Oh, the dreaded fever! That hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies the onset of a cold, flu, and COVID-19. It's as if your body has turned into a sauna, and you're left wondering whether you should reach for that trusty fever reducer like Tylenol or Theraflu. But what if I told you that sweating it out might just be the hero your immune system needs? Yes, you heard me right – embrace the sweats, for they are a crucial part of your body's defense mechanism.
In the realm of Chinese medical theory, there's an age-old wisdom that advises letting your fever run its course. It might sound counterintuitive, but trust me, there's a method to this madness. The basic principle here is to encourage sweating – the more, the better. Sweating is like your body's way of saying, "Hey, let's kick out those pesky invaders!" The goal is to "release the exterior," which essentially means opening up your pores and allowing yourself to sweat it out.
Now, I get it. Sweating profusely might not be the most pleasant experience, and I'm not suggesting you endure unnecessary discomfort. But before you reach for that Tylenol to lower your fever, consider the wisdom behind letting your body do its thing.
Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of why sweating it out can be your secret weapon against infections, including COVID-19. You see, fever is not just an inconvenience – it's a meticulously orchestrated defense mechanism that has evolved over time to help your body combat those nasty intruders. Fever is part of what scientists call the "acute phase response." It's a regulated increase in body temperature that has far-reaching benefits in the battle against infections.
What does modern western medicine have to say about this?
Eastern and Western medicine agree on this: When your body heats up during a fever, it's not just causing you discomfort – it's also supercharging your immune cells. Fever serves as their power-up, enhancing their ability to tackle the pathogens head-on. The heat generated by the fever also acts as a direct attack on the invaders, while stressing out infected cells. It's like a one-two punch that leave the bad guys reeling.
Check out summary of a 2020 research article, "Let Fever Do Its Job: The Meaning of Fever in the Pandemic Era" to see how this ancient wisdom is backed up with modern science. The researchers emphasize that fever isn't just a side effect of infection; it's a deliberate defense strategy that has evolved for a reason. Observational trials have even suggested that letting a fever run its course can lead to better survival outcomes, and randomized trials haven't shown clear benefits of fever reduction in infected patients.
So, here's what you can naturally do to harness the power of fever and help your body fight off infections:
Sweat it Out: Take a hot bath until you start to sweat. It might sound simple, but it's an effective way to "release the exterior" and help your body's defense mechanisms kick into high gear. Alternatively, wrap yourself in warm blankets until you start to sweat.
Stay Hydrated: Drink ginger or mint tea to support your body. Both herbs have the medicinal quality to “release the exterior”, help fevers, and induce a bit of a sweat to help the body fight off germs.
Consider Herbal Support: Traditional Chinese medicine offers Yin Qiao San and Gui Zhi Tang as potential remedies to support your body's immune response at the earliest phase. Consult your herbalist for guidance on how to incorporate these into your home health medicine cabinet to be prepared for your next cold or flu.
Remember, if your fever becomes too uncomfortable or reaches a high level, it's absolutely okay to take fever reducers like Tylenol. Your comfort and safety should always be a priority. However, letting your fever run its course, within reason, can be a valuable strategy in allowing your immune system to do its job effectively.
So, the next time you find yourself sweating it out during a Covid, a cold or flu, remember that those beads of sweat are like warriors in your body's fight against invaders. Embrace the fever, let it run its course, and watch your body put on a display of natural defenses that even modern science supports. Your immune system has got this – all it needs is a little help from you and a willingness to let those sweats flow.