Food poisoning is a condition that results from the consumption of contaminated food, and while it is not usually serious, it causes great discomfort and interferes with day to day routines. Typically, affected persons do get better within a few days. It is important to know that food poisoning is caused by bacteria present in the contaminated food. The most common causes are E. coli and salmonella.
Food poisoning is accompanied by symptoms that include vomiting, loose stool which is sometimes accompanied by blood and/or mucus, body fatigue, stomach pains as well as chills. Some people will get feverish and may also lose their appetite. For the most part, the symptoms ease after a few days, and many people go on to recover well.
There are a number of home remedies that you can use to treat the condition. If, however, the food poisoning is accompanied by extremely severe symptoms, or when the symptoms do not pass after a few days then it becomes important to seek medical advice. Other special cases that warrant immediate medical attention include cases of pregnant women, the elderly as well as infants and toddlers. Those whose body’s immunity is compromised also need to seek medical care urgently. With that in mind, look out for any of the remedies listed below.
1. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Spread throughout the day.
What You Need: Adequate drinking water and fluids.
When it comes to food poisoning, the golden rule lies in staying hydrated. This is especially important if you experience diarrhea as this often leads to dehydration. In addition to this, taking enough water helps get rid of the toxins present in the body, effectively clearing the causative bacteria. If you settle for fluids, make sure you go for warm fluids that are gentle on your tummy. You will know that you are taking enough water and fluids when your urine has a clear appearance and does not have a dark yellow color.
- Take adequate drinking water and fluids throughout the day until you recover. One of the ways in which you can use this remedy is to keep a bottle of water or flask at hand so that you take small sips consistently over a period of time.
2. Raw Garlic:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Clove of fresh garlic and 1 glass of warm water. Lemon wedges (optional).
Raw garlic is an ideal home remedy for the management of food poisoning, thanks to its potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. These come in handy as the garlic clove ensures the elimination of the causative agent, ensuring that you recover faster. The clove’s healing properties also go a long way in providing you with relief from stomach cramps. While you may include this remedy in your daily diet, one of the best ways in which you can benefit from its healing properties is to use garlic in its form. Lemon wedges are added to this remedy because they help get rid of the pungent smell associated with garlic.
- Peel and clean the garlic clove well before using.
- Chew the clove and swallow, sipping the water as you do this.
- If you are concerned about the smell of garlic, ensure that you rub your hands using the lemon wedges for a refreshing smell altogether.
- This remedy takes some getting used to for many people, but is well worth it if you want to treat food poisoning.
3. Ginger Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Raw ginger root, a grater, 1 cup of water and honey.
Raw ginger has long been recommended for the treatment of conditions within the digestive system. As such, it is effective for the natural treatment of food poisoning. The ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties help ease the pain and the honey works to get rid of the causative bacteria. This combination, when used thrice daily over the course of 2-3 days yields excellent results. Other benefits of this remedy include reduced nausea and a reduction in the intensity of heartburn.
Follow the steps below to prepare the ginger tea. Note that while this is tea, it does not contain milk. In fact, milk must be avoided until the food poisoning clears as the lactose present in milk makes digestion of food and expulsion of the contaminant more difficult. Simply use water and add a little honey which acts as a natural sweetener.
- Peel and wash the ginger root to get rid of dirt on the surface (this is one of the causes of food poisoning).
- Grate the ginger and transfer the gratings to a pan.
- Add a cup of water and bring the water to boil for a few minutes before turning off the heat.
- Stir in the sugar and allow the tea to cool before drinking it.
- Alternatively, clean the raw ginger, cut it up and chew on the slices for quick relief from tummy pain associated with food poisoning.
4. Ripe Bananas:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Ripe Bananas
Ripe bananas are used for the home treatment of food poisoning because they are easy on the stomach. They are rich in fiber which means they help bulk up stool, a key method of reducing bouts of diarrhea after food poisoning. In addition to this, the bananas are also packed with potassium which helps replenish the levels of the lost salts from the body as a result of vomiting. Another benefit of taking ripe bananas is that they are an excellent and quick source of energy, a trait which easily counters bodily fatigue. Take the bananas as indicated below depending on what works best for you.
- Simply peel and eat the banana as often as you would like during the day.
- Alternatively, prepare a banana smoothie to help ease the cramping.
- Take the smoothie thrice daily.
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of Honey.
Honey is packed with antibacterial and anti-fungal healing properties that aid in the natural treatment of food poisoning. This is key because it helps get rid of the causative agent (whether the E. coli or the stomach virus) while providing much-needed relief from the symptoms of food poisoning. Honey is also gentle on the digestive tract and regulates the effects of excessive acid production in the stomach. You may take the honey on its own or add to your choice tea.
- Take 1/2 tablespoon of honey thrice daily to calm your tummy.
- Alternatively, add it to your preferred tea to feel better.
6. Cumin Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1 glass of water, fresh coriander leaves and a pinch of salt.
Cumin seeds are an excellent addition to savory meals in the culinary world, but did you know that the seeds can be used for the natural treatment of food poisoning? Also known as jeera, the seeds provide relief from stomach discomfort and cramping. Coriander is added to prevent the inflammation of the stomach line following the effects of the causative bacteria/virus. Use this remedy twice daily for a couple of days until you are fully recovered.
- Sort and wash the coriander before setting aside.
- Put the cumin seeds in a pan and add 1 glass of water before boiling for a few minutes.
- Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.
- Take the clean coriander and extract juice to get at least 1 tablespoon.
- Add the fresh coriander juice to the cumin mixture and stir.
- Drink while still hot for quick relief.
7. Herbal Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Choice herbal tea and honey (optional).
Herbal tea is the perfect way to soothe a disturbed tummy whenever you have food poisoning. This remedy has double benefits as it not only provides relief, it also helps you stay hydrated which works towards the elimination of the bacteria/virus. Some of the popular choices include peppermint tea which also relieves stomach cramps, chamomile tea which eases nausea and calms the stomach as well as licorice tea which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Prepare your tea by steeping your choice tea bag in 1 cup of hot water and allowing it to cool before drinking.
- You may add honey whose benefits have been mentioned above.
8. Additional Tips to Manage Food Poisoning:
Below are some of the tips that you can use, in addition to the remedies, in order to speed up the process of recovery.
i) Give your stomach time to settle for a while after food poisoning sets in. This means avoiding all foods and drinks for an hour or two.
ii) Avoid trigger foods which easily prolong the recovery time. These include dairy and dairy products, alcohol, cigarettes, deep fried and processed foods as well as caffeine. It also helps to avoid spicy foods until you are much better.
iii) Take enough rest to effectively deal with the body fatigue that characterizes food poisoning.
iv) When the symptoms start to wear off, ease the adjustment to normal food consumption. As a general guide, start with low amounts of bland food such as white rice (boiled), bananas and toast among others. Avoid high-fat foods during this transition.
v) As a preventive measure, ensure food is thoroughly cooked especially for meats. You must also ensure that you handle food with clean hands to avoid contamination. Lastly, be on the look out for the ‘sell by dates’ found n different products. If the date has already passed, discard the food.