There are many home remedies for stomach flu or gastroenteritis, which occurs when viruses enter the gastrointestinal tract and settle in the stomach and the intestine. The incubation period varies depending on the type of virus which has entered the system.
The symptoms of stomach flu are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, low grade fever and muscle aches. With the loss of bodily fluids there is a danger of the patient become dehydrated. It is necessary for the patient to consume small quantities of clear fluids to remain hydrated. Solid food should not be given while the symptoms last. Milk and dairy products, caffeine, carbonated drinks and citrus juices should be completely avoided. Till the patient feels nauseous and vomiting continues, only a few sips of water should be given. Too much of water may induce further vomiting. Sucking on ice chips or ice lollies may be soothing.
A simple case of stomach flu can be treated easily at home and there is no need for medication.
Home Remedies for Stomach Flu
- Sipping apple cider vinegar in combination with apple juice is easy to consume and it helps treat the nausea.
- Peaches are said to cure a stomach virus and alleviates stomach pain. The sugar content neutralizes the effect of stomach virus.
- Weak tea made from herbs like camoille or peppermint can soothe the stomach. Strongly brewed tea with milk should be completely avoided.
- Freshly squeezed carrot juice can be drunk through the day to soothe the stomach.
- Light yogurt, (preferably homemade) contains helpful bacteria and thus soothes the stomach.
- Cranberry juice can be sipped to get rid of the stomach virus.
- A light, clear broth which may be diluted could be given to the patient.
- Electrolyte replacement drinks should be given if a lot of fluid has been lost due to diarrhea or vomiting.
- Diluted fruit juices (not citrus) would help replace the fluids lost.
- Lemon juice can be mixed with water to which a little salt and sugar has been added and sipped through the day. This is helpful as it has anti-microbial properties.
- Chewing fresh mint leaves or adding mint leaves to light herbal tea will relieve the discomfort and vomiting.
- A decoction of crushed ginger, aniseed and cumin seeds makes an effective herbal tea to cure the stomach.
- A solution of grapefruit seed extract mixed with water has anti-microbial properties and can cure stomach flu.
Once the symptoms of stomach flu have cleared the patient can be started on a bland, semi solid diet. Following the BRAT diet is highly recommended. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, apples and toast. Once the patient is on the way to recovery, lightly steamed or boiled vegetables can be given. Oily and spicy food should be avoided. The patient should also avoid the consumption of alcohol. Gradually, fresh fruits and vegetables can be added to the diet.
A person suffering from stomach flu can feel weak and run down. There should be a break from everyday work and the patient should lie down and rest as much as possible, to regain his strength. Diarrhea and vomiting may also leave a person feeling hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. A sponge or a cool bath would help. The patient should wear light and comfortable clothing.
Once the patient has recovered certain preventive measures should be taken. Hands should be washed and hygiene maintained when in contact with another person suffering from stomach flu.
There are no medicines to treat common stomach flu. Herbal remedies for stomach flu can be found in the kitchen and these are most effective in treating the disorder.