Essential Oils for Fever

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

When a person has a fever or high fever, the person’s body is fighting an infection or a virus. Usually, people experiencing fever often complain about physical discomfort throughout their body. Usually, fevers are not that dangerous and would go away after a few days of bedrest and medication. However, age, current physical condition and the cause of the fever may lengthen the situation and it might be necessary to bring the patient to the hospital for additional treatment. Fever may also trigger other problems, which can be potentially perilous if not treated immediately.

For infants and children, fevers can be dangerous, especially if the fever reaches above 104F and other symptoms are reported. If the fever reaches at this stage, it can be a sign of a life-threatening infection or disease.

Since patients – both young and old – would often complain about discomfort throughout the time they are sick, it is important to find ways to reduce the fever without becoming reliant on medication. While researchers believe reducing fevers only cause the infection to stay longer in the body than necessary, home remedies can help alleviate the discomfort felt by the patient.

One of the most popular home remedies available for fever are essential oils.

Essential oils, also known as aromatic oils or ethereal oils, come from plants and possesses a trace of the plant’s scent. Usually, these oils are extracted through steam distillation; but, in recent years, new methods were discovered such as resin tapping, expression, and solvent extraction.

If you want to try out essential oils to alleviate your loved ones’ fever or your own, here are the essential oils you need to check out.

1. Peppermint

Grand Peppermint oil Recipe

Peppermint has the capacity to clear the respiratory and circulatory system thanks to its menthol component. Once the warmth brought by oils kicks in, it will help the patient breathe properly. Peppermint also has the capacity to help reduce sinus pains and cough, as well as nasal congestion.

Peppermint can also trigger sweating by introducing warmth in the body. Once sweating occurs, it can help reduce the body’s temperature and help treat fever.

You can massage the oil on the patient’s chest to help them breathe properly. Keep applying it until the patient’s breathing becomes better.

You can also mix peppermint with other essential oils to assist reducing the patient’s fever. One of the most popular combos you can try out is peppermint and eucalyptus.

To do this blend, combine 2 drops of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil in a small container or a dish. Once properly combined, rub the oil on the patient’s forehead, neck, ear tips and the bottom of their feet gently. Constantly reapply the oils every 15 minutes until the temperature goes down.

Warning: Do not use peppermint oils on children under the age of 6 because its impacts may be too strong for them.  You can dilute the oil with the help of other essential oils or carrier oils to make it easier for the child to adjust to the warming sensation brought by the oil.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is known both as an effective febrifuge, or a fever reducer, and a sudorific, or a sweat inducer. Aside from these two key points, chamomile oil is also used to reduce skin irritation and as an anti-inflammatory remedy. 

Considering its qualities, using its oil is quite effective for children with fever. As the oil can trigger excessive sweating, it will help the body flush out the toxins and viruses from the body and lower the body’s temperature. The oil would also assist in relaxing the body from the stress brought by the fever.

You can add the chamomile oil into a bowl filled with warm water and use it as a sponge bath for the patient. Start sponging the patient from their neck then go down.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is often known as the “fever oil” due to the discovered fever-reducing qualities of the plant.  Similar to peppermint, eucalyptus has warming qualities that can help soothe the respiratory system and make it easier for a person to breathe.

Eucalyptus is often combined with other essential oils such as peppermint and lavender. If it is used for reducing a child’s fever, it is often combined with lavender oil and used as a compress.

If you wish to use it as a compress, combine 3 drops of eucalyptus oil and 2 drops of lavender oil in a bowl of water. Soak a clean towel or cloth on the water and squeeze the excess. Once that is done, place the cloth on the patient’s forehead and soak it again when it dries. Do this compress method three times per day for a week until the patient gets better. 

Warning: Do not use this oil for children under the age of 10 due to the scent of the oil.

