Has your stomach made funny noises during an important meeting at your office? Has your child complained of discomfort at school because of loose, watery bowel movements?
If this has happened to you or someone you know, then you probably know this condition as diarrhea. Diarrhea is common and is usually a reaction to something that you have eaten, a side effect of certain medicines, or an infection in your stomach. In most cases, acute diarrhea can be treated with the right medication prescribed by the health professional.
However, if you are looking to treat diarrhea naturally, here are a few sources that may provide you some relief from diarrhea. Home remedies take longer than usual to produce effective results. So, patience is quite important if you are looking forward to treating diarrhea the natural way.
So, try to soothe your diarrhea symptoms with these simple, natural approaches.
If your diarrhea is caused by an intestinal infection, then yogurt or any other probiotic products like kefir can provide relief from the symptoms of diarrhea. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can improve your gut health by balancing the good and bad bacteria.1
You can have a bowl of yogurt every day to ease your diarrhea symptoms. It is better to use the unflavored yogurt than the flavored ones to avoid any other reaction. You may also add some bananas to your bowl of yogurt for some flavor.
Apples may be effective in treating mild diarrhea. 100 grams of red apples contain about 85 grams of water and 2.3 grams of fiber.2 Both these nutrients can soothe diarrhea. Water can keep the body hydrated while fiber can make the stool harder.
Apples are also an effective remedy for children with diarrhea.3 Results of another study show how diluted apple juice may work as well as other rehydration drinks in children.4 However, the results do not hold good for babies below six months.
For adults, peel, core, and puree an apple in the blender. You can also grate the apple if you don’t own a blender. Have one apple every two hours. This may help with the diarrhea symptoms.5
Blackberries are not only a delicious addition to muffins but also an effective treatment for loose bowels for both adults and children. Blackberries contain tannins that can ease the diarrhea symptoms. It is an astringent herb and has traditionally been used to treat diarrhea.6
For adults, blackberry tea can relieve you from diarrhea. You can prepare this by boiling one or two tablespoons of blackberries in 1.5 cups of water for ten minutes and straining it. You can also prepare this by pouring a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried blackberry leaves. Let the leaves steep for ten minutes. You can have the tea after straining.7
For treating diarrhea in children, it may help to give them a glass of blackberry juice every couple of hours. Blackberry juice may have a sour flavor. You may add honey or any other sweet ingredient to balance the sourness.8
Carrots are another remedy that can soothe diarrhea symptoms in both children and adults. Carrots contain 2.8 grams of fiber and 88 grams of water, both which can improve diarrhea symptoms.9
Cook about 500 grams of carrots in as little water as possible. You should cook this until soft. After this is done, puree the soft, cooked carrots in a blender. Keep this refrigerated and have a quarter cup every half an hour until you experience some relief. For children, adding carrot soups to their diet may improve their stools and provide the lost nutrients.
Nutmeg is an active ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations. It has been found to be effective in treating diarrhea as well. However, more research is required to establish how effective nutmeg is to treat diarrhea.10
This remedy may not be the best one for those who are lactose intolerant. So, please make sure you try this only if you are not allergic to milk. Heat a cup of milk and add a teaspoon of nutmeg to it. Stir well and drink it warm. You can also add honey to the milk.11
Rice may help treat diarrhea because of its high fiber. 100 grams of brown rice contains about 6.7 grams of fiber.12 Fiber helps bind loose stools and can help improve the diarrhea symptoms.
You can boil a two-thirds cup of white or brown rice in four cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain the rice and sip on the liquid you obtained after straining. This can help prevent dehydration at the same time provide the nutrients that may have been lost due to diarrhea.13
7. Wild Geranium
Wild geranium contains tannins that are present in almost all part of the plant. It has been used as an astringent and its leaves were brewed to treat diarrhea.14 Wild geranium with other natural ingredients may be useful for treating diarrhea symptoms.
To a cup of blackberry juice, add a tablespoon each of wild geranium, shepherd’s purse, and sweet fern, and a teaspoon of ginger. Boil this mixture for about 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and drink half a cup every hour or after every bowel movement.15
8. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is good for both children and adults and can calm bouts of diarrhea. It can ease the intestinal inflammation and can also keep the body hydrated with minimum side effects.
This tea has been traditionally used in treating stomach upsets, including diarrhea. Results of a study show that a chamomile pectin preparation provided relief to children suffering from diarrhea.16 So, sip on chamomile tea twice or thrice in a day for effective results.
9. Black Tea
Like chamomile tea, black tea also contains tannins that can help reduce inflammation that may be present in the intestine. It can also hydrate the body which means it may help fight dehydration, which is one of the health issues caused by diarrhea.
Let the tea steep for fifteen minutes. You can drink this tea as many times as required or until your diarrhea symptoms are eased.17
Apart from these natural remedies, it is also important to keep a check on what you eat after you have recovered from diarrhea. To maintain normal digestion, it is important to stick to bland foods that can help with easy digestion.
This is when the BRAT Diet becomes important. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods can add bulk to the stools and the potassium in bananas can make up for the nutrients lost during diarrhea. Before you begin re-introducing other foods to your diet, make sure you have these foods at least for two days.
Ample rest and enough water is also an important part of treating diarrhea. In addition, avoid dairy products, processed foods, alcohol, and carbonated drinks when you suffer from diarrhea because these may aggravate the condition.
|↑1||Infectious diarrhea: Can probiotics help against diarrhea? Pubmed Health.|
|↑2||Basic Report: 09500, Apples, raw, red delicious, with skin. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||BIRNBERG, TOBIAS L. “Raw apple diet in the treatment of diarrheal conditions in children.” American Journal of Diseases of Children 45, no. 1 (1933): 18-24.|
|↑4||Diluted apple juice ‘as good as’ rehydration drinks for children. National Health Services (NHS) Choices.|
|↑5, ↑8, ↑11, ↑13, ↑15||Todd, Jude. Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies: Natural Health, Beauty & Home-Care Secrets. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2014.|
|↑6||Verma, Rameshwar, Tushar Gangrade, Rakesh Punasiya, and Chetan Ghulaxe. “Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) use as an herbal medicine.” Pharmacognosy reviews 8, no. 16 (2014): 101.|
|↑7||Hale, Meredith. Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick And Easy Natural Cures. Wellfleet Press; 1 edition, 2015.|
|↑9||Basic Report: 11124, Carrots, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑10||Significance of nutmeg in diarrhoea. Scholars Research Library.|
|↑12||Full Report (All Nutrients): 45135969, BROWN RICE, UPC: 738055466921. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑14||Adkins, Leonard. The Appalachian Trail Visitor’s Companion. Menasha Ridge Press, 1998.|
|↑16||Srivastava, Janmejai K., Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: a herbal medicine of the past with a bright future.” Molecular medicine reports 3, no. 6 (2010): 895-901.|
|↑17||Hale, Meredith. Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick And Easy Natural Cures. Wellfleet Press; 1 edition, 2015.|