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Diarrhea Home Remedies, Diarrhea Treatment and Causes

Judging by the number of ancient remedies which abound world-wide for this horrid affliction, diarrhea appears to have been a major problem since the beginning of time, presumably as a result of man eating things which he should not have eaten or which were either contaminated or had gone bad. Infection was also carried through inadequate water supplies and drainage systems whilst health and hygiene in the home was fairly scanty.

The long-term or chronic condition of diarrhea is usually found to be caused by one of the following: a poor or inadequate diet; consistently eating foodstuffs to which one is unknowingly allergic; cooking foods in aluminum pans over a long period of time; perpetual emotional dramas or stress. Those acute griping attacks which usually last for no longer than 24 hours may be caused by one of the following: an infection from contaminated food or water, in some cases by antibiotics, over eating, an excess of sugar, stress or fright (you have heard the expression ‘one’s bowels turning to water). Children, particularly babies, are also vulnerable to a change of diet or milk, teething and, strangely enough, sultry weather.

The majority of people who suffer from acute attacks of diarrhea usually do so abroad and this is borne out by the list of names given to the problem ranging from ‘Tangiers trot’ to ‘cruise blues’. Unaccustomed  food, different water, too much sun, too much alcohol and quite frequently too much of everything else, including stress, leads to gyppy tummy.  Egypt does seem to be the one place where no stomach is safe and the only person I know of who survived unscathed ate all the highly spiced foods but no salads, drank neat whisky and cleaned his teeth in gin. According to scientists, water does not have to be contaminated to make you ill : it is quite enough that it is different and that the body is unused to it.

Centuries ago men knew when and where not to gather certain foodstuffs. Wild rabbits were not caught at certain time of the year for the flesh would be contaminated by the plants they had eaten. Mussels were not picked from wood beneath the water but only from rocks. Smallholders never fed offal to their chickens or meat scraps to their pigs. Nuts, berries, fruit, vegetables, fish and meat were eaten only within their natural seasons, not only because they were unavailable at other times but to protect the supply and to ensure that the conditions were right in which to keep them for as long as possible without adverse effect. Nowadays, due to modern farming, collection and storage methods, we have overcome most of these barriers but in doing so have created many other problems.

Home Remedies for Diarrhea

 Although the desire to stop a painful attach of diarrhea may appear to be of paramount importance it is better to allow the body to flush itself clean of the cause completely, which will usually take about 24 hours. However, if it continues over 48 hours professional advice should be sought. Do not delay with young children; if a gentle remedy has not been effective within 12 hours seek advice. The same applies to babies. If it is not the normal result expected due to teething, or the introduction of new foods or bottle feeding, for example, seek help as soon as possible. Eat very little when the tummy is badly upset, keeping the consumption down to bland, dry foods and lots of water. Eat only light meals during recovery and do not tempt providence. If it is a case of real emergency, such as traveling home from holiday and being confined to coach or plane or an important meeting which just cannot be put off, try either kaolin and morphine or J. Collis Brown’s Mixture. They are both patent medicines which are very old-fashioned and effective, but do refer to the instruction for dosage and suitability for children. Most of the old wives remedies are as useful today as they were yesterday but pity the poor sailor who had little choice between chewing tarred rope or his bottle of rum.

Long-Term Settlers

  • Drink plenty Dehydration is the most acute problem arising from a severe attach of diarrhea so drink lots of fresh, clear water. If you are far from home buy a well known mineral water. Alternatively experts recommend making up quantities of the following; 1 litre (1.75 pints) of freshly boiled mineral water, 2 tablespoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, ¼ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a little fresh lemon juice. Adults should take a little every five minutes until at least 3 litres (5.25pints) have been consumed within a 24 hour period. Children will only need to drink 1 litre (1.75 pints) and the very young even less. This is an invaluable remedy if sickness strikes abroad but do use a reliable brand of water that has been ‘bottled at source’.
  • Barley water The most reliable and old fashioned standby, make it up with or without lemon.
  • Rice A good food for a child who is suffering is plain boiled white rice mashed up with bananas.
  • Rice water  Boil 25g (1oz) of rice gently in 1 litre (1.75 pints) of water for 1.30 hours. Strain and drink the liquid to soothe the irritated bowel . One of the best home remedies for diarrhea.
  • Oats Make a thin gruel with oat meal or a handful of raw oats.
  • Plain live yoghurt This will kill off unwanted bacteria.
  • Leeks Cook 8 good-sized well washed leeks in 2 litres (3.5 pints) of water for three hours in a covered pan. A teaspoon of the resulting liquid drunk every five minutes will relieve diarrhea in children.
  • Potato juice The juice of fresh potatoes mixed with carrot juice and honey clears the bowels of infection. However ‘green’ potatoes, which are those which have been exposed to light, are very dangerous when eaten raw. Potatoes which have been cooked and left for over 24 hours before eating are also a prime cause of illness, so do not keep them for bubble and squeak but throw them away.
  • Pomegranate juice Crush the flesh to extract the juice and drink a spoonful at a time regularly throughout the day. This is a remedy from Egypt, where they know about such things!
  • Grape juice If an allergic reaction to a food or drug is the cause of sickness and diarrhea drink 2 glasses of grape juice and water.

Quick Comforters

  • Oil of peppermint Take a few drops in hot water.
  • Warm water and honey a small cup is an ideal soother for small children.
  • Port and brandy This mixture warms and settles the stomach and, provided you are not nauseous, makes you feel so much better.
  • Cayenne pepper One teaspoon stirred into a glass of hot water and swallowed quickly is incredibly disinfectant, if you can bear to take it. So is hot curry but this may well have been the cause of your downfall in the first place. Good home remedy for diarrhea.
  • Rose hip syrup Take in hot water after first making sure than an excess of vitamin C is not the original cause of the problem.
  • Massage A gentle massage of the abdomen will reduce the ache caused by this type of tummy upset which children find particularly distressing. Use 1 tablespoon of warm sunflower oil with several drops of one of the following essential oils added to given extra benefit: geranium, lavender, peppermint, sage, clove or garlic.
  • Warm compresses Another old-fashioned idea was to use a compress of leeks but 1 think that a much nicer idea is to use a warm compress of chamomile tea.
  • Onion Peel and slice a large onion and leave to infuse in a covered bowl with 1 litre (1.75 pints) water. The liquid is then drunk by the cup. This is also an excellent remedy for babies and small children if it is sweetened with honey and given by the small teaspoonful. The juice from raw onion on the hands makes a first-class disinfectant when dealing with children who have diarrhea, especially when changing nappies or cleaning potties.
  • Milky beverages A red-hot poker immersed for 30 seconds in a cup of boiling milk was believed to impart iron emanations to the drink. You may prefer a teaspoon of cinnamon or allspice in warm milk, both of which are warming and antiseptic.

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