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The Top 6 Plants For Lowering Body Temperature

For thousands of years, plants have been used to reduce body temperature. Sometimes the purpose is to stop or reduce a fever. At other times, the reason is to make a person feel cooler, such as when the air temperature is high.

There are several ways that the plants cause the desired effect. For instance, a plant can have an effect on the autonomic nervous system, which controls body temperature, causing it to react by lowering the temperature of the body. The plant can also cause perspiration, which is the body’s natural way to lower its temperature. The plant might stimulate the immune system or function as an alternative to restore the body’s metabolism. Less often, the plant might even directly attack the cause of the fever, such as by antibiotic action.

It should be understood that a fever is a natural body reaction to disease and infection. Many viruses, bacteria, and microbes that cause illness die at temperatures slightly above body temperature, so by increasing the body temperature, the body is attempting to kill the cause of the infection. In fact, inflammations are often a mechanism the body uses to increase body temperature in a localized place to prevent infection from setting in.

With all of this in mind, many herbs that reduce the temperature don’t need to be used unless the temperature is far too high. Treating the cause of the increased body temperature is also preferable to treating the fever, which is a symptom. Still, there are a lot of plants that can be used to reduce body temperature and the following are just a few.


Willow is probably one of the best-known fever reducers. It is usually used in tea form, with the tea normally made from the inner bark or cambium. The reason it is effective for reducing fevers is because it contains salicin. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a man-made equivalent that was invented due to how well salicin in willow works. Aspirin has more side effects, though, and it tends to be much harder on the stomach. For this reason, some people who can’t take aspirin can use willow tea. Willow tea not only reduces fever, it relieves pain and is anti-inflammatory.

Although white willow (Salix alba) is most often used, virtually all types of willow and even cottonwoods and poplars contain salicin and can be used.

Note: There are high-quality but inexpensive tea balls on the market that are specifically designed for making herbal and other tea, even when the tea should be covered.


Among the many other uses of mint, such as for easing muscular pain, inflammations, and stomach aches, mint is also useful for lowering the body temperature, particularly with high fevers. Its usefulness is expanded, too. When added to iced tea, mint has a cooling effect that makes this a summertime favorite in many places.

Mints, in general, have the cooling traits, but peppermint and spearmint tend to be the strongest in action and they are the most used for medicinal purposes.


As the name implies, feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) has been used for a long time to treat fevers. This plant is useful for treating inflammations and localized feverish skin. Part of the reason it is useful for this is that it causes blood vessels and capillaries to relax and dilate, increasing blood flow. This also makes the plant mildly diaphoretic, which means that it encourages perspiration. Perspiration is the body’s natural response to high temperature and there is a cooling effect as the sweat evaporates from the skin.


It is likely that few people think about cucumber when they think about lowering body temperature, however, it is quite effective. Cucumber fruits contain substances that make a person feel cooler. The best part is that they can be eaten for the effect or they can be added to creams or lotions that are applied to the skin, for the same purpose. The fruit contains a lot of water and it is a natural moisturizer when used externally. It has even been known to smooth out wrinkles, which can make a person appear younger. In fact, cucumbers have a number of medicinal uses.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has been used for a very long time for its medicinal value. In fact, the genus name is a reference to Achilles, of the Trojan War fame. As legend has it, yarrow was used extensively on the battlefield by his men for staunching blood flow and eliminating fevers.

Yarrow grows wild in many places and it is quite easy to come by. It is also sold in health food stores. This plant contains salicin and promotes perspiration.


Although catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a kind of mint, it is deserving on its own as one of the best fever reducers. Usually consumed as a pleasant tea, catnip is strongly diaphoretic. This makes it very good for treating colds, flu, and the accompanying fever. Since it is widely sold in pet stores for cats, who seem to go crazy for the stuff, catnip is easy to acquire. It is also very easy to grow. It will spread due to the rhizomes, but it doesn’t do so as wildly as peppermint. Catnip can also be grown in pots.

This barely scratches the surface in regard to the plants that can lower a person’s body temperature. There are a great many more and they work in different ways. For example, the list of plants that are diaphoretic is extensive. Yet, we’ve not even mentioned three very commonly used diaphoretic plants; ginger, hot peppers, and wild mustard, all of which are well known for encouraging sweating.

Other plants cool the body in other ways. Yet all of these have additional health benefits. It is worthwhile for anyone to begin to learn which plants can have which desired healthful effects on their bodies. A person doesn’t need to be a gardener, health food fanatic, botanist or survivalist in order to take an active interest in and to gain knowledge about medicinal plants. There are a huge number of plants that can help just with reducing body temperature. Imagine what else you can learn just by being open to the idea that man-made medicines are not always the best thing you can take for any given illness.

Who is ready to learn more about plants? There is plenty of information out there if you are.


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Written by Rex Trulove