Remedies to reduce fever without the need for medications

In most cases, the fever improves without the need for medication. What can help control it? Here are some remedies and recommendations.

Some remedies allow you to reduce fever without the need for medication. Although this symptom is a defense mechanism that is activated when the immune system detects a threat, it represents an increase in body temperature that brings with it discomfort and a feeling of weakness that should be improved.

Certainly, antipyretic medications are usually very effective, but they are not the only option available. There are basic measures that can be applied at home and are available to everyone, representing a more natural alternative that can be useful for people who are already taking other drugs and do not want to overdo it.

When is there considered to be a fever?

Reduce fever without using drugs
Although febrile episodes often cause distress and fear, most of the time they can be controlled relatively easily.

Although there may be slight variations depending on the literature, in general, it is considered that a febrile episode is anyone that occurs with a temperature greater than or equal to 38.3 °C. Between this value and 37 °C, we speak of low-grade fever, a state that could evolve into fever.

This often indicates that the body is trying to fight off infectious agents. However, it can also be due to heat stroke, metabolic diseases, and the impact of certain medications. If so, we no longer speak of fever but of hyperthermia.

By itself, fever is not a disease, but a symptom. Due to this, and as explained by the Mayo Clinic, it is accompanied by clinical manifestations such as the following:

  • Sweating.
  • Chills and tremors.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle pains.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Irritability.
  • Dehydration.
  • General weakness.

When should the fever go down?

The body can tolerate fevers that range between 38 and 39 ºC. At these levels, it usually improves without the need for medications. In fact, due to its defensive role, in some cases, it might be advisable not to lower it, but it depends a lot on the discomfort of each person.

It almost always decreases when the infection or disease that is causing it is treated. For this, it is important to have a medical evaluation, especially if you suffer from an illness, the symptoms are intense (especially if they exceed 39ºC), or have been evolving for a long time.

The most effective ways to reduce fever or improve symptoms without medications

There are a series of home measures that can be used to relieve many cases of fever. To do this you will only need basic elements that you most likely already have at home.

1. Apply wet compresses

Applying wet compresses is one of the most popular strategies to reduce fever. However, as stated in an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, this remedy in itself does not reduce fever. It could help cool the body when the temperature rises, which can be comfortable to better cope with the symptoms.

How to do it?

The compresses should not be ice cold as they can make the chill worse. Ideally, they should be at room temperature. Even if there are already chills, warm compresses work.

These are placed in areas such as the head, armpits, groin, and feet. And be careful! They should be done only with water. An ancient remedy suggested applying alcohol compresses, but this is a mistake. Alcohol applied directly to the skin can be irritating, especially on sensitive skin.

2. Take a warm shower and undress

The function of a warm shower is similar to that of compresses. In some people, it is useful to reduce discomfort and lower body temperature. Generally, it is a measure implemented in cases of high fever while going to the doctor.

Now, the water must be warm, since cold water can cause thermal shock. Meanwhile, the heat is suffocating and counterproductive. The bath can last between 20 and 30 minutes. However, if it causes more chills, it should be discontinued.

It is also important not to bundle up too much even though it may feel cold. This will only worsen the temperature rise and, after a few hours, aggravate the discomfort. Wearing light clothing and covering yourself with a blanket is usually sufficient.

3. Save rest

Despite being an alarming symptom, fever tends to disappear on its own without specific medications or treatments. Resting is the best option to obtain relief, as it allows the fever to fulfill its defensive role without further ado.

Therefore, it is advisable to suspend daily activities, especially if they involve significant physical effort. In the case of children, they must suspend school and recreational activities.

man with fever
Rest is one of the best remedies to reduce fever without medication.

4. Drink healthy fluids

The consumption of water and healthy liquids is a relevant measure to deal with fever episodes. The reason? Increased body temperature can lead to dehydration or fluid loss. Through the Mayo Clinic, drinks such as the following are suggested:

  • Water.
  • Juices.
  • Broths.
  • Oral rehydration solutions.

5. Eat light dishes

It is not advisable to eat irritating foods when this symptom occurs.  Vegetable creams and broths are ideal for quenching hunger while the recovery process is completed. In addition to satisfying appetite, they also contribute to hydration.

In any case, it is advisable to review eating habits and ensure optimal intake of essential nutrients. As explained by research shared in the journal Nutrients, adequate nutrition is crucial for the immune system to function correctly.

So, be sure to include foods like the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Chicken and fish.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Legumes.
  • Whole grains.

Infusions to reduce fever without medications

It is important to mention that the most appropriate substances to reduce fever will always be medications. There are some natural remedies (such as those we will mention below) that could help improve symptoms, but they are not the treatment of choice.

Additionally, many of these have evidence suggesting that they may indirectly reduce fever. For example, the case of infusions of ingredients with abundant vitamin C which, in theory, is necessary to strengthen the immune system. This usually has anecdotal effectiveness and does not apply to all cases.

In short, do not stop consuming the medications that the doctor prescribed if this is the case, in addition to avoiding mixing them with these infusions. Remember that drug interactions could cause significant adverse effects. You can use these remedies occasionally and with prior authorization from your specialist.