4. Lavender

Lavender has been discovered to have calming qualities, making it a favorite ingredient in teas and medicine. If it is combined with eucalyptus oil, lavender oil can help calm and relax the patient. Lavender can also help reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, as well as the pain that comes with swelling.

If you will be using this oil for infants and small children, you can combine 3 drops of lavender oil with 3 drops of lemon into an ounce of carrier oil. Once combined, rub the oil unto the spine and feet of the young patient.

Note: You can spread the oil in other areas of the child’s body; however, you must remind your child or stop them from touching these areas and getting oil on their hands. When the oil is rubbed accidentally in the eyes, it can sting and difficult to remove. Using carrier oil will help dilute the essential oil so it would not irritate the child. 

5. Lemongrass

combine two drops of lemongrass oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil

Normally included in anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic medicines, lemongrass can also assist in reducing fevers and other symptoms caused by fever. In this case, the oil can help reduce body pains often felt when a person has a fever.

To use lemongrass oil for fever patients, combine two drops of lemongrass oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Once it is combined, rub the oil to the patient’s feet or in their temples to provide relief.

6. Holy Basil

Holy basil or basil is noted by some experts as one of the fastest ways to reduce a person’s fever. According to studies, holy basil has antipyretic qualities that help reduce or prevent the onset of fever. On one such study in India, it has been discovered through animal trials that it could reduce fever in animals which have complications such as diarrhea and others. The antibacterial properties of this herb can also help kill infections, which may have triggered the person’s fever in the first place.

Holy basil also comes with anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the swelling of certain parts of the body affected by the fever.

Many experts also cite that holy basil is quite safe to use because studies indicated that it does not have any side-effects to the person using.

To use holy basil oil, you can combine 5 drops of the oil with one teaspoon of carrier oil. Combine the oils in a jar or a dish and once you are finished, rub some drops on the patient’s neck and on their feet. Use it thrice a day for a few days until the fever has reduced.

You can also use diluted basil oil to trigger sweating. Apply the oil on the feet and spine of the patient and allow the oil to do it work. Once the patient starts sweating, the body’s temperature will easily dry the sweat and bring down the fever effectively.

7. Spearmint

Like eucalyptus and peppermint, spearmint is another popular essential oil that can be used for both cosmetic and medical properties. In terms of medicine, it has been discovered that it has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help with the infection that triggered the fever. It is also capable of reducing inflammation and body pains which can be attributed to the fever.

In order to use spearmint oil for fever, you can combine five drops of the oil to a bowl of water and add ice cubes. Soak a cloth into the water and wring it properly before pressing the cloth in the warm parts of the patient’s body. Do the same process three or four times every day until the fever is cured completely.

8. Clove/ Eugenol

Clove oil are known to have antiviral and antifungal properties that can help assist in treating a lot of illnesses. What makes this oil an effective essential oil for fever is due to the presence of eugenol, an antipyretic that can greatly drop a person’s temperature. It also does not have any side effects in the body when it is used unlike common medications for fever.

Using clove oil for fevers are more effective when they are used for compresses. Just add 5 drops of clove oil in a cold towel and use it as a compress. Keep replacing the towel every half an hour to let the clove oil work its magic.

9. Frankincense

Since time in memorial, frankincense has the capacity to help treat a lot of illnesses. For children, it has been used as a great fever reliever thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities. With regards to its side-effects, frankincense does not have any side-effects when it is used.

Frankincense oil can be used with cold water for sponge baths. Just add 5 drops of oil to a cup or so of cold water then use it for a sponge bath three times a day.

10. Sandalwood

Indian medicine often use sandalwood as one of the possible remedies for fever

Indian medicine often use sandalwood as one of the possible remedies for fever thanks to its antipyretic and sedative qualities. When it is used, it can both reduce the body’s temperature and reduce the discomfort brought by the fever.

Sandalwood is also discovered to have antibacterial properties, which can help remove the infection that caused the fever.

