Whether it’s the stomach flu, food poisoning or some other cause, diarrhea strikes all of us from time to time. It’s uncomfortable and can be highly embarrassing, making us want to get over it quickly. The following home remedies, including some herbs, should be beneficial.
BRAT Diet: Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast are a time honored home remedy for this condition. Most of the time, it’s suggested that these be the only foods consumed. The wisdom of that aspect of it is now being questioned.
While these foods may be helpful in getting over the condition, if you or your child can eat a normal diet, these should be in addition to rather than in place of. The same goes for adults with the problem.
Fiber: Eating foods that help absorb water and slow down the speed in which it moves through your body. Whole grains are the best, which is probably why there rice and toast are in the BRAT menu. I’ve found rice to be the best, at least in our household but don’t be afraid to try other whole grains, especially if you don’t like rice. Eating something that tastes bad when you’re sick just compounds the misery.
Marshmallow: This herb coats the stomach and intestines, helping to soothe the spasms that sometimes come with the territory. It, like the grains, can also absorb water, which is what makes the matter so loose. This is not an herb you should take with any medications, because they will not be absorbed properly if you do.
Slippery Elm: This was once considered proper invalid food for any illness, but it is most often used now for diarrhea. The fiber content is the main benefit, but it is easy to digest as well. The only problem is the difficulties in finding the inner bark, which is what works the best.
Elm trees of all varieties are in trouble in the US. Dutch Elm Disease has taken a toll on all varieties of this slender tree. The reason it’s hard to get the inner bark is because it tends to kill the tree it’s taken from. Most of what you find in herb stores, etc. is the dryer outer bark, which isn’t quite as effective.
Diarrhea can quickly become a life threatening issue, especially in young children. Dehydration can happen fast, so it is a good idea to call your doctor. The doctor will tell you what to watch for and when/where to go. A baby or toddler may need IV fluids to survive.
This article is not meant to take the place of your doctor. Each individual and situation is different. If you have another health condition or take any medications, ask the doctor or pharmacist if the herbs listed will be safe for you to use.