Grandma was right. Sweating out a fever is an effective way to get well faster. It’s highly uncomfortable, but allowing a fever to do its job…and even encouraging it…actually improves immune function.
Most of us, when we catch the flu or other illness that causes a fever, reach for something to bring it down. We’ve been taught that since childhood. Sweating it out went the way of many other old fashioned remedies that are now making a comeback.
There are several ways of inducing sweat, but if you have the flu, your choices are much more limited. A workout is not going to be in your best interest, even if your body would let you do it.
The two that work the best do so even better in tandem. One is to wrap up warmly. I know you’re already hot and it doesn’t feel good, but it’s in a good cause. The second is herbal in nature.
Many herbs can induce sweating, but the one that I use most often is cinnamon. It’s readily available, either in teabags at the supermarket or in stick form in your spice rack. That makes it a lot easier for most people to have access. My recommendation is one cup per hour until the fever comes down. I’ve seen it happen within a very short period of time.
It is extremely important that you follow the process properly. You must stay wrapped up, especially once the sweating starts. Not doing so could make matters worse. Stay in the blankets and wrapped in your robe until your temperature is down. Then, wait until the sweating stops before unwrapping. That may take a bit longer, but getting a chill on top of the flu isn’t helpful.
There are always caveats to home remedies, and they definitely apply here. Always consult your doctor before using an herbal remedy, particularly if you are sick. Cinnamon has been known to drop blood sugar levels, so diabetics and those with hypoglycemia should use caution.
If you have underlying health problems, pregnancy in particular, see the doctor before doing any home remedies. You are at higher risk for complications, and waiting could wind up life threatening. Depending on the flu strain, pregnant women tend to be at higher risk than most other medical conditions. H1N1 was particularly devastating.