Diarrhea, as defined by WHO is the passage of three or more loose stools per day. It can last for a few days resulting in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and bloating. Causes for diarrhea can be a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection, consumption of contaminated food and water, side effects of antibiotics, poor personal hygiene, food intolerances, and intestinal diseases.
If it lasts longer, diarrhea can take a toll on your health. You can restore the normal functioning of your bowels with some of these tried and tested natural solutions.
1. Stay hydrated
- Oral rehydration solution: Homemade solution consisting of half a small spoon of salt and six level small spoons of sugar dissolved in one liter of safe water is one of the best remedies to treat diarrhea.
- Sip on clear broths to replace lost salts and minerals. Lemon coriander soup is a good option to go for.
- Chamomile tea can help calm the diarrhoeal episodes because of its anti-spasmodic action.
- Brew the Caraway tea by adding 1 tsp caraway seeds to a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Drink lukewarm Ginger tea every 2-3 hours to cure diarrhea.
- Fruit juices specifically pomegranate juice or orange
- Drinking buttermilk with black salt and roasted cumin seeds or with grated ginger or dry ginger powder help cure diarrhea.
- Coconut water can help in treating dehydration. It restores the electrolytes that replenish the body fluids.
- A glass of lemonade with sugar is of great help too. Lemon juice because of its anti-inflammatory properties calms the inflamed intestines and brings pH back to normal.
- Black tea with a dash of lemon is a great remedy to combat loose motions. The tannins with their antioxidant properties help alleviate the condition.
2. BRAT Diet
BRAT stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These foods are all bland, gentle on the stomach, low on fiber; thus providing relief from diarrhea.
They are the gut-friendly bacteria. Yogurt with live bacterial cultures such as lactobacillus acidophilus or bifidobacterium is one of the best home remedies for diarrhea. Just a bowl or two with white rice or mashed banana or roasted cumin powder can provide great relief.
Other probiotic-rich foods include – sauerkraut (German cabbage pickle), kimchi (Korean cabbage, carrot fermented dish), kanji (Punjabi carrot, beet fermented drink). These dishes are packed full of bacteria that your gut needs.
4. Banana and Apple
Bananas and apples consist of a starch called “pectin”. It’s water soluble fiber which is good for the digestive tract as it helps to absorb water and salt in the colon, thus making the stools firmer. Bananas are also high in potassium, thus can help replace the electrolytes that the body loses with frequent bowel movements. Stewed apples are a good option to consume.
5. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds have a high mucilage content which provides a strong anti-diarrhoeal effect. Their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties help fight infection-causing pathogens in the stomach, thus aiding digestion.
Adding roasted fenugreek seeds to a bowl of yogurt with roasted cumin seeds can be helpful.
6. White rice
Plain white rice has a binding effect on the bowels. It’s easy to digest and low on fiber. A bowl of cud rice with tempered cumin seeds or a light khichadi with Mung dal can be a good meal option to provide strength and required energy during bouts of diarrhea.
The starchy humble potato is a safe bet. Boiled, baked or mashed potatoes with a pinch of salt and black pepper powder can help you recover from diarrhea.
8. Mint and honey
A teaspoon each of freshly extracted mint juice and lemon juice with a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water twice a day soothes the inflamed stomach lining, thereby relieving symptoms of indigestion.
9. Cinnamon and honey
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder with a teaspoonful of honey in a glass of warm water helps treat an upset tummy or a paste of a teaspoon each of cinnamon & ginger with honey. Cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and when combined with honey helps alleviate the pain and cramps accompanying diarrhea.
So the next time you have an upset stomach, you know what to do.