When food poisoning gets you beneath the belt...

January 21, 2010

Hardly anyone ever anticipates a bout of food poisoning, since at the time it strikes we’re completely focused on the meal’s yum quotient. Only a few house later that we feel that pang of pain in our stomach. Then vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue follow along with other symptoms.

Food poisoning is a common, usually mild, but sometimes deadly illness. In some cases, like in the elderly, in children or in people with compromised immune systems, food poisoning agents can cause serious medical problems. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fear, chills, bloody stools that occur within 48 hours after consuming the contaminated drink/ food item. They depend on the type of contaminating agent and the amount eaten but most cases of food poisoning are not reported as people recover quickly and knowing the cause usually does not change the course or outcome of the treatment.

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Possibly the most effective home remedy for food poisoning is prevention. But it’s not always that simple to stay away from contaminated food. More than 250 known diseases can be transmitted through food. Although vomiting and motions may be unpleasant they are our body’s way of getting rid of the poison. First you will throw the poisonous foods and then water so that you feel better by the end of the day. Here are a few tips to deal with food poisoning:

  1. Drink one cup of any herbal tea with fresh mint added to it, or ginger tea after meals to promote a good digestion and to help with heartburn, nausea, etc.
  2. Grind 10-15 cumin (jeera) seeds and fenugreek (methi) seeds together and add them to a glass of water or a bowl of curd. Drinking the mixture can give much relief from vomiting and abdominal pain.
    Mix 2-3 tablespoon of basil leaves extract with black salt, pepper and half a cup of fresh curd. This will give the ill person quick relief from vomiting, weakness, and body pain.
  3. A tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of hot water before a meal.
  4. Rub a mixture of three drops of garlic oil and half a cup of soya oil onto the stomach after eating.
  5. Eating bread can be an unconventional cure. Bread has the potential to soak up the poison and can provide quick relief.
  6. Drink 2 tablespoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar (pasteurized).
  7. Drink mint essence 3-4 drops in water, every one hour.
  8. Do not eat solid food while nauseous or vomiting but drink plenty of fluids. After successfully tolerating fluids, eating should begin slowly. Plain foods that are easy on the stomach should be started in small amounts.
  9. Ginger is very useful home remedy for treating food poisoning. Take 2-3 tablespoon of ginger and lemon extract each and add little amount of black pepper powder into it. Take this mixture 3-4 times a day.
  10. Papaya is also taken for treating food poisoning. Take a raw papaya, grate it or cut it into small cubes. Boil it with 1-2 glass of water, drain the mixture and drink it 2-3 times a day.

Short episodes of vomiting and small amounts of diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours can usually be cared for at home. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and keep yourself hydrated during this period. However, don’t hesitate to call your doctor if the symptoms last for more than two days, the ill person can’t keep any food down or runs a high fever or if the ill person is younger than three years.

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