12 Effective Essential Oils for Fever & How to Use Them

Fever is a temporary rise in the body temperature.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not an illness but is actually a symptom [1, 2].

A person is said to have a fever if his or temperature goes above 37.5 degrees C (99.5 degrees F) [3].

There are other ailments that can come along with fever. These can be a pain in different parts of the body. For children, fever can even trigger febrile seizures. If it does so then it is worrying, to say the least. On the other hand, for adults, symptoms like vomiting, a splitting headache can be worrying as well along with the fever. However, fever is a good thing too. It is because it is the body’s way of fighting off bacteria and viruses that cause infections inside the body [4].

Apart from rise in body temperature, fever has other accompanying symptoms such as chills, sweating, headache, and muscle pain [5].

It is in the hypothalamus or the “body’s thermostat” where fever is said to take place. This part of the brain is in charge of regulating the body temperature [6].

When you have a fever, it means that the body is trying to combat diseases like common cold, flu, cough, tonsilitis, ear infection, chickenpox, urinary tract infection and so on [7, 8].

Once you’ve resolved whatever it is causing the fever, your body temperature will go down immediately.

So, if you’d like to lower the fever, you can try using these essentail oils which have been proved as both safe and effective. Lowering fever will not only make you less prone to having a febrile seizure but also make you feel better.

In the following article, we will read about:

  • 12 essential oils, and,
  • How they can be used in reducing fever.

1. Holy Basil

One of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce fever is with holy basil.

Holy basil has been proven in several studies to have potent antipyretic properties [9, 10].

Indian researchers who conducted a series of animal trials noted that holy basil reduced fever in rats with typhoid and diarrhea [9].

They also confirm holy basil’s anti-inflammatory actions for both acute and chronic inflammation [9].

The ability of this herb to lower body temperature is similar to that of aspirin but the difference is that in holy basil, there are no adverse effects even after long term use [10].

This means that you can use this remedy for a long time, and you don’t have to worry about putting your health at risk [10].

Moreover, it is a proven antibacterial that can kill infection-causing microbes, which may be a possible reason for the fever [11].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of holy basil oil
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Blend oils in a glass jar with a lid.
  2. Cover the jar with its lid.
  3. Shake to mix.
  4. Put a few drops on the back of your neck and on the bottom of your feet.
  5. Repeat remedy three times a day for three to five days.

2. Peppermint

headache-how-to-get-rid-peppermint-oilThe oil of peppermint is extracted from a perennial herb that belongs to the Labiatea family [12].

It is usually colorless but with a tinge of yellowish or greenish yellow hue [12].

The most popular use for this medicinal oil is for treating irritable bowel syndrome, as indicated in various studies [13, 14, 15].

This isn’t all that it could do.

Peppermint’s cooling properties are also useful for toning down a fever [16].

It has been proven in scientific research to have significant antipyretic activities [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • Cold towel
  • 5 drops of peppermint oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put peppermint oil on cold towel.
  2. Put cold towel at the back of your neck.
  3. Repeat several times a day until temperature drops.

3. Spearmint

spearmint-benefitsAn aromatic herb commonly used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, spearmint is best known for its stimulant and carminative properties [18].

Its oil is derived from its leaves using a distillation process [18].

The extract has been found to have potent antiviral and antibacterial mechanisms [18].

It’s no wonder spearmint is also commonly used for treating a fever.

It kills the pathogens that may be causing the infection and the rise in body temperature [19].

In addition, it can also help reduce fever as well as ease pain and inflammation, according to a 2013 study [19].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bowl of water
  • Ice cubes
  • 5 drops of spearmint oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put ice cubes in the bowl of water.
  2. Soak a clean cloth into the water.
  3. Wring it to squeeze excess water.
  4. Gently press towel on warm areas of the body such as armpits and back of neck.
  5. Follow this technique three to four times a day until fever goes away.

4. Clove

nausea-clovesThe biological capabilities of clove oil abound.

This herb, which is a member of the Myrtaceae family, contains phenolics, monoterpenes and other substances that produce antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal effects, among many others [20].

As you can imagine, it can help fight a wide range of ailments.

It’s no surprise that many folk healers turn to clove for treating their ill patients.

