Natural remedies for diarrhea abound. To better understand them let’s review the anatomy!
The digestive system’s job is to absorb nutrients. The oral cavity and stomach chemically and mechanically break down the food so microvilli cells (and probiotic bacteria) in the 20-feet of small intestines may absorb the nutrients. Your large intestines then turn the undigested food matter into feces and re-absorb any excess water before your feces is stored in the rectum for pending expulsion.
What is diarrhea?
Something inhibiting the large intestine’s ability to re-absorb water back into the body is the cause of diarrhea. As a result, one’s feces may be watery or runny. The maladies that may cause this imbalance run the gamut: from parasitic, viral, or bacteria-caused ailments such as gastroenteritis (“stomach bug”) to lactose intolerance; from stress to auto-immune digestive ailments such as Crohn’s or Celiac disease.
One could use OTC or prescription-based medicines to alleviate diarrhea. But we at Naturopathic Earth always recommend using naturopathic interventions prior to pharmaceutical ones. So let’s cover the natural remedies for diarrhea.
It is extremely important to increase fluid intake since the large intestine purging your body of fluid. Dehydration would only exacerbate your situation. Unless absolutely necessary, stay away from the sugar and/or artificially-sweetened energy drinks and try to get your rapidly-depleting electrolytes from your diet. Fruit-infused or regular water will work just fine.
Engage in a short 16-24 hour fast to rest your digestive system and re-calibrate your hormones. If it is pathogenic-caused, the immune system, and its lieutenants, your probiotic bacteria, will better handle the critters. Resume your ingestion with a green juice.
Increase your intake of prebiotic foods (which grown your probiotic bacteria naturally) or fermented probiotic foods. Purchasing high-end refrigerated probiotic pills works as well. Ideally one with multiple strands of fungus and bacteria. The more inexpensive Acidophilus or Lactobacillus pills are not as effective. (Read my article on the importance of prebiotics and/or probiotics.)
Eat a diet high in fiber-laden fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Increase your intake of high electrolyte foods since you are losing much of them through the diarrhea. Folk remedies such as carrot juice have proven useful.
Aromatherapy (Essential Oils):
Apply Chamomile or lavender directly to the abdomen. Juniper, garlic, fennel or rose-centric oils diffused in a hot bath will help purge the body of the pathogens. Drops of Myrrh in water may help as well.
Drink chamomile or peppermint teas. Find ways to add ginger to your diet, either through teas, smoothies, or cuisines that feature ginger (e.g. Vietnamese, Thai). Coriander or Cassia may help as well.
Aconite, pulsatilla, and colocynthis, may prove useful. (Consult a homeopath prior to usage.)
Diarrhea is typically a manifestation of an underlying ailment. Once the immune system purges you’re the pathogen or your stress/anxiety abates so to should the diarrhea. However if not rectified in a few days consult a doctor, especially if accompanied by abdominal cramping and pain.
Various “Rescue Remedies” may be therapeutic as well. Just check the ingredient list for the usual suspects of food dyes, artificial sweeteners and alike. Try these natural remedies for diarrhea the next time Montezuma’s Revenge afflicts you!
A. Gregory Luna, double-certified Health Consultant and High School Medical Teacher
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