One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A medicine used to reduce fever.
- ‘The traditional use of stem bark as a febrifuge in relapsing fevers was confirmed as an extract of stem bark reduced pyrexia in comparative biological tests.’
- ‘It is diaphoretic, febrifuge (gets rid of fevers), emetic (in large doses), and laxative.’
- ‘Today garlic is still used as a febrifuge to assist fevers.’
- ‘The leaves of bael are astringent, a laxative, a febrifuge and an expectorant and are useful in ophthalmia, deafness, inflammations, catarrh, diabetes and asthmatic complaints.’
Late 17th century: from French fébrifuge, from Latin febris ‘fever’ + fugare ‘drive away’. Compare with feverfew.
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