In 2013, a team of researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine published a paper called “Fever Literacy and Fever Phobia" in Clinical Pediatrics.1
Is it really best to feed a fever and starve a cold? Eating homemade chicken soup, rich in gelatin, amino acids, and minerals, and fermented foods, made with the Veggie Culture Starter, may be just what the doctor ordered.
A fever is a temperature over 100.4 Fahrenheit (38.0 Celsius).
It turns out that zero percent of parents and caregivers could correctly define a fever. And 93 percent of participants believed that high fever could cause brain damage.
Researchers report that for a “comfortable-appearing child with fever:”
Other studies on “fever phobia” report that over one third of parents and caregivers administer antipyretics inappropriately.2
What many people do not realize is that a fever is the result of the immune system fighting off viruses, bacteria, and yeast. A high fever slows down invading bugs so your immune system can try to regain control. Research shows that fever-reducing drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may increase rhinovirus shedding and make symptoms worse.3 Children with chickenpox that received fever-reducing drugs had lesions for a longer amount of time.4
One natural way to reduce discomfort while a fever runs its course is to make lemon socks:
Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of Deep Nutrition and nutritionist to the Los Angeles Lakers, explains in her book that a high-sugar diet weakens the immune system, changing “the surface markers your white blood cells need to distinguish between indigenous cells from invaders.”5
She points out that sugar forms a special cross-link with protein called an advanced glycation end product, or AGE. AGEs muddy the surface of cells, blocking receptors and slowing down performance. While white blood cells need glucose—or sugar—to fuel their activity and survive, research tells us that excess sugar is toxic to immune function.6
Sugar can prolong an illness by feeding the invading bacteria or virus.
Researchers at Nebraska Medical Center agree. In 2000, a group of researchers published a study confirming that chicken soup has an “anti-inflammatory effect” and may relieve symptoms of upper respiratory infection.7 Chicken soup is easy to digest. When made from scratch, it contains minerals, amino acids, and gelatin — all nutrients that your gut and immune system need to function optimally.
According to Chinese medicine, chicken is sweet, warming, and supportive of energy levels.
When making chicken soup, we suggest:
Hearty strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast work to replenish the inner ecosystem and force out pathogenic bugs that may be causing illness.
Don't be too quick to reach for the medicine the next time your child has a fever. Roughly one third of parents and caregivers administer such medicines inappropriately. Fever-reducing drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen may even make some symptoms worse, according to researchers.
Try 4 helpful tips to support your body during flu season this year:
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