First one, then the other of my little ones got hot! Both had fevers that went up pretty significantly. Enough to make my mama alarm bells go off. It's hard to remember that really, fevers are our friends. Fever simply represents our bodies normal response to killing off the virus that is invading our bodies. Raise the temperature of the body, and the virus will eventually die off.
Since both of my kids are over one month old (in which case you should go to the doctor if temp is over 100.4 degrees F), I took a deep breath and did what I could to make them comfortable. Nothing quiets those alarms bells like action. I brewed tea. I made them rest. The herb fairy came and sprayed lavender hydrosol and put cool washcloths with peppermint essential oil on their little foreheads to calm them. All the time pushing fluids, fluids, fluids. My herbal ally in this fight: Yarrow. Here's the breakdown:
Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
Common Names: Yarrow, Milfoil
Description: Stem is angular and rough. Alternate leaves, 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch broad, clasping the stem at the base, bipinnatifid, the segments very finely cut, giving the leaves a feathery appearance. Flowers white, like tiny daisies, in flattened, terminal, loose heads, or cymes. The whole plant is more or less hairy, with white, silky appressed hairs.
Habitat: Grows everywhere, in the grass, in meadows, pastures, and by the roadside throughout N. America and Europe. Horticulture varieties of various color are cultivated widely, but are not as potent.
Blooms: June to September
Uses: Diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic. Translation: Yarrow helps to raise the body temp enough to break a fever, it can help arrest bleeding, has antibacterial properties, and can even help repel bugs. The whole plant can be used.
Truth be told, this one can taste a little bitter. So I made a tea blend with other fever-supporting herbs like peppermint, elder blossoms, lemon balm, and even catnip. My kids drank loads of this tea, sweetened with a bit of honey. Heck, they even bathed in a strong infusion of Yarrow, which brought considerable relief as it opened up their pores.
Eventually they cooled down and perked up. My mama alarm bells stopped ringing. And as of this beautiful sunny morning, the world has stopped spinning quite so rapidly.