Suppressing Fevers

Fevers should only rarely be suppressed, for example in small children prone to febrile seizures, or a fever that continuously spikes over 104 degrees F for longer than 24 hours. If your body can mount a fever, the course of your viral illness is likely to be shorter. Sometimes people are too ill to mount a fever, and some help is required. You can also intensify your fever with the following two methods. The first method is easy and can be done alone. The second method requires the assistance of a loving friend and is not for the faint-of-heart. But it really works to burn out a viral bug!


  • Near bedtime prepare a warm bath, have water to drink and extra covers near your bed, and also have warm (ideally flannel) pyjamas and a pair of heavy wool socks on hand. Take a pair of clean cotton socks, wet thoroughly in plain water, wring out well and place in the freezer. Be prepared to go to bed after your bath. After the bath, dry off and get into warm PJs. Get your socks out of the freezer and draw them on while sitting on the side of the bed. Your feet should feel VERY COLD. Immediately pull on the wool socks on top of the cold cotton ones and get into bed, piling up extra blankets. The idea that your feet are so cold, your body raises its internal temperature. This will happen quite quickly. Ideally you would sweat, then fall asleep. Repeat up to twice daily as needed.
  • Similar to the method above, except you put a whole wet, wrung-out sheet in the freezer. After the bath, have a friend help roll you up in the frozen sheet. It will take at least 30 minutes to get a wet cotton sheet cold enough in the freezer. Then stretch it out on the floor over a layer of 2 blankets, lie on one edge and have your friend roll you up like some sushi. You should end up with your face up, needless to say. Have the floor blankets draped over you, and add an extra blanket if available. If you fall asleep on the floor, have your friend wake you up after an hour for a quick bath then return to bed.