If you’ve ever had food poisoning, then you know how truly miserable it can make you. It is usually caused by the bacteria in raw or undercooked food, or food that has been left out too long, allowing bacteria to multiply.
It can also, however, stem from eating poisonous mushrooms or other plants, certain animals such as pufferfish, or fish that have been exposed to environmental toxins.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the most common signs of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, fever and muscle pain. If your symptoms are severe, or if you are experiencing problems with vision, numbness, tingling in your arms and legs, bloody diarrhea or vomiting or are having trouble breathing, seek immediate medical attention. Mild food poisoning, however, often responds well to natural home remedies.
The most important thing to remember is to stay well hydrated. Although it may be difficult to keep it down, drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is essential, and will help to flush the toxins from your system.
A few cups of warm ginger tea (made by steeping freshly-sliced, peeled ginger root in boiling water) can also help soothe a distressed stomach. Add a slice of fresh lemon for an additional bacteria-fighting punch.
One of the most well-known natural remedies for food poisoning is apple cider vinegar. Simply mix a tablespoon or two into a glass of pure, filtered water, and sip it throughout the day. If it goes down easier, mix it with water that is warmed up. When choosing an apple cider vinegar, be sure to choose a raw, organic variety.
You’ll be able to tell that it’s the real thing if you see a cobweb-looking substance floating in the vinegar – this is known as the “mother of vinegar.” While it may look strange, it is completely natural, and lets you know that the potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of the vinegar are intact.
Another remedy to try along with apple cider vinegar is activated charcoal. This can be found in capsule form, or in a loose powder that you can mix into foods, if you wish. It may look unappetizing, but it can go far to soothe your digestive system.
While you may not be able to eat much food right away, once you can stomach a bit, add some garlic to your meals. Garlic contains a substance known as allicin, which has been found to have potent antibacterial properties. You may also choose to make a homemade broth rich in garlic, which can help the bacteria leave your system more quickly.
As it is important to replenish good gut bacteria after a bout of food poisoning, probiotics are essential. You can get these from naturally fermented foods, such as organic yogurt and kefir. For a great food poisoning-busting smoothie, try blending together some organic Greek yogurt, some bananas, some grated ginger, and some strawberries if you wish. Add a clove of finely minced garlic for maximum impact. You can also add a teaspoon of activated charcoal to the smoothie.
To help prevent food poisoning in the first place, wash your hands often during the food preparation process, never let raw meat touch other ingredients, clean any surface it touches immediately, be sure that foods are cooked thoroughly, and place any leftovers in the refrigerator right away.
Rinse all produce well before eating it. Avoiding restaurants where you are unsure about the cleanliness or food preparation practices can also help reduce your risk (sadly, that may be a surprisingly large number of establishments).
If you do get food poisoning, and your symptoms, even milder ones, last for more than two days, see a medical professional. Most cases, however, can be eased greatly with a lot of water, and some TLC from Mother Nature.
– The Alternative Daily