When I was a young girl my grandmother was my source of all information about survival and learning “good sense.” She told me stories in such a way as to teach me things which became more important as time passed.
I remember when she explained “running a false fever.” This method of healing was for grown people, not for babies. She explained, when we feel sick with the flu or cold, either bacterial or viral, our body is triggered by the “enemy” (antigens) to get our immune system working in high gear to defend us against the illness. If the problem affects our whole body traveling throughout our bloodstream (not just a small wound in one area) our immune system will begin to raise our body temperature from the normal 98.6 to maybe 100 and even higher.
She explained that our body uses this higher temperature, sometimes going as high as 104, to sort of “cook” the bacterial or virus to get rid of it like scalding milk on the stove. It made perfect sense to me at ten years old!
Then there might be times we would feel sick with muscle aches and bone pains, when we needed to go to bed, but our temperature was only showing 101 fever. This was considered a “low grade fever.” The problem, she explained, was this may not always be high enough to get the job of eradication of the invader accomplished. The fever was too low to “cook” the invader, yet still enough to make us miserable.
She taught me how to help the body’s immune system raise our temperature higher, like maybe up to 102 or even 103. This extra heat might target the enemy and possibly kill these microorganisms which were making us so sick.
The ways to do this included taking a nice hot bath, to make us REALLY warm. Maybe we drank a shot of alcohol, like whiskey (they used to say “hot toddy”) then put on warm pajamas and got into the bed with extra covers on. Time to “hunker down!” By getting toasty warm, we were ramping up our body temperature to get a fever high enough to finish off the illness. Usually this worked within several hours or maybe overnight. Finally, we would break out in a huge sweat with water rolling down our face and neck. This was a sign the fever had killed the bacteria or flu and the sweating was to bring our body temperature back down to normal. She said, the “fever has broken.”
Most people who don’t understand why we run a fever in the first place, will try to make it go away by taking Aspirin, or NSAIDs (like Ibuprophen, Motrin or Aleve). Grandma said this was defeating our body’s immune system from succeeding and protecting us.
Grandma’s way of “running a false fever” often worked to make the patient get well much faster, even within a day or so. You can control the temperature from going too high (over 104) by taking a cool shower. You are in control of your temperature to assist in taking it high enough to heal you, and then bring it back down as soon as the job is done. A cold sweat is a sign the war is over. Time to get up, shower and get back to work.
I believe this might possibly be the problem with COVID-19. We’re told people are running a slight fever or “low grade fever” in the beginning, maybe even weeks, yet possibly never really high enough to kill the illness. If the sick person takes NSAIDS or Aspirin to make the fever go down, they have neutralized their own body’s immune system, instead of helping it get the job done.
Could Grandma’s theory really work for COVID-19? If I get this virus, you can bet I’ll be “running a false fever!”
By Sandra Lemire August 30th, 2020
About the Author: Sandra
I am a professional non-fiction writer, author of 5 books, plus 40 years of writing articles, short stories, research projects, microbiology studies as well as lecturing during those 40 years. I also have fully been engaged in being an entrepreneur having started nine businesses, including corporations, a sole proprietorship and an LLC. I also developed and produced approximately 20 products in the cosmetic industry, sold worldwide, most of which are still on the market today. I'm a born self-taught scientist, with a love of animals, people and health issues. Teaching and mentoring is the result of my passions to share many lessons with others who may benefit from them.
These Blogs are offered as the personal opinions, experiences and views of Sandra Turner Lemire with the addition of certain “links” gleaned from the internet and willing contributors. There is no presumption of expertise by any of these, and all readers are advised to rely on their own research and team of advisers for any decisions or actions on their own behalf. Remember that information is always in flux, especially from the Internet and links.