In the midst of an emergency, few people turn to natural healing. Most run immediately to the medical doctor. Medical doctors do very well with handling emergencies, but is there a natural way to heal acute situations? If we knew how to handle most emergencies at home with herbs and natural remedies, we would save ourselves much time and money. But, let's get real, Dr. Foster - after all, aren't herbs just for helping to recover from colds faster, or to lose weight, or to get more energy - I mean, they don't really do anything life-changing, do they?
You might be quite surprised at my response. I have dealt with many emergencies using only herbs, essential oils or other natural healing techniques. But before we begin, let's define "emergency." For some people, an emergency means running out of beer in the middle of a party. For others, it can mean getting diagnosed with a terminal illness. To the medical doctor, an emergency means an acute, life-threatening situation such as a very high fever, kidney stones, gallstones, a severe asthma attack, severe bleeding, severe trauma, severe diarrhea or vomiting, diabetic coma, a stroke, a heart attack, appendicitis, a seizure, or bone fractures.
Let's take each of these situations one by one to see what natural healing has to offer.
High Fever: one of the worst things to do for a fever is to suppress it. Suppressing a fever, as many doctors can attest to, merely prolongs the infection, since the purpose of a fever is to activate the immune system and to raise the temperature to a higher point at which germs cannot survive. When a fever is suppressed with aspirin or other medication, the immune system slows down. The immune system is exactly what is needed to fight germs - specifically, the macrophages and the T-cells, and the natural killer cells (your white blood cells). These cells kill many microbes, and even absorb them, releasing their germ-killing enzymes (such as lysozymes) on the inside of their cells. Another type of white blood cells, the B cells, produce antibodies, which attach to the harmful microorganisms and neutralize or kill them. Stopping or slowing down the immune system will allow the germs to grow and reproduce even more.
what about the risk of seizures, you ask?
Aren't I being irresponsible for not suggesting that people immediately take a fever medication so that they or their children won't develop seizures? Actually, for most fevers, just taking more fluids in will lower it, without ever having to resort to fever-suppressing medications. At the first sign of a fever, the best thing to do right away is to stop eating - STOP EATING AND IMMEDIATELY FILL THE BODY WITH FRESH JUICES. This will accomplish 2 things - one: it will flood the body with liquids, which will automatically take down the temperature, and two: it will provide nutrients in a form that does not require any energy for digestion. The act of digestion releases heat that adds to a fever. Normal metabolism always releases some heat, but digestion of solid foods releases a substantial amount. The last thing people want to do when they're sick is to use 1/3 of their body's energy to digest food. The enzymes available from raw juice will help add to the body's enzyme pool, which will enable it to produce more metabolic enzymes. These metabolic enzymes are then going to clean up toxic waste in the body - the very waste that caused the infection which caused the fever. The juicing regimen I am talking about involves drinking at least 1 gallon or more per day of liquids. For more information about juicing, see article on juice fasting.
Most people are dehydrated for many reasons which are all too familiar - the drinking of caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks) and alcohol (beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, etc.) instead of pure water and juices. A dehydrated body heats up faster. It is almost like expecting an engine to run without any water in the radiator to take away the heat. The body, when it metabolizes nutrients, produces heat. The very act of living and breathing produces heat. When people are dehydrated, it is much easier to get a fever and much easier for it to rise. One of the first things that happens on admission to a hospital is that doctors hook people up to an I.V. Doctors know that half the battle in many situations is just getting fluids in the body. For more information about what problems dehydration can cause, read the book, Your Body's Many Cries For Water. Taking water internally for a fever is even more important than taking a cold shower, but I would do both if I had a high fever.
The next thing to do is to get as much waste out of the body as possible by taking an enema. Although I am not in favor of regular enemas, for emergencies, they are unparalleled in their ability to stabilize the body and draw out toxins in a state of acute infection. Sometimes, this step alone has been known to take away a fever. For high fevers, one can even use use cold water to help bring them down. Although it's a life-saving technique, the cold water can feel a bit shocking.
There are many causes for fevers, and it is important to know what the cause is so that you know how to act. It can be as simple as a tooth infection, sinus infection, the flu, bronchitis, or it can be the indicator of more serious conditions such as cancer, colitis, a severe vaccine reaction, AIDS, or an autoimmune disorder such as lupus. For most situations, a potent Echinacea-based tincture or the Germ Blaster has worked wonders. I used this formula on one man who had such a high fever, he was delirious (it was about 104 degrees F) along with flooding his body with carrot juice and other fluids and an herbal laxative to move his bowels. Because this was my first experience in dealing with a high fever, I stayed with him for several hours with a strong tincture of Lobelia on hand, since I knew it would stop a seizure if it happened. It never happened. The next day, he woke up without a fever, feeling fine and wanting to go to work. At the end of his work day, he forgot he had been sick. This is how fast a fever can go down if one works WITH the body instead of against it.
Essential oils can also help bring the body temperature down, the most notable one is Peppermint Essential Oil, I take 1 or 2 drops in a glass of water, and find that it gives me a cooling sensation all the way down to my stomach. Peppermint is a cooling herb, and many people have noted its ability to take down fevers in many cases. Pure high quality essential oils are highly antibacterial and antiviral, making them an excellent choice to use during infections. Essential oils such as Oregano, thyme, and Mountain Savory are oils that I have found very useful in helping with strengthening the immune systeme and fighting acute infections. To use essential oils, rub them - one drop at a time (they are highly concentrated!) on the bottoms of the feet, directly on the part of the body that is ill (except for inside ears and eyes) or diffuse them into the air with a diffuser. The quicker you act, the quicker the problem goes away. I cannot emphasize this enough. For a person who has just gotten ill, acting immediately may result in an infection lasting a few hours. Acting after a couple of days may result in an infection lasting for a week. This is why it is so important to keep an herbal/essential oil "medicine chest" stocked with natural remedies to use in emergencies so that you do not have to wait for days for them to arrive after you have ordered them.
Another remedy to use to deal with a fever is to use a Kneipp therapy. This routine involves rubbing the entire body down with a hand towel soaked in solution of half VERY COLD organic apple cider vinegar and half VERY COLD water for a few minutes every hour on the hour until the fever breaks. Usually how this occurs is that after a few hours of this, the person will sweat profusely, breaking the fever. VERY cold water stimulates the circulation, which in sickness is usually slowed down. If the circulation were perfect, there would be no illness and no need for the body to produce a fever.
There should be enough ideas to help in cases of fever. Any one of these remedies has worked by itself, but if one doesn't work, I would keep adding more on until the fever breaks. Of course, if you have any doubts as to your ability to handle a high fever, you can always resort to the emergency room or your doctor. Watch for the continuation of this article - healing acute kidney stones naturally.
"Every Acute Disease Is Not Destructive, Not An Enemy To Be Dreaded, But A Friend And Helper If Properly Treated" - Henry Lindlahr, MD