The main compound in clove is called eugenol, which makes up 70 to 85 percent of its oil extract [20].

Eugenol has been proven to be a strong antipyretic, something that can be of great use for you if you’re suffering from fever [21].

It works in the same way as common medications prescribed for fever such as acetaminophen but the good thing about this natural approach is that it’s without adverse effects [21].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of clove oil
  • Cold towel

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add clove oil to cold towel.
  2. Put cold towel on your forehead.
  3. Do this throughout the day, replacing towel with a new one every half hour.

5. Frankincense

Some people would let fever resolve on its own.

Those who cannot tolerate the unpleasantness of having a fever can get relief from frankincense.

Frankincense has long been recognized for its wide array of benefits for the health.

In fact, it has been used since time immemorial to treat numerous health issues.

As it turns out, this oil is also a popular fever remedy particularly for children [22].

Many parents can attest that their children have felt better after being given with frankincense. There have been rare reports about adverse effects linked to the use of this oil.

Plus, there is sufficient evidence that frankincense has analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions that can help in this condition.

It doesn’t only provide relief from pain but can also tone down swelling, a common symptom of viral or bacterial infection [23, 24].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 cup of cold water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add frankincense oil to cold water.
  2. Give yourself a sponge bath using this mixture.
  3. Do this three times a day for up to one week.

6. Eucalyptus

India is described as the “botanical garden of the world” as it is the biggest producer of medicinal plants [25].

One of the most popular traditional Indian herbs used for treating a vast array of symptoms and illnesses is eucalyptus [25].

We all love eucalyptus for its minty aroma and cooling effect on the skin.

It’s also popular as a tool for relaxation, which is why aromatherapists often make use of this oil.

As if all these are not enough, eucalyptus is also an antipyretic [25].

This means that it can lower the body temperature and provide you with the comfort that you’ve been looking for.

This oil also possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate symptoms that usually come with fever [26].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 bowl of ice water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dissolve oils in cold water.
  2. Soak a cloth.
  3. Squeeze out excess water.
  4. Put cloth on top of your forehead.
  5. Soak again in water after a few minutes.
  6. Repeat procedure three times a day for one week.

7. Sandalwood

Another effective way to alleviate fever is with sandalwood oil.

Sandalwood is a traditional Indian herb known for its antipyretic and sedative activities [25, 27].

To put it more simply, sandalwood has the ability to tone down temperature of the body, and at the same time, ease pain and discomfort.

That’s not all.

Astringent and fever-reducing effects have been demonstrated by oil extracted from sandalwood [28].

In addition, it’s also an antibacterial that can combat one possible cause of fever [28].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of sandalwood oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put two oils in a glass jar.
  2. Shake to blend.
  3. Apply a small amount of forehead, temples and feet.
  4. Repeat several times a day until you get relief.

8. Lavender


Many people rely on lavender for alleviating anxiety and stress.

It can immediately soothe the nerves, relax the minds and make you forget all about stress.

Did you know that this oil could also work wonders for those with fever?

Lavender is traditionally used as an antipyretic, according to a 2015 review [29].

It can efficiently tone down body temperature and ease the discomfort that fever brings.

The extract from lavender leaves has also been found to possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties [30].

This can be beneficial for those who suffer from viral or bacterial infections since swelling and pain are two of its most common symptoms.

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 2 cups of cold water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put lavender oil in cold water.
  2. Using a cloth dipped in the water, give yourself a sponge bath from head to toe.
  3. Get another cloth and soak it in the water.
  4. Put this in your forehead.
  5. Repeat remedy twice a day until fever is gone.

9. Chamomile

Used in many parts of the world, chamomile is recognized as a potent anxiolytic, sedative and antispasmodic [31].

It is also relied upon for treatment of skin irritation and inflammation [31].

Its very long list of health benefits and uses doesn’t there.

Those who have fever can also feel much better after using chamomile.

Chamomile has antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects that have been well documented in research involving animal subjects [32].

Even though human trials are recommended to serve as stronger proof to these claims, many of those who have tried chamomile can attest to its efficacy for fever relief.

