Stomach flu otherwise known as gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the intestines and stomach. The disease normally has a viral etiology however it can also be due to bacterial infections, bio-toxins and parasites. Patients normally suffer from fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, abdominal pain, cold sweats etc.
Most of the patients approach a physician if infected with stomach flu. However there is no cure for stomach flu and the physician normally follow symptomatic treatment. Usually stomach flu last for two to four days and there are some home remedies that help to reduce the duration of the disease.
Since, diarrhea is a common symptom associated with stomach flu, the patient should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. The recommended fluids include powerade, gatorade or any other similar drinks. It is ideal to avoid milk and fruit juices during this period. If the symptoms get subsided by the end of first day, slowly introduce light foods such as bananas, white bread, white rice, apples etc. But, avoid dairy products, citrus fruits, greasy foods, tomato products, coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks etc.
Garlic is found to have antimicrobial as well as antibacterial properties. It soothes the stomach as well as bowel lining and calm down the cramping and rawness.
Garlic can be consumed fresh, chopped and mixed with honey or as tablets.
Chamomile is a good anti-inflammatory herb that has got neuro and muscle relaxant properties.
It also has antimicrobial, carminative and sedative properties. It helps to reduce bloating associated with stomach flu.
Lemon juice plays a key role in killing the pathogens that cause diarrhea. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to a glass of water or to a cup of herbal tea and consume just before meals to keep the stomach flu at bay. It’s the Vitamin C in lemon juice that is responsible for this property of lemon.
Vitamin C boosts up the anti-bacterial power of immune cells such as neutrophils and macrophages. Moreover vitamin C strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of interferon, which then produces lymphocytes which fight against infection.
An extract obtained from elderberry is used for stomach flu treatment. Certain compounds in elderberry bind with the germs and neutralize their activity before they get a chance to penetrate the cells wall. Thus, it prevents the spread of the disease causing organisms.
Anthocyanins in elderberry have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to minimize the fever, pains and cramping. The flavonoids present in elderberry strengthen the immune system and help the person to recover faster.
Include more apples and bananas in your diet. You can take apples in fresh or baked form. Apples help to provide a coating over the stomach lining and help the stomach walls to heal fast. Even apple sauce can be taken, as it contains pectin, which is a water soluble fiber that provide bulkiness to the stool and helps the body to retain water.
Ripe or green bananas can be taken to stop diarrhea. Bananas are easy to digest and provide magnesium and potassium to the patient, which are the most potent electrolytes required for the normal functioning of the body.
Adding small quantities of turmeric powder to soup or white rice provides antibacterial and antiviral effect. Similarly, blueberries are also beneficial, as they have antibacterial and antioxidant properties.