1. Infusion of thyme and chamomile

Thyme and chamomile drinks could be useful to help the body fight the cause of fever when it has an infectious origin. As stated in a review shared in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, thyme has the potential as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory.

For its part, chamomile is attributed to having immunomodulatory properties that are positively related to the relief of infections linked to the cold. In addition to its possible effects, the infusion helps to replace the fluids that are lost due to sweating.


  • 1/2 tablespoon of thyme (3 grams).
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chamomile (3 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • First, put half a tablespoon of thyme and chamomile in a saucepan with boiling water.
  • Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • After this, strain the infusion.
  • Consume up to 2 cups a day.
chamomile tea

2. Infusion of orange peels

The orange peel infusion provides the body with a significant amount of vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens defenses. In fact, according to information from US Food Data Central, just 1 tablespoon (6 grams) of orange peel provides 14% of the suggested daily value for vitamin C, almost 3 times more than the inner fruit.

Regarding this, a meta-analysis shared in BioMed Research International evaluated several studies in which an extra dose of vitamin C was administered in patients with flu-like symptoms. The results indicated that this supplementation reduced the duration of symptoms, the time spent at home while improving symptoms, and some associated symptoms, such as chest pain.


  • Peel of an orange.
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (15 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • First, chop the orange peel and boil it in a cup of water.
  • Now, let the drink rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain the infusion and add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten.
  • Consume up to 2 cups a day.

3. Yarrow infusion

As compiled in a review shared on Current Pharmaceutical Designyarrow has been used in traditional medicine as an adjuvant against fever. The authors explain that although its components have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, human trials to assess its effectiveness as a treatment are scarce. Therefore, its effectiveness is anecdotal.


  • 1 teaspoon dried yarrow (2 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • Boil a cup of water and add the dried plant.
  • Then, let it infuse and strain the drink.
  • Once it rests, consume it.
  • Drink 2 or 3 cups a day.

4. Elderberry infusion

Elderberry is a traditional remedy against fever and other symptoms of flu processes. As indicated by a study published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, the extract of this plant under in vitro conditions could help prevent the growth of certain types of streptococcal bacteria and influenza (flu) viruses.

The results in humans do not necessarily have to be similar, so more studies are necessary.


  • 1 teaspoon elderberries (2 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • Pour the elderberries into a cup of boiling water.
  • Let it cook for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat, and let it rest.
  • Strain the drink and consume it.
  • Drink 2 cups a day.

5. Fennel infusion

A study published in BioMed Research International, it is highlighted that fennel is an ethnic remedy widely used in infectious problems of bacterial, fungal, viral, and mycobacterial origin. Despite these uses (based on its antimicrobial activity in in vitro media ), clinical trials in humans are necessary to assess its effectiveness in fever.


  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel (4 grams).
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (15 grams).


  • First, let the water boil and add the 2 teaspoons of fennel.
  • Put the heat on low and leave the mixture for about 3 more minutes.
  • After this time, turn off the heat and wait for it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Sweeten with honey (optional).
  • Drink up to 2 cups a day.

Tips for the safe consumption of remedies to reduce fever

Remedies to reduce fever and discomfort are usually safe for most people. However, the fact that they are natural does not exempt them from causing side effects, especially in those who have a special condition. Therefore, it is better to avoid its intake in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Prediagnosed chronic diseases (cancer, kidney or liver failure, cardiovascular diseases, etc.).
  • Drug treatments. Any type of drug could cause interactions: antidiabetics, antihypertensives, anticoagulants, or even antipyretics (those used to calm fever, including paracetamol).
  • Upcoming surgeries.

All these cases should be consulted with the doctor first. He will be the person in charge of authorizing or not authorizing its consumption.

What should be avoided in case of fever?

Some actions can make fever episodes worse. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid them. This covers the following:

  • Dress too warmly, even if there are chills.
  • Use very warm bedding.
  • Being in very high temperatures or using the air conditioning.
  • Consume antibiotics without a prescription (also applies to other medications).
  • Do strenuous physical activity.

When to consult the doctor?

Given the negative connotation that fever has had throughout history, many consider it to be a reason for medical consultation. However, as we have mentioned, it is a natural defense mechanism of the body that, in most cases, improves on its own without the need for medications.

Consultation with a professional should be reserved only for those cases of fever that are too high (39ºC or more) or persistent. Also if the fever occurs simultaneously with other symptoms such as the following:

  • Rashes.
  • Neck stiffness.
  • Dehydration.
  • Seizures.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Dizziness
  • Inappetence.

In addition to the above, consultation is essential if there is already a prediagnosed disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, among others. If so, the doctor must evaluate whether the origin of the febrile episode is a complication of the disease.

Is it possible to reduce fever without medication?

In short, fever can almost always be reduced without medication and only with self-care measures. Some natural remedies are useful against discomfort, although more evidence is required. In any case, it is advisable to ensure hydration and a good diet to strengthen defenses. If the symptom worsens or persists for many days, a doctor’s intervention is essential. The professional will determine the best treatment, depending on the origin of the fever.