All of us have suffered from food poisoning at some point in our life. You may have had those hamburgers from the roadside stall – in my case it was eating a raw tomato, onion and peanut salad in India – silly of me I know! – only to get a severe stomach ache and diarrhea a day later. With symptoms ranging from mild to severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and dehydration, food poisoning is a condition not to be ignored, in fact if you do not keep your fluids up you can die. I learnt this when a friend died when we were young.
So many years ago when Hugo was very ill in Singapore after eating crab’s claws I urgently sought medical attention and treatment which, as well as injections of Stematil, included lots of water – boiled 1st!
If you are not able to get to a doctor or the poisoning is not severe here are a few effective home remedies to alleviate food poisoning, right from grandma’s own medicine chest! They sound good:
1. Ginger: It adds flavor to your dishes, but it is also an excellent home remedy for curing almost all types of digestive problems. Take a tablespoon of honey with a few drops of ginger juice to reduce inflammation and pain.
2. Cumin: Cumin or jeera seeds are a good way to soothe the inflammation in your stomach, reduce the tenderness and aid healing. Crush a tablespoon of cumin seeds and add it to your clear soup.
3. Basil: Basil is another excellent home remedy, curing infections of both the stomach and the throat.
Strain the juice of a few basil leaves and add it to a tablespoon of honey. It’s bound to show positive results within a couple of hours.
4. Bananas: Bananas are a rich source of potassium. They aid recovery and reduce the effects of food poisoning to an impressive level. Mash a couple of bananas and an apple, or whip up a quick banana shake.
5. Apples: Apples are effective against food poisoning as they reduce heartburn and acid reflux. Apples are known to have enzymes that inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause diarrhea and stomach ache.
6. Lemon: The acidity of lemon juice kills most of the bacteria that causes food poisoning. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and add a pinch of sugar to it. Drink it as you would any medicine, or add lemon to your tea.
7. Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal absorbs all the unwanted gases and substances that may be harmful to the delicate lining of the stomach, thereby aiding a speedy recovery.
8. Water: It is very important to keep yourself fully hydrated during the period of food poisoning, as your body tends to lose more water through diarrhea. Also, keeping your water content high, rapidly flushes out the toxins and bacteria, which enhances your recovery.
9. Apple cider vinegar: Being acidic in nature, vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, soothes the gastro-intestinal lining. It also makes the environment in the stomach inhospitable for the bacteria to breed in, which helps speed up the recovery.
10. Peppermint tea: It’s not just aromatherapy. Peppermint oil is known to have a soothing effect, which is extremely beneficial for people suffering from stomach spasms due to food poisoning. Add a few drops to your tea; your cramps will vanish in a couple of hours.