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Stop the Flow – Remedies for Diarrhea
Diarrhea or loose motion refers to the condition where you pass looser more frequent stools than is normal for you. Watery bowel movements are very common and are usually not very serious.
For most people, it is more an inconvenience than an illness. It may cause loss of water and minerals from the body. People may have diarrhea once or twice every year. The condition is more frequent in children. It may result in weakness, loss of appetite, stomach pain, etc. Loose motion usually lasts for 2-3 days and can be treated with home remedies or any over the counter medicines. In some people, diarrhea is a part of irritable bowel syndrome or occurs due to chronic disease of the large intestine. In such conditions medical treatment is necessary.
- Food poisoning or infection by bacteria
- Infection by other organisms such as parasites
- Allergies to certain food
- Foods that upset the digestive system
- Diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
- Certain medication
- Some cancers
- Alcohol abuse
- Stress or fright
Depending on the complication of the problem, the symptoms of loose motion vary.
- Abdominal bloating of cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Watery or loose stool
- Sense of urgency to have a bowel movement
When you suffer from diarrhea, your body cannot retain the water that you provide to it. Not only there is fluid loss, there is loss of essential minerals too such as sodium, potassium, and chloride that are critical for your body’s functioning. While you can always buy rehydration solutions with electrolyte replacement formula, you can also make one at home.
You will need:
- Water- 1 liter
- Salt- ½ teaspoon
- Sugar- 4 teaspoon
- Lemon juice, few drops
Add salt, sugar and lemon juice to the water. Mix well till the sugar granules get dissolved in the water. Sip this liquid frequently in small amounts throughout the day.
Remember that this is a home remedy to make up for the lost fluid and minerals of your body and not exactly for stopping your loose motions. You need to use other home remedies for that. For keeping your body hydrated, you may also take other liquids during the day. These may be clear soups, chicken broth, butter milk, fruit juices other than those that have laxative effects such as apple juice or prune juice.
One of the causes of diarrhea is the increased number of harmful bacteria in your intestine. Sufficient amount of friendly bacteria in your system is the key to good bowel movements. So, when you are suffering from diarrhea, you need to replenish good bacteria in your intestinal tract. Yogurt is one of the traditional foods that has been used since ages in many parts of the world for treating diarrhea by introducing beneficial bacteria in the body.
In cases of excessive thirst, water boiled with coriander seeds should be given (after straining).
A decoction prepared from pomegranate skin is very useful in stopping diarrhea. To prepare the decoction, take 50 grams of fresh pomegranate skin. Soak it in 800 ml. of water for one hour. Boil until a quarter of the volume remains (200 ml). Store this mixture in a clean, dry bottle. A couple of tablespoons can be taken several times a day. If there is blood in the stools, add half a teaspoon of honey to the decoction.
Mustard seeds are found to have certain antibacterial properties that will be effective in treating loose stools. Add ¼ teaspoon of mustard seeds in a tablespoon of water and keep it for one hour. Now drink this water like you take a regular oral tonic. Repeat it for two to three times a day to get rid of loose stools.
Lemon juice has anti-inflammatory properties that will help in easily clearing the stomach. It is one of the tried and tested home remedies for loose motion for many decades.
Extract the juice from one full lemon. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar to it. Mix it well. Now consume this lemonade every hour till you feel that the toxins in your intestines have been flushed out.
Take one to two teaspoons of dried fenugreek seeds and powder it in a blender to reduce it into fine powder. Now mix this powder in a glass of water and take it every day in the morning on an empty stomach for two to three days to completely get relief from loose motions.
Take a teaspoon of fresh and pure honey. It would be better if you get hold of organic honey. Add ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and the pure honey in a glass of warm water. Mix it well. Drink this water on empty stomach early in the morning. Then repeat the same at least two times in the day.
A drink that is made by mixing turmeric powder, curry leaves and salt in the water will be very effective in getting rid of loose motion. Curd has antibacterial properties and turmeric powder has anti inflammation properties. Curry leaves are also a very healthy ingredient that is used in Indian cuisine a lot.
Add two tablespoons of curd, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of asafetida, curry leaves and salt in boiling water and bring it to a boil. Make sure that the water reaches the boiling point. Once it is fully boiled, remove from flame. Drain the water and allow it to cool. Drink this twice a day for three days to completely cure loose motion problems.
Bottle Gourd Juice
Bottle gourd juice helps in retaining the water content in the body and prevent the body from getting dehydrated.
Take a fresh bottle gourd, peel the skin and then cut it into small pieces. Now put these pieces in a blender and mash it well. Squeeze out the juice from the mash mixture and consume it two times a day to restore the water level of the body.
Dry Ginger Powder
Ginger has antifungal and antibacterial properties and also helps in soothing the stomach pains apart from improving digestion. Add half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder in a cup of buttermilk. Mix it well and drink this buttermilk three to four times a day. Within 2 days, you are sure to see a considerable reduction in diarrhea.
If you are suffering from severe bouts of loose motion due to food poisoning, then it is advisable that you take complete rest for two days as there is every chance for your body to go weak due to loose motion and dehydration.
Raw papaya helps in easing stomach pain as well as reduce stomach cramps. Grate a raw papaya and put in a bowl that contains three cups of water. Boil the raw papaya in water for about 10 minutes. Strain the water and drink it once it becomes warm. Drink this two to three times a day till you feel a reduction in loose motion.
Avoid Milk Products
It is vital that you totally avoid milk and milk products for at least three to four days unit you fully recover from the loose motion bout. The intestines will not be able to digest milk and milk products during loose motion and consuming them will lead to increase in loose motion. Foods to avoid are cheese, milk, margarine, milk powder, caffeinated drinks, and high fiber or greasy foods.
What you eat and what you don’t eat is of utmost importance when suffering from any gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea. BRAT which stands for Banana, Rice, Apple sauce, and Toast is good for you because these foods are bland and extremely low in dietary fiber. At the same time, they provide your body with the essential energy, without stressing your gastrointestinal tract, which it needs to function. However, this is not a substitute for oral rehydration solution but complimentary to it.
Banana gives you potassium, the mineral which controls the fluid balance in your body. Boiled rice with the low-fiber carbohydrate gives energy without irritating your bowel. Apple sauce has the component pectin, a soluble fiber which soaks the excess fluid in your intestine to slow down stool passage. Toast, like rice, is low fiber carbohydrate to provide you with essential energy needed by your body without stressing your bowel movement. Toast in BRAT diet means plain toast, without butter or jam or jelly.
At the onset of diarrhea, you should take complete rest until you gain enough strength and energy. Physical exertion of any kind like exercise, sexual activity, sports, singing, dancing, etc., should be strictly avoided. The mind should be relaxed and free from stress.