You can use sandalwood oil with olive oil to create a rubbing solution. Combine two drops of sandalwood and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a dish or jar. Once combined, rub some of the oil on the patient’s forehead and feet to help them experience relief. Keep using it until there is a noticeable difference in the patient’s disposition.

11. Black Cumin

Black cumin seeds are not very common in some countries, but, studies highlight that it has been used in the past as an antipyretic and anti-inflammatory remedy. It is also very cheap to purchase and it does not have any side effects once it is used.

Like other essential oils, black cumin seeds can be more effective when it is applied on the forehead in a compress. Just add 3 drops of oil on a cold towel and reapply the towel after 30 minutes. Keep doing this three to four times a day until the fever subsides.

12. Garlic

Garlic oil has been discovered to have active components

Garlic oil has been discovered to have active components that effectively combats viruses and dangerous pathogens in the body when it is used. It is also considered a great way to fight against influenza.

Combining garlic oils with other oils, such as olive and coconut oil, is also effective in reducing fevers. When it is combined, warm up the oil and rub it on the patient’s foot. Once the oil is rubbed completely on the foot soles, wrap the foot with plastic and leave it overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic, clean the patient’s feet and check their temperature. 

You can also add garlic oil in a cup of water and drink it similar to tea. Drink the mixture once a day until your patient feels better.

13. Cinnamon

Cinnamon oil can be extracted in either its bark or from its leaves. Regardless of where they were taken, both oils have the same medical properties that has been used for generations.

Studies indicate that cinnamon trees can help patients experiencing digestive and circulatory problems. Meanwhile, the leaves have anesthetic, antioxidant and antiseptic properties that helps in treating infections that triggers fever.

Similar to thyme, cinnamon oil can be used as a spray to prevent germs from spreading through the air. You can also blend cinnamon oil with other essential oils and used it as a massage blend to help relieve the symptoms of fever.

14. Tea tree

Tea tree essential oils have quite a lot of properties similar to the leaves it has. According to studies, it has high levels of antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce the infection in the body which caused the fever to occur. It can also work well as a disinfectant to help kill the virus in the air or in various surfaces.

You can use tea tree extract oils to combat fever by massaging the oil in the patient’s chest and foot soles. You can also use it as a diffuser to disinfect the room from other viruses that can prolong the fever.

15. Rosemary

Rosemary is actually used mostly as a cooking herb and as a great aromatherapy ingredient. However, it has been discovered that rosemary has a high camphor content that is great in assisting patients with fever, flu, nausea and those with circulatory problems.

Rosemary can be used as an air spray to prevent the infection from spreading. You can also use it as a non-toxic cleaner to wipe surfaces touched by the patient.

Warning: Do not use this essential oil to treat the fevers or ailments of people with epilepsy because camphor can seizures. Pregnant women should also not use this essential oil to reduce their fever due to

16. Oregano

Oregano Oil

For many, oregano is mostly used for cooking. However, oregano has been discovered to have antiviral properties that makes it a great remedy for coughs, sore throats and even fever.

Using oregano oil can be done in several ways. The first way is by dropping a few drops of oregano oil under the patient’s tongue. Let the oil sit in for a bit before allowing the patient to swallow. This will help the patient feel better, especially if they are experiencing cold symptoms.

Another method wherein oregano oil can be used to alleviate fever is by using it as a diffuser or massage oil. Simply combine 2 drops of oregano, 2 drops of other essential oils that you prefer and add it with 4 tablespoons of carrier oil. Get a small amount of the mixture and massage it on the forehead, temple and neck of the patient.

17. Thieves

Thieves is actually a combination of five different essential oils such as cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, clove and rosemary. When it is combined, it has a great antiviral capability that can help kill bacteria and other viruses that causes fever and other ailments.

To use it as an anti-fever oil, combine several drops of thieves to a bottle of purified water and shake well. Once shaken, spray the air conditioning unit or the fan to allow the mixture to cover the entire room and disinfect it.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.