Home Remedies to Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is a symptom of many diseases. The recommendations for treatment included here refer to the simple, occasional looseness of stool that we all experience after a suspect meal or when eating unfamiliar food abroad. If your diarrhoea does not improve within 24 hours or is exceptionally watery you must seek medical help, as there is a danger of dehydration. This is especially important with small children, who can get dehydrated rapidly, so make sure that they drink a lot. Water with lemon juice and honey is good, or any diluted fruit juice.

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Very strong black tea (no milk or sugar) can be helpful for diarrhoea if you have no access to other medication. Rehydrating powder available from the chemist (for instance Dioralyte) should be taken if your diarrhoea is severe and lasts longer than a day.

Treatment options

• Take a specific ‘anti-diarrhoea mix’ – see box, right. This mix has proved itself very effective on a number of occasions when I was travelling in Asia.

• It is good to take charcoal tablets as well as the above tincture mix, as charcoal absorbs toxins produced by the bacteria that cause diarrhoea. It is better to take the tincture first, and follow with the charcoal about 10-15 minutes later, otherwise the charcoal may inactivate some of the herbal constituents of the tincture. Adults: 2 tablets up to 4 times a day – a total of 8 tablets a day.

• Take marshmallow root powder, especially if there is a burning sensation associated with the diarrhoea (for precautions see post 48). Adults: 1 teaspoon of powder mixed with water, 1-3 times a day.

Children (2-16years old): adjust the adult dose downwards, depending on the age of the child – see post 6.

• Meadowsweet or chamomile tea can be very effective in treating mild diarrhoea in children (for precautions see post 47). Adults: 2-4 cups a day. Children: 2-5-year-olds: 5-10 teaspoons a day; 6-12-year-olds: 1-2 cups a day; older children: 2-4 cups a day.

ANTI-DIARRHOEA MIX Ingredients

• 30ml witch hazel leaf tincture (1:2)

• 40ml barberry tincture (1:10) (for precautions see post 51)

• 40ml chamomile tincture (1:5) (for precautions see post 47)

To make

• Mix ingredients together.

• Pour into a clean, dark glass bottle.

• Label with the contents and the date.

• Store at room temperature for up to a year.

Adult dose: 10ml diluted with some water, 2-4 times a day for 1-2 days, then reduce the dose to 5ml, 1-3 times a day, until symptoms improve.

Excess wind

Producing too much wind can be a function of diet (a vegetarian diet with lots of lentils, for instance) or can be related to having the wrong bacteria balance in the gut, which may result from taking lots of antibiotics. Occasionally, specific foods may need to be excluded from the diet. Often, flatulence goes together with indigestion and leads to bloating or colicky pain.

Treatment options

• Drink fennel tea after meals. Adults: V2 -1 cup, 1-3 times a day.

• Drink peppermint tea (for precautions see post 48). Adults: 1 cup 2 times a day.

• Take aniseed tincture (for precautions see post 50). Adults: 1-2 ml diluted with some water, 1-3 times a day, tincture strength 1:2.

• Take probiotics for a month, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Children (2-16years old): adjust the adult dose downwards, depending on the age of the child – see post 6.

Home Remedies to Diarrhoea

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