the fever.
Ayurveda has studied fever in very much detail. It outlines the diet and medicines as per the different stages and nature of the fever. Therefore, if fever is suppressed in its initial stages by antipyretic, then you are more likely to suffer from its chronic complications.
Ayurvedic treatment of fever mainly focuses on digesting the ama(toxins) and balancing aggravated doshas. There are various natural ways to combat the fever with no or minimal drugs. What are those Ayurvedic ways to cure fever?
During fever, there is no appetite, and digestive power becomes weak. Hence, eating food generates more ama. This results in increased symptoms of fever. By fasting, ama gets digested, and fever subsides gradually.
Langhana is not complete fasting; it is taking a diet that is light to your stomach & also improves appetite. It is to be done from the day fever starts until the fever goes down, and you feel like eating. Gradually the diet should be stepped up.
Practicing Langhana(fasting) brings down the temperature, and other symptoms like nausea, drowsiness, excessive thirst.
What to eat during Langhana?
Light & nutritious food especially liquid diet is preferred during Langhana
- Rice porridge, i.e., rice boiled with 16 times of water added with rock salt, dry ginger powder, long pepper powder
- Hot watery soup of green lentil or horse gram or Bengal gram combined with a pinch of dry ginger powder is one of the best Langhana diets
- Thin mutton soup cooked with cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, long pepper, and rock salt
- Coconut water, thin buttermilk, sugarcane juice, diluted cow’s milk are easy to digest and absorb
- Khichari cooked in ghee, cumin seeds, long pepper powder is another excellent example of light food
- Vegetable soup or boiled vegetables especially bottle gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd
- Fruits like apple, pomegranate, sweet lime, orange, Indian gooseberry
Use of medicated water
If fever is associated with cold, cough, constipation, body pain then drink warm water. It improves digestion and induces sweating.
If you feel a burning sensation in the whole body or just in the eyes, then drink cooled boiled water. During fever, Ayurveda suggests drinking medicated water called ‘Shadangapaniya.’
To make this water, add 12 g of a mixture of powders of Nutgrass, Common fumitory, Sandalwood, Dry ginger, Khus Khus grass, & Fragrant swamp mallow in 3 liters of water. Boil it till half of the water remains. Use this water for drinking whenever you feel thirsty.
If you can’t find these herbs, then you can boil water solely with dry ginger powder. Drinking this water will digest the ama, stimulates digestive fire, and brings down the fever.
Ayurveda suggests not taking any drugs during fever, but some antipyretic herbs are especially recommended to be taken as decoctions.
You can make a decoction of the following drugs:
- Nutgrass & Common fumitory
- Common fumitory with Dry ginger or Indian stinging nettle
- Chiretta (bitter stick), Nutgrass, Tinospora, & Dry ginger
- Velvetleaf tree, Khus Khus grass, Fragrant swamp mallow
- Dashamula or Tinospora
- Coriander, Long pepper, Ginger
- Mahasudarshana powder
To make decoction boil a glass of water added with one to two teaspoonfuls of coarsely powdered herbs until the one-eighth part is left. Take decoctions in the morning and the evening.
Medicated milk & ghee
If along with fever, you are also suffering from body ache, burning sensation, dryness of mouth, throat, or in the whole body, then using medicated milk & ghee is beneficial for you.
Prepare milk boiled with ginger, dates, dried black raisins, raw Bel fruit powder, long pepper added with ghee, honey, and sugar. You can take this milk either hot or cold as you like.
Ghee is treated with bitter herbs to treat fever. Medicated ghee like Vasadi ghee, Pancagavya ghee, Baladi ghee, Pippalyadi ghee, & Pancatikta ghee can be taken with milk.
In the case of chronic fever and those who frequently suffer from fever should go for purificatory procedures (Pancakarma). It is crucial for the removal of aggravated doshas & toxins in the body.
Pancakarma procedures are advised as per the state of fever and the strength of the body.
Emesis, purgation, decoction, and oil enemas are given as per the dosha dominant during fever.
You can also instill Anu taila (Anu oil) as nasal drops if you are suffering from excessive kapha, or diseases of head, neck, eyes, nose, and ears.
Body massage & medicated bath
In fever, massaging the body with Candanadya oil & Sahsradhauta ghee relieves of burning sensation, body ache, and alleviates fever.
In case of fever with chills, you can massage the body with hot oil like Agurvadya oil. This will induce sweat and bring down the temperature.
Taking baths in fever is contraindicated; however, if there is too much-burning sensation in the body, then you can take a sponge bath with medicated water. For this, you can add honey, sour gruel, milk, sandalwood powder, curd, or ghee to the water.
Taking a bath with such medicated waters can instantly cure the burning sensation in the body because of their cold touch.
Ayurvedic medicines for fever
Apart from herbs and decoctions, there are various herbal compound formulations available in the market to treat fever. These drugs accelerate the digestion and elimination of vitiated doshas and ama.
You can take drugs like Sudarshana Ghana vati, Sanjivani Vati, Saubhagya shunthi vati, Arogyavardhini Vati, Jvaryabhra, Tribhuvankirti rasa, Madhughni Vati, Balacaturabhadra powder, Godanti bhasma.
These drugs are taken thrice a day to bring down the temperature. However, take these ayurvedic medicines only after consulting with a physician.
What are the dos & don’ts in fever?
Take complete rest till you regain strength
Physical exercise, brisk walk, & mental exertion
Take water and diet added with bitter herbs
Drinking cold water
Take a sponge bath with warm water or medicated water only
Bathing with cold water
Take a light & liquid diet only. Better if you could fast for at least the first day of fever
Overeating, cold, spicy & heavy food without any appetite
Take decoctions of bitter herbs rather than taking antipyretic
The direct breeze from fan or sleeping in an air-conditioned room
Use antipyretic only if fever is viral and above 102°F
Do not take antipyretic in case of moderate fever, i.e., between 100-102°F
In case of chronic fever cleanse your body with Pancakarma therapy
Anger, fear, stress, sexual intercourse, fasting in case of weakness & persistent fever
Fever – Body’s friend not an enemy
We suffer from fever when there is a need to expel the toxins and germs out of the body. It is a natural defense mechanism of the body. Hence, do not try to interfere with the body’s system by taking unnecessary antipyretics.
Use antipyretic only if the temperature is too high to bear as they bring down fever temporarily. Do not use such medicines regularly as they just prolong the time to cure fever completely.
By following simple Ayurvedic principles, we can not only address the root cause of the fever but also better prepare our body to combat various harmful bacteria and viruses.