Food poisoning is an illness that you get from eating food that is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Depending on the type of infection, the symptoms can begin hours, days, or weeks after ingestion and include:
Organisms Causing Food Poisoning
Campylobacter bacteria found in poorly processed foods and drinks
Escherichia coli (E. coli) found in raw vegetables and undercooked meats
Listeria present in deli meats and soft cheese
Norovirus found in undercooked shellfish
Salmonella found in undercooked poultry and raw eggs
Staphylococcus aureus found in dairy products, canned foods, etc.
You can treat food poisoning from various ingredients and foods that are easily available in your kitchen and are economical too.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar or ACV, as it is commonly called, is a vinegar made from apples. It is one of the best treatments to cure food poisoning due to its alkaline effect. The alkaline effect reduces the acidity in your stomach and hence, helps in relieving symptoms of food poisoning.
Mix 2-3 teaspoons of ACV in a cup of hot water. Consume the prepared drink before eating your meal. If the problem persists, consume 2-3 teaspoons of undiluted ACV for better results.
2. Ginger (Adrakh)
Ginger plays an important role in reducing the symptoms of food poisoning. Due to its natural anti inflammatory properties, ginger will soothe your stomach lining.
It is recommended to boil a cup of water with about one spoon of grated ginger in it. Add honey or sugar according to taste. Alternatively, you can consume pieces of ginger directly.
3. Yogurt And Fenugreek Seeds (Dahi and Methi)
An effective and convenient method to cure food poisoning. Yogurt has antibacterial (bacteria-killing) properties that help fight the bacteria causing food poisoning. Plus, fenugreek seeds have a high content of soluble fiber which absorbs water and adds bulkiness to the stools which helps the food to move along. This lubricating property of fenugreek seeds helps to treat abdominal discomfort.
Consume approximately one teaspoon each of yogurt and fenugreek seeds. It is advised to just swallow the seeds and not chew them.
Lemon is considered the “king of remedies” as far as food poisoning is concerned. The strong anti inflammatory (reduces swelling), antiviral (virus-killing), and antibacterial properties in lemons kill the bacteria causing food poisoning.
Mix about one teaspoon of lemon juice with sugar and consume directly. You can dilute it with lukewarm water.
Bananas are a good remedy to cure food poisoning as they are very light and easy to digest.
Rich in potassium (an important mineral in the body that helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals) and fiber, bananas make for a reliable, quick, healthy cure for food poisoning.
Consume at least one ripe banana per day or you can also have a glass of banana shake.
Garlic is famous for its antipyretic (prevents or reduces fever) and cardiac properties. Due to its strong antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, it relieves symptoms such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Swallow one clove of garlic daily with a glass of water. You can consume garlic juice also if you cannot stand the smell of garlic. Otherwise, prepare a mixture of garlic and soybean oil and massage it on your stomach after dinner.
Owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, honey is one of the most effective food poisoning remedies.
Eat about one teaspoon of honey in its pure form three times a day. Else, you can have it with tea or lemonade.
As the proverb says “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away"; apples play an important role in curing food poisoning. Apple considerably reduces reflux and heartburns. It prohibits the formation of bacteria that causes stomach ache and diarrhoea.
9. Cold Milk
Cold milk soothes your stomach lining by reducing the acidity in the stomach and inhibits acid reflux; hence, gives symptomatic relief in case of food poisoning.
It is recommended to have a glass of ice-cold milk to cure your upset stomach. You can add any flavor for taste, but for instant relief, it is recommended to consume plain cold milk.
10. Rehydration Mixture
Food poisoning is often accompanied by dehydration which extracts out essential fluids and salts from your body. Hence, drinking lime water can hydrate and replenish essential salts in the body.
In a liter of water, mix 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice along with sugar and salt according to taste. Drink it on a daily basis to prevent dehydration.
In summers, water is the universal healer. Drink plenty of water (approx. 2.5 liters to 3.5 liters every day), especially during food poisoning to effectively flush out all the toxins and bacteria from your body.
12. Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
Cumin seeds or ‘jeera’ is a very popular home remedy for the treatment of food poisoning. It increases the activity of digestive enzymes (break down food) present in your body, potentially speeding up digestion.
In a cup of water, boil cumin seeds and add freshly extracted coriander juice and consume it twice a day. You can also have a mixture of salt, cumin seeds, and asafoetida (hing). Consume this drink 2-3 times a day.
13. Basil (Tulsi)
Basil or tulsi leaves are the best herbs against food poisoning. Basil leaves have anti inflammatory properties which have a positive effect on the digestive tract. Basil also helps to restore your body's correct pH level (pH is the measure of how acidic or basic any liquid is) by balancing the amount of acid in your body.
Extract a glass full of basil juice from a few leaves. Add honey for taste and drink it several times a day.
Alternatively, add a few drops of basil oil in water and consume.
Mix three plain tablespoons of plain yogurt, add a pinch of black pepper, basil leaves, and sea salt. Consume several times a day till the symptoms subside.
Eat anything that contains peppermint or menthol, like hard candies and chewing gum, and consume it for the cure against food poisoning. Peppermint has antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasm) properties and hence, relaxes the digestive tract to ease your symptoms.
Take approximately a handful of mint leaves, strain it in boiling water and consume three times a day.
15. Coriander (Dhaniya)
Coriander leaves are used as taste enhancers in almost every Indian meal. But very few of you might be aware of its medicinal properties. It soothes your stomach against the injury caused due to stomach infection. It can be consumed fresh or as a powder. Coriander oil is also known to have antibacterial properties.
Throw some coriander leaves in a bottle of water and leave them in the refrigerator overnight. Drink it the next morning.
There are some DO’S and DON'TS that should be adhered to if you have food poisoning.
If diarrhea and vomiting persist for more than a day, sip an oral rehydration solution that is available in the pharmacy or you can make it at home.
Clean your hands properly with an antiseptic soap before eating or cooking.
Maintain proper hygiene in the kitchen.
Keep unpreserved food items in a deep freezer.
Get proper rest and sleep well for a speedy recovery.
Don’t eat solid foods, try to eat semi-solids and liquids. It will reduce pressure on your digestive system and aid in speedy recovery.
Avoid street foods and foods from an unhygienic place.
Avoid fried, greasy, spicy, and excessively sweet meals.
Avoid nicotine, dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol during the course of recovery.
So, this was a detailed account of what you are supposed to do to protect yourself from food poisoning this season. Stay hydrated, wear light clothes, and always carry a water bottle whenever you go out.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.