10 Home Remedies for Food Poisoning
Food poisoning or foodborne illness is a result of eating toxic, contaminated or spoiled food. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Stomach pain is also quite often a result of food poisoning and can be quite severe in some cases. Food poisoning is quite common and it’s estimated that 1 in 6 people will contract it every year, according to the center for disease control and prevention.
Over 250 foodborne illnesses have been identified by researchers and most of them are caused by different types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Toxins and chemicals also contaminate foods and can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of food poisoning can be quite severe and in some rare cases, it can even be life-threatening. Everyone is at risk of coming down with food poisoning, but there are some people who are more likely to get it than others, those being:
* Older adults (65+)
* Younger children (under 5)
* People with a weak immune system or immune system disorder
* Pregnant women
There are also a few things you can do to help prevent getting food poisoning in the first place. Here are some top tips that can go a long way in helping you avoid a foodborne illness3:
* Wash your hands before thoroughly before eating
* Keep counter tops clean and sanitized
* Keep dishcloths clean
* Use a separate chopping board for fish and meats
* Store raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge to help stop the spread of dangerous bacteria
* Make sure your food is cooked thoroughly
* Keep your raw meat away from ready to eat food
* Keep the temperature in your refrigerator below 5’C
* Follow use-by dates
* Cool leftovers quickly (don’t let your leftovers sit in room temperature for more than 90 minutes)
If you do get food poisoning, there are several things you can do to help ease the symptoms naturally. Here are 10 home remedies for food poisoning:
#1 – Let the Illness Run its Course If your symptoms aren’t too bad and you aren’t in too much pain, sometimes it’s best to let your body deal with the foodborne illness on its own. It might be tempting to get some over the counter medicine to stop your nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea, but that is your body’s way of getting rid of what’s making you sick4. Most foodborne illnesses go away on their own quite quickly and symptoms typically last 1-5 days.
#2 – Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar has very strong anti-bacterial properties and is very effective when it comes to killing pathogenic bacteria6. If you want to give this a try you’ll need:
* Two tablespoons of unfiltered or raw apple cider vinegar
* One glass of warm water
* Mix together and drink
#3 – Peppermint Drops or Oil These have been used worldwide for stomach problems and food poisoning for centuries. Peppermint drops or oil is soothing and cooling and can help stop nausea. The high content of menthol also helps relieve pain. Peppermint drops are specifically formulated to help with stomach issues and it’s best to use these. Peppermint drops can be found in most naturopathic medicine stores or in pharmacies.
#4 – Oregano Oil Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol that have very effective anti-microbial properties and it can help kill the pathogens that are responsible for your food poisoning7. You will need 1 drop of oregano oil (food grade) and a 1/4 glass of water, mix well and drink and repeat 2 times per day until you see an improvement in your condition.
#5 – Ginger and Honey Ginger is an age-old remedy for a myriad of ailments. Studies have shown that ginger is effective in killing E.coli8, and honey has anti-microbial and digestive properties that can help you recover quicker. Ginger and honey can relieve vomiting and nausea, both of which are common symptoms of food poisoning9. You’ll need 2 slices of fresh ginger root, 1 cup of water and some honey.
Add the ginger to a small pot of hot water and let it simmer for 5 minutes, strain the liquid and let it cool before adding a teaspoon of honey and drink it right away. You can also chew on small pieces of ginger if you can handle the intensity.
#6 – Garlic This may be a bit tough to swallow if you’re nauseous, but garlic is a very effective remedy for food poisoning. Garlic is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial and can help kill foodborne pathogens causing your symptoms10. Garlic can also help relieve diarrhea and stomach ache.
You’ll need 2 peeled cloves of garlic, and to chew on them raw. You can repeat this 2 times per day or until you notice your symptoms going away.
#7 – Lemon Juice (Fresh Squeeze) Lemon juice is a strong antioxidant that is good for the overall functioning of your body and has very good anti-bacterial properties that can help kill the pathogens that are responsible for your food poisoning11. You’ll want to squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water, adding honey can not only help the taste but as mentioned above, is itself an effective remedy for stomach problems itself. Mix together and drink, two to three times per day.
#8 – Drink Plenty of Fluids and Electrolytes Food poisoning and the associated symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting dehydrate you and deplete essential minerals from your body. It’s important to re-hydrate yourself and to re-introduce the minerals lost during food poisoning, this will help in your recovery. Here’s what you can do to get back into top shape:
* Drink lots of water/sports drinks with electrolytes
* Eat lots of bananas which contain electrolytes and potassium
* Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and foods with probiotics such as dairy-free yogurt (dairy should be avoided if you have food poisoning)
#9 – Avoid these Foods and Drinks To help in getting rid of the food which causes your foodborne illness, you’ll want to avoid anything that can be harsh for your stomach. These need to be avoided during and immediately after food poisoning:
* Fried foods
* Spicy foods
#10 – Grapefruit Seed Extract The polyphenols found in grapefruit seed can help stop the activity and growth of bacteria responsible for your food poisoning12. Grapefruit seed extract will not only help fight the pathogens causing your symptoms but will aid your recovery.
You need around 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract, a glass of lukewarm water, mix, and drink. It’s recommended to drink this three times per day and continue for 3-5 days or until your symptoms subside. It’s important to remember that if your symptoms are very strong then it’s a good idea to see a doctor right away. If you feel like you want to handle it on your own, it’s always a good idea to take a natural and healthy way instead of using pharmaceuticals.
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Food Poisoning References and Food Poisoning Information
* Summit Medical Group: https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/aha_food_poisoning/
* Pub MD (Medical Study): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18810868/
* ACS Publications (Medical Study): https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf071460f
* Pub MD (Medical Study): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638927/
* National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3147487/
* Pub Med (Medical Study): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11041258/
* Pub Med (Medical Study): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20483185/