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Stomach pains accompanied by diarrhoea and vomiting: often referred to as a tummy bug, or by its medical name, gastroenteritis, can make you feel like the end is nearer than near. It is usually brought on by viral infections and sometimes bad bacteria. We become more vulnerable to these bad bacterias/viruses in unfamiliar environments (when travelling) and when our own microbial balance is out of whack (antibiotics kill our good bacteria, which are vital for immune defence).
The worst of it usually lasts from 48-72 hours but it can take up to 10 days for your body to fully heal. Symptoms in the worst part of these days can include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, sore muscles, aches, pains, stomach cramps, and shivering.
These symptoms are your body’s reaction to expelling the virus, so it is best to assist your body through this period with natural remedies that work in harmony with your body, giving it a helping hand.
Tips To Cure It Naturally
1. Hydrate – The biggest danger of gastroenteritis is dehydration. Your body loses more fluids than it takes in, so it is vital that you keep hydrated with not just water but essential minerals and salts which are lost during this period as well. Store-bought hydration sachets are usually full of sugar, colourings, and artificial flavours, all of which are detrimental to our health. For a more natural approach to hydration, adding Himalayan salt to your water can be extremely beneficial. Himalayan salt provides an incredible: 84 trace minerals, plus a unique ionic energy that is released when the salt is mixed with water. This helps improve hydration, detoxifies the body by balancing systemic pH, improves sleep, and reduces muscle cramps, as well as providing many other benefits.
Add 1/4 teaspoon to every 1.5 Litres of water. You can also add a pinch to some warm water in the morning. Alternatively, you can also find some brands such as Elete electrolytes,
which offer a 100% natural source of minerals and salts. Add 1/2 a tsp or 2.5ml to every Litre of water.
2. Probiotics – Start taking a good probiotic if you don’t already! Probiotics are great for everyday use. They are made up of good bacteria which help keep the bad bacteria and yeasts in our gut at bay. One round of antibiotics is enough to completely disrupt our gut’s microbial balance, so replenishment during this time is essential. Antibiotics are not just prescribed to us by our doctors but are also unfortunately found in our food chain through farmed animals and fish. If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, always opt for wild fish, grass fed organic meat, and free range chicken.
Probiotics help keep our immune systems healthy, making us less vulnerable to infections. They are also great for assisting with digestion, urinary health, and allergies. Look for a brand that provides a minimum of 10 billion live microorganisms, such as Renew Life Ultimate Flora.
Take 1 tablet first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
3. Natural Antibacterials
– As well as putting the good bacteria in, it’s worth killing the bad bacteria too. Natural antibacterials are found in foods and herbs such as: garlic, coconut oil, oregano oil, thyme, clove, raw apple cider vinegar, and colloidal silver. Specific brands have also created antibacterial blends that work like a natural antibiotic without building resistance, such as Biocare Oregano Complex
, which is made from freeze-dried garlic, grape seed, borage, clove, and ginger grass. Take 1 capsule twice daily with food. This supplement is not suitable for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or children.
4. Natural Anti-Inflammatories – Turmeric has been getting a lot of coverage in the media lately, and rightly so. Turmeric works as a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory. The suffix ‘-itis’ indicates inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of pain, and is your body’s way of triggering an immune response. Using a natural anti-inflammatory can help reduce the pain and speed the healing time. Conventional anti-inflammatories unfortunately can irritate the lining of the stomach, making your symptoms worse. You can add 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of water or 1/2 a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of honey to make a paste and consume for best results.
Slippery elm is also renowned for healing upset stomachs; for medicinal use, it is made into a powder from the bark of Slippery Elm trees. It helps coat the stomach with a soothing, protective layer and also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory for instant pain relief. You can find it in a lot of health stores or online. A favourite brand of mine is Slippery Elm Plus by Herbs Hands Healing. Simply add
1 teaspoon in a glass of water 2 x a day, morning and night.
Day 1 – For the first 24 hours keeping anything in may seem like a tricky task. Assist your body in flushing out the toxins by keeping hydrated. It is best to stick to only drinking water with electrolytes for the first day. Aim for at least 4 Litres.
Day 2 – On the second day your body may feel weak and will need energy so it is important to introduce foods at this point, but stick to foods that are plain and easy to digest. The ‘BRAT’ diet is often used at this stage, which stands for: Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Stick to white rice and white toast. Another food my mother used to give us that I find very comforting and beneficial is plain white basmati rice with organic plain yoghurt mixed in. A piece of toast with organic plain yoghurt on the side to dip into is also great, though this will of course depend on your own body’s tolerance of lactose.
Day 3 – Now may be a good time to start nourishing yourself again with some nutrients, but gently. A vegetable broth can be very soothing and healing for day 3. You can make a big pot of it and consume it whenever you feel hungry; it can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy it with a slice of toast or some plain white rice. After day 3 it is best to stick to light foods such as soup and pureed vegetables instead of suddenly transitioning straight onto solid foods again.
The first 3 days are usually the worst for symptoms but it is important that you continue to take care of yourself and make sure you are getting plenty of water and rest, as the virus can take up to 10 days to fully leave your body. Eating a healthy, whole foods diet is key to maintaining a happy, healthy body.
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