Fever is the body's natural way of killing viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells.
However, fever still ineeds to be controlled as it can lead to brain damage and death if it gets too high.
But how high is high fever?
Easy (sometimes) to reduce high fever
By that time, I had alredy cleared out all the Paracetamols and other medications from my house. But I did not yet know how to treat myself naturally. I took out a book on natural home remedies and looked under "fever". A whole lot fever remedies, mostly herbal fever remedies, were listed. But I did not have the required herbs.
The only remedy listed there that I had was "cold wet towel". I took a face towel, wet it, wringed it slightly and placed it over my forehead. Surprise, surprise! Within about 10 minutes, my high fever subsided. Soon, I was back asleep.
Of course, it may not always be so easy and there are no guarantees that natural remedies will always work. But then, medical drugs do not come with guarantees either. In any case, that was an important encouragement for me. It gave me the confidence to experiment with more natural remedies.
Tofu plaster / Carp plaster
Apart from a cold wet towel, an ice pack is sometimes recommended for high fever. However, tofu absorbs heat readily and a tofu plaster can be even more effectve than an ice pack.
For very high fever, such as in the case of pneumonia, macrobiotic books on home remedies recommend a carp plaster. This is somewhat messy and I have not tried it before. But if your fever is really high and a tofu plaster cannot bring it down, you may want to try this.
Once the barley reaches a boil, you may add a pinch of sea salt. Also, you may squeeze in some lemon juice just before serving, to make a lemon barley drink. As a fever remedy, this is best taken warm but if just for enjoyment, a cool barley drink is refreshing.
Two types of barley can be used for this fever remedy - regular barley (which may be whole grain barley or refined barley) and "China barley" which is actually a different type of grain unrelated to the barley family. China barley is said to be better as a fever remedy but if you cannot find it, regular barley will do.
China barley is called hato mugi in Japanese, or Jobs tears in the West. It is a grain that grows wild as apparently it cannot be cultivated. So all of it is "organic". But the quality varies. Poor quality grains may have a slight armonia or "urine" smell, but this is very slight. Good grains have a nice fragrance.
Roasted barley tea
Similar to barley water - similar in concept although not in taste - is barley tea, or more specifically, roasted barley tea.
This is the standard drink served at Korean restaurants. It is made by roasting whole barley grains (I believe it is regular barley, but could well be hato mugi) until dark brown and then brewed into a tea.
Roasted barley tea tastes like weak coffee and is also effective as a fever remedy.
Apple Kuzu Drink
Kuzu, the starch of a gigantic man-sized root, is a useful ingredient to know and to have at home. Depending on how you look at it, kuzu is either expensive starch or cheap medicine.
As a starch, it can be used to thicken gravies and sauces. And although it is costly. only small amounts need to be used. For example, a teaspoon of kuzu starch can replace more than a tablespoon of corn starch.
Its main value, however, is in making a range of natural remedies, including this apple-kuzu drink that is particularly suitable for treating high fever in children. Apart from reducing high fever, kuzu gives an energy boost to children who are weak and lacking in energy and helps calm down children who are hyperactive. In addition, this apple kuzu drinks stimulate appetite and relieve constipation.
If the person has really high fever and barley water or apple-kuzu drink does not seem effective enough, then it is time to bring out one of the most potent high fever remedies (not counting the carp plaster above). This drink is so potent that you should take it slowly, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup each time. If you drink too much too fast, your high fever could well turn into a cold instead!
Apart from reducing high fever, this tea helps relax a contracted or tense condition. Taken on a regular basis, it also dissolves body fats and can be used to lower blood cholesterol levels as well.
Note: Shiitake mushrooms are different from Chinese black mushrooms in that shiitake have "cracks" on the cap whereas regular black mushrooms have just a black cap. I may be wrong about this, but my understanding is that in Chinese, regular black mushroom is called dong gu (winter mushroom) whereas shiitake is called either hua gu (flower mushroom) or xiang gu (fragrant mushroom). But a Wikipedia entry says all are variations of shiitake.
Anyway, this is how you make shiitake mushroom tea:
AS mentioned above, drink no more than 1/2 cup each time. Monitor the body temperature and drink again after a few hours if the fever persists.
Since fever is one of the main symptoms of the flu, you may also wish to visit my Flu Treatments website for more about high fever and the flu.