This is mostly due to the presence of a compound called bisabolol [32].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 bowl of cold water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add chamomile oil to water.
  2. Dip sponge and rub gently on body starting from the neck.
  3. Do this procedure twice or thrice daily until you feel better.

10. Black Cumin

muscle-pain-Black-Cumin-seedThe list won’t be complete without mentioning black cumin oil.

According to a study conducted by scientists from Saudi Arabia, black cumin has antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties [33].

Not only can this oil alleviate fever, it can also tone down pain and inflammation [33].

Like all the other essential oils mentioned in this list, black cumin is also a cheap, safe, and effective way to bring down temperature so you can feel better.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of black cumin oil
  • Cold towel

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour black cumin oil on cold towel.
  2. Apply on forehead.
  3. Re-apply after 30 minutes.
  4. Do this three to four times a day for one week.

11. Lemongrass

jock-itch-how-to-lemongrassA perennial grass that can be found in savannah and tropical regions, lemongrass is known for its wide range of practical uses [34].

The essential oil derived from its leaves is used in various industries—cosmetic, perfumery, culinary and pharmaceutical [34].

In Nigeria, traditional healers make use of this oil to lower body temperature and treat other symptoms that accompany fever [34].

Recently, scientists have tested the efficacy of an herbal formulation designed to treat malaria [35].

This product, which uses lemongrass oil as one of the key ingredients, has been proven effective in lowering fever [35].

In fact, it was found that it works in a similar way as paracetamol, a commonly prescribed antipyretic [35].

Apart from being an antipyretic, lemongrass oil is also an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and thus can provide relief from pain and at the same time alleviate swelling in any part of the body [36].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 to 4 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dilute lemongrass oil in olive oil.
  2. Pour a few drops on your forehead and back of neck.
  3. Massage these areas gently.
  4. Repeat remedy two to three times a day for one week.

12. Garlic

garlic-for-for-kidney-infectionMedicinal oils such as garlic contain active compounds that work against viruses, bacteria and other harmful pathogens that cause disease.

If you suffer from fever, you can use garlic to combat the underlying cause of this symptom.

Garlic is a proven antiviral and antibacterial, as reported in several studies [37, 38].

It’s highly effective in combating influenza virus, which is one of the most common causes of fever [37].

In a comprehensive review done by Indian scientists, garlic is listed as one of the most effective herbal remedies for fever [39].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of garlic oil
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour garlic oil.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Drink the concoction once a day until fever is gone.

So, apart from using garlic as a cooking item, you can easily use it garlic oil to reduce fever.

Fever is an ailment that is easy to cure. It does not take much time to go away on its own. However, using these 12 essential oils to reduce and cure fever is indeed helpful. You don’t have to let yourself suffer from the uncomfortable feeling of having a fever.

It is best to reduce body temperature using these essential oils for fever.


Q & A About Fever:

Q. Apart from home remedies, what specific medicines should I use to treat fever?
A. Generally speaking, fever may be treated using antipyretics drugs. These are usually known as acetaminophen or paracetamol in many countries. It is best recommended that adults can take aspirin for fever. However, children should never be given aspirin as it may harm their young body. Other drugs that can are alternate to paracetamol is ibuprofen and diclofenac.

Q. Does fever cause any type of seizure in children?
A. Yes. It sometimes does. It is known as febrile seizure.

Q. What is a febrile seizure?
A. Febrile seizure usually occurs in children who are 6 months to 6 years old. The reason it happens is because of the rapid change in the body temperature. As alarming as it may sound, it does not cause any brain damage thankfully. However, you should still be careful when giving your child a cool bath during fever, as it may cause the seizure to happen.

Q. When is fever a sign of an underlying serious illness?
A. Fever accompanied by other symptoms can be a sign of more serious illness. For example, if children are continuously vomiting along with the fever, then it is best to seek medical help as soon as possible. Also, fever lasting longer than three days means you should be worried.

On the other hand, for adults, running a fever of more than 103 F is alarming. Plus, if you are running that high fever for multiple days, then seek medical help immediately. It is because with this high fever along with a severe headache, unusual sensitivity to bright light can mean that there is an underlying medical condition that is worrying. So do not haste!



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