Home Medications and Treatments for Diarrhea
Diarrhea refers to the frequent passage of loose or liquid stools. The most common causes are food poisoning, a bad water supply, the flu, overeating, food allergies, parasites, and colitis. In infants, it can also be associated with teething. Stress or emotional upset, antibiotic use, or even ingesting a high dose of vitamin C are other causes of diarrhea. Diarrhea can be acute or chronic.
Chronic Diarrhea often lasts longer (up to 3 weeks or more) Severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration and can prove to be fatal, due to the loss of water and nutrients in the body.
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Diarrhea can be temporary from infections or chronic. Chronic diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious illness that requires prompt medical intervention.
Symptoms of uncomplicated (non-serious) diarrhea are watery, liquid stools, frequent need to go to the bathroom, loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, pains or cramps, nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of complicated (serious) diarrhea are blood or mucus that is present in stools, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms indicate a more serious underlying cause.
Dehydration: Diarrhea leads to dehydration, this is a sign of potentially serious disease. It is important to rehydrate the body.
Most Common Causes of Diarrhea:
Infections through contaminated food and water
Food in tolerances
Medical conditions, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Colon Cancer.
Viral infections, which cause most cases of diarrhea, typically bring mild-to-moderate symptoms with frequent, watery bowel movements, abdominal cramps, and low-grade fevers. Diarrhea generally lasts from 3-7 days. The Norwalk virus is the most common cause of epidemics of diarrhea among adults and school age children. Bacterial infections cause the more serious cases of diarrhea. You typically get bacteria from contaminated foods or drinks (food poisoning). Bacterial infections also cause severe symptoms with vomiting, fever, and severe abdominal cramps or abdominal pain. Diarrhea is very frequent and may be watery.
Buttermilk is one of the most effective home remedies in the treatment of diarrhea. Buttermilk is the residual milk left after the fat has been removed from curd by churning. It helps overcome harmful intestinal flora. The acid in the buttermilk also fights germs and bacteria. Buttermilk may be taken with a pinch of salt three or four times a day for controlling this disease.
Carrot soup is another effective home remedy for diarrhea. It supplies water to combat dehydration; replenishes sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, and magnesium; supplies pectin; and coats the intestine to allay inflammation. It also checks the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and prevents vomiting. Half a kilogram of carrots may be cooked in 150 ml of water until they become soft. The pulp should be strained and enough boiled water added to it to make a liter. Three-quarters of a tablespoon of salt may be added. This soup should be given in small amounts to the patient every half an hour.
Fenugreek leaves are useful in diarrhoea. One teaspoon of seeds, which have been boiled and fried in butter, should be taken with a cup of buttermilk twice daily. They are valuable in allaying biliousness. The seeds are also beneficial in the treatment of this disease.
In case of diarrhoea caused by indigestion, dry or fresh ginger is very useful. A piece of dry ginger should be powdered along with a crystal of rock salt, and quarter of a teaspoon of this powder should be taken with a small piece of jaggery. It will bring quick relief as ginger, being carminative, aids digestion by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract.
Mint juice is also beneficial in the treatment of diarrhoea. One teaspoon of fresh mint juice, mixed with a teaspoon each of limejuice and honey, can be given thrice daily with excellent results in the treatment of this disease.
The juice of bottle gourd is a valuable medicine for excessive thirst due to severe diarrhoea. A glass of plain juice with a pinch of salt should be taken every day in treating this condition.
The juice of fresh leaves of drumstick is also valuable in diarrhoea. A teaspoon of this juice, mixed with a teaspoon of honey and a glass of tender coconut water, can be given two to three times as an herbal medicine in the treatment of diarrhoea.
The pomegranate has proved beneficial in the treatment of diarrhoea on account of its astringent properties. If the patient develops weakness due to profuse and continuous purging, he should repeatedly be given about 50 ml of pomegranate juice to drink. This will control the diarrhoea.
Mango seeds are valuable in diarrhoea. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered, and kept stored for use as a medicine when required. A dose of about one and half to two grams with or without honey should be administered twice daily.
Sesame seeds are helpful in the treatment of this condition. Two tablespoons of the seeds should be lightly roasted in a frying pan. They should then be ground into a fine powder and mixed with one tablespoon of cow's ghee. The mass should be divided into three parts and each part should be taken with half a cup of boiled goat's milk thrice daily for six days by the patients. It acts as an excellent medicine in this condition.
Turmeric has proved to be another valuable home remedy for diarrhoea. It is a very useful intestinal antiseptic. It is also a gastric stimulant and tonic. One teaspoon of fresh turmeric rhizome juice or one teaspoon of dry rhizome powder may be taken in one cup of buttermilk or plain water.
Rice is useful in treating diarrhoea in children. A teaspoon of powder of charred parboiled rice, mixed with a glass of buttermilk, should be given in doses of thirty grams every half an hour. This will bring excellent results.
Cooked or baked apples are good for diarrhoea. The cooking process softens the cellulose. Much of its value as a regulating material thus lost and it is effective in looseness of the bowels.
A glass of fresh tomato juice, mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper, taken in the morning, also proves beneficial.
Other starchy liquids such as arrowroot water, barley water, and coconut water are also useful in the treatment of diarrhoea. They not only replace the fluid lost but also bind the stools. Other home remedies include bananas and garlic. Bananas contain pectin and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. Garlic is a powerful, effective, and harmless germ killer. It aids digestion and removes intestinal worms.
1. The BRAT diet. This diet can help control short-term diarrhea. BRAT
B – bananas
R – white rice
A – peeled apples
T – toasted white bread
2. It is essential to replace fluids and minerals. For that purpose, you can drink water, vegetable juices, broths, and herbal teas.
3. Sauerkraut and tomato juice are also used to replenish lost minerals. Drink 1 to 2 tablespoons every hour. The following mixture can be used as well:
To 1 quart of water add:
4 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Add lemon, lime, or carrot juice to taste.
Drink 1 cup every hour or two.
4. A mixture of apple sauce and bananas sprinkled with carob powder can be helpful and is well-liked by children.
Other useful methods for the treatment of diarrhoea are the application of cold compress at 15.6 degrees C on the abdomen and a cold hip bath at 4.5 degreesC-10 degrees C. The procedure for cold compresses is to wring a folded cloth from cold water and apply it on the abdomen. The wringing should be just sufficient to prevent dripping. The compress should be renewed every fifteen to twenty minutes. For a cold hipbath, a special type of bathtub is used. It is filled with cold water so that it covers the hop and reaches up tot he level where the patient's navel is covered in a sitting position. The duration of the bath is usual ten to fifteen minutes. The patient should rub the abdomen from the naval downwards in brisk anticlockwise movements across the body with a moderately coarse, wet cloth. The legs, feet, and upper part of the body should remain completely dry during and after the bath.