Fever Free With Ayurveda
Within Ayurveda fever is a well-documented condition and is categorised by the body temperature exceeding its norm and so disrupting the regular functions of the systems.
Ayurveda believes that it is caused by a disruption in one or each of the body’s doshas or the energy fields within the body and if not attended to speedily may cause damage with other regions of the body.
Ayurveda classifies fevers into several distinct categories which range from parasitically induced, of internal and external origin, or mentally (encephalitis) and seasonally triggered origin.
Symptoms of most fevers include bodily chills, stiffness of the limbs and body, aching muscles, interrupted digestion, an inflammation of the throat, decreased appetite, headaches and a raised body temperature.
Aggravated digestive fire or agni (as it is known in Ayurveda) leads to various types of digestive disorders which, in turn, inhibits or blocks the channels of the body and results in further blockages of digestive fire and nutrient delivery in various bodily systems and tissues leading to the onset of a fever.
According to Ayurveda fevers transpire when our digestive fire (Agni) and its associated digestive toxic byproducts (Ama), which are usually located only in the gastrointestinal tract are displaced due to the aggravated and disrupted doshas, and spill over into the lymphatic system and bloodstream. Circulation of these toxins throughout the body causes the typical symptoms of fever such as high temperature and heaviness of the limbs.
Because of the circulation of the toxins within the body, the three doshas become further aggravated and disrupted and more toxic byproducts are filtered into the bloodstreams circulatory system.
Three Basic Fever Breakers
When ideal body temperature is supplemented with the heat of aggravated agni and misplaced ama, the body temperature rises and this causes symptoms of fever. When trying to counteract a bout of high body temperature Ayurveda recommends adhering to these three basic actions, firstly the patient should be given an easily digestible diet, comprising mainly of liquids, they should undergo complete body rest and not exert themselves in any way and should be cooled down externally with a sponge or a damp cloth dipped in cold water.
Ayurvedic Fever Fighters
Within the ancient medical system that is Ayurveda, it is emphasized that fever gains a foothold due to toxicity in the rasa dhatu which is essentially the bodies system of vital tissues. Ayurveda lists various particular ways for managing a fever which we discuss below.
One of the primary methods of dealing with fever through Ayurveda is by fasting. It is a fact that fasting strengthens the immune system and eliminates toxins from the body. Fasting clears the bodily channels and flushes out any residual toxic or ama. Strong people with an otherwise healthy constitution who contract a fever can undergo a fast for up to three days without consuming any food items, they will, however, need to maintain or increase their intake of fluids.
Whereas people who already have a weakened or frail of constitution need to and adhere to a light diet including plenty of liquids such as vegetable broths, ginger water and cinnamon tea. Both Ginger water and Cinnamon tea alleviate the aggravated tridoshic system and help to improve appetite when taken.
Sweat it out
Combating fever caused by a viral infection is fairly easily done. A suffering individual should regularly consume a simple yet spicy tea such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamon or Marsala to induce sweating. Alternatively, they should be covered with a blanket and kept warm enough to cause the body to sweat. As most viruses can only survive and reproduce or multiply at a particular temperature, raising the body’s internal temperature to above the norm will inhibit the virus reproducing and eventually kill it off altogether due to exposure to an inhospitable climate. Once the viral infection has been killed off the body temperature will return to normal.
Once the body temperature has returned to normal the person who was recently affected by fever should adhere to a light diet for a period of at least two to three week. The diet should include three balanced meals a day mainly consisting of lightly cooked vegetables and fruits. It is also important at this time for the patient to keep their intake of fluids steady.
After the fever has completely broken the patient is advised to undertake a detoxification program. This would usually entail a course of panchakarma, although a monitored home detox would also work. This will rid the body of any residual ama or toxins and strengthen the digestive system. Also, it will reduce any chances of the fever reoccurring.