You won't feel like eating when you're recovering from a bout of food poisoning, but you need to stay hydrated and replace the nutrients your body is losing. These natural home remedies should help you bounce back as quickly as possible.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Bleach. Scrubbing your counter with warm soapy water and bleach is one of your best defenses against bacteria that tend to hover on countertops. It's a good idea to clean your cutting boards in a bleach and water solution: Try soaking them in a mixture of 2 teaspoons bleach to 1 quart water. Let the boards air dry.
Chicken soup. Once you start feeling a bit better, start your stomach out with bland foods. Chicken soup is tasty and easy to digest.
Sugar. Sugar helps your body hold onto fluid, and adding a spoonful of sugar to a glass of water or a cup of decaffeinated tea may be more palatable if you find sports drinks too sugary.
Home Remedies from the Fruit Bowl
Banana. As you spend more time embracing the porcelain throne, your body is losing essential elements like potassium. Losing these vital nutrients can make that I've-been-hit-by-a-truck feeling worse. Once you've come to a lull in the bathroom visitations, usually after the first 24 hours, try eating a banana. It's easy on your stomach and can make you feel a bit better.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Sports drinks. Losing all that fluid means you're losing electrolytes (salts that keep your body functioning properly) and water. Replacing that fluid with a sports drink will help replace needed electrolytes, and the sugar in the drink will help your body better absorb the fluid it needs. If the sugar is too much for your tummy, tone the drink down by diluting it with water.
Water. You may not feel like having anything pass your lips, but you've got to stay hydrated, especially when you are losing fluids from both ends. Start off with a few sips of this easy-to-swallow liquid and work your way up to more substantial stuff.
More Do's and Don'ts
- Don't start back on foods that are hard to digest. Give your stomach and your intestines time to recuperate. Stay away from spicy, smoked, fried, or salty foods. Stay away from raw vegetables or rich pastries or candies, and don't drink alcohol.
- Tell the health department about your woes. Telling your story may keep others from experiencing the same problems, especially if you experienced food poisoning after eating at a restaurant or other food establishment.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food. You don't want to be like Typhoid Mary and pass your illness to everyone in the household.
To learn more about battling stomach ailments, visit these links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- In Home Remedies for Upset Stomach, find cures in your kitchen for your tummy troubles.
- Quench the flames and find relief from the burn in Home Remedies for Heartburn.
- If you're queasy, read Home Remedies for Nausea to learn about common cures that will help you feel better.
Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.