If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know how painful it can be. Ever since I’ve experienced food poisoning myself, I’ve been taking natural remedies for food poisoning in my natural medicine cabinet (many of these remedies I already had for other uses!)
After a beautiful date with my husband on Wednesday night, I began to have a strange feeling in my stomach. I drank some apple cider vinegar, which is my usual remedy for any kind of stomach ache and this feeling goes away; by 3 o’clock in the morning
At 3 o’clock in the morning, I woke up to the fact that I had to turn around, but I couldn’t. I spent the next few hours with severe abdominal pain and terrible nausea. Then the ultimate hit; and what ever!
I’ll forgive you all the rest of the details, but basically, I couldn’t keep anything down for the next 8 hours, including water, and I really have stomach upset, dizziness, chills. In fact, everything I had was a sign of food poisoning.
Causes of food poisoning
Food poisoning can be caused by the presence of bacteria, viruses or parasites in contaminated food. Some foods are more likely to carry these pathogens (such as raw meat and other animal products) but any food can be handled improperly. I take food safety in my home very seriously, but we have less control when we’re out and about. However, we try to eat only in restaurants that have zero food safety violations to avoid food poisoning.
Some common pathogens responsible for food poisoning include:
- Clostridium perfringens
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Escherichia coli (E. coli)
The above-mentioned common causes of food poisoning, however, are not the only pathogens responsible for foodborne illness. Although there are many causes of foodborne illness, natural remedies for food poisoning should all work.
What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?
Food poisoning is easy to understand. Symptoms include:
- Water or bloody diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and soreness
- Feeling feverish or cold
These symptoms can also be present if you have an upset stomach, sometimes it can be difficult to tell the two separately.
Food poisoning occurs rapidly and strongly and usually occurs within a few hours (up to 6) after a meal. Bloody diarrhea is usually a sign of food poisoning but not a stomach bug.
Food poisoning (also called foodborne illness) is more serious than stomach problems. Stomach worms (often caused by neuroviruses) can come on slowly, last longer, and are usually more severe.
Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning
When I encountered food poisoning, I was very happy to be ready to use some natural remedies at home. Here are some of the most common natural remedies for food poisoning.
Apple cider vinegar
At some point when I got food poisoning, I was arguing about going to the hospital for an IV so that I could have some fluids to take care of the survivors. Then I remembered Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and how it helped for a few hours. So I tried again and it worked!
A 2018 study confirms the ability of apple cider vinegar to kill pathogens. The researchers discovered that ACV has antimicrobial properties against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.
This is important because when it comes to food poisoning, we don’t just want to get rid of these symptoms because they are doing their job of getting on the attacker’s body. But ACV actually helps kill the pathogen that causes food poisoning by relieving some of the symptoms.
ACV is safe for most people, including children and women who are pregnant or nursing. According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, long-term use can cause potassium level problems, insulin levels, or tooth enamel damage, so it is best to use it rationally (such as food poisoning). 1-2 teaspoons of ACV mixed in water or juice is good for adults. For children, cut this dose in half.
At the first sign of symptoms, I took equal parts water (or juice) and apple cider vinegar (organic, with mom!) And it worked.
I learned a lot in one class about activated charcoal being a quick cure for food poisoning. Activated charcoal can be helpful in dealing with deadly drugs, including food poisoning. It works by binding pathogens and removing them from the body. Activated charcoal is safe for most people, including pregnant or nursing women and children.
The review stipulates that for best effect, charcoal should be taken as soon as possible after lubrication. The dose is 0.5 to 1 g / kg body weight in children or 50 g in adults. It is usually best to skip meals if you use it more than once. Dosage may vary from person to person and from case to case, so it is always a good idea to consult your doctor.
I took less than the recommended charcoal (1/2 tsp) mixture in apples after taking ACV. Within minutes, I began to feel much better. I repeated the routine until I had no symptoms.
Another helpful treatment for food poisoning is herbal tea. As mentioned earlier, we don’t just want to mask the symptoms of food poisoning because they are doing their job. So a way to ease the anxiety is not necessarily what you want (although you will feel better in the short term). However, in addition to the above-mentioned treatments that deal with the underlying cause, a cup of herbal tea can greatly relieve inflammation in the stomach. Here are my favorite stomach-pleasing herbal teas:
These herbs are usually in small amounts for children and pregnant or nursing women, but to stay safe, always consult your healthcare provider. In addition to reducing stomach upset, taking a small sip of this tea can help keep the body hydrated once the vomiting subsides a bit.
Recovering from Food Poisoning: Home Remedies
When vomiting, diarrhea and nausea start to go away, you will still want to be careful about what you put in your stomach. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, some of the ways to get rid of food poisoning are:
- Easy to eat and drink – You may feel particularly thirsty after food poisoning, but you want to make it easy to drink anything. Start with a sip of water or tea and then drink a little more if you still feel well.
- Electrolyte water – Drinking rehydration, drinking water or drinking electrolytes such as coconut water or electrolytes can help.
- Avoid certain foods – It is best to start with blended foods. Carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes are a good choice when re-preparing food after food poisoning. Fruit in the stomach can also be quite easy. Bone broth is my favorite food to get some nutrition without upsetting the stomach. Stay away from dairy products, grains, beans, greasy or fried foods, or anything that can cause digestive problems.
- Make it easy when you get back to your normal daily schedule – Give yourself a chance to recover and blink if needed. Food poisoning is affecting the body so you may need extra rest.
Bottom line: Give your body some time to recover before jumping into a regular diet and daily schedule.
When to call a doctor
Pregnant women, children and the elderly are at higher risk of complications from food poisoning, so it is best to call a doctor immediately for medical advice. If you are nursing, you need to pay extra attention to your hydration level and you may need IV for fluids. You may also need to call if you:
- Bloody stools or vomiting may also include some types of bloody diarrhea that can lead to serious health complications. But if you have bloody diarrhea, call the doctor and say covered
- Severe abdominal pain
- Symptoms of dehydration or dehydration for 12-24 hours (excessive thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, little or no urination, severe weakness, or mild headache)
- More than three days of diarrhea
- Oral temperature above 104 degrees F.
Also, follow your intuition. If you feel you need extra help, follow this advice. Call your doctor and get medical attention if needed.
This article was reviewed medically by Dr. Lauren Jeffers, a board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor or work with a doctor at Study MD.
Ever had food poisoning? How did you recover
- Yagnik, D, Serafin, V, and Shah, AJ (2018). Antibacterial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albanians; Reducing cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, 8 (1) doi: 10.1038 / s41598-017-18618-x https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
- Zellner, T. , Prasa, D, Farber, E. , Halfman Walbeck, p. , Jenser, D, and Air, F (2019). Use of activated charcoal for drug treatment. Deesches Aerzteblatt online. doi: 10.3238 / arztebl.2019.0311 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6620762/
- Schmirling, RH (April 22, 2020) Apple Cider Vinegar Diet: Does It Really Work? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
- Treatment of food poisoning. (June 1, 2019) Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/food-poasoning/treatment