Quick home remedies for managing mild intestinal infections.
By Renata Trister, DO
Mild bacterial intestinal infections do not always require antibiotics. Antibiotics also kill the healthy bacteria in the gut, which leaves you with a weakened immune system and an imbalance of intestinal flora.
Symptoms of bacterial intestinal infection are loss of appetite, cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting. There are many ways in which we can support ourselves with things from the kitchen. Here are a few simple ideas.
- No food outside your own home
- Avoid foods like coffee, red pepper and fried foods they can be irritating.
- Consume a lot of liquids to stay hydrated
- Lemon tea: peel and cut three lemons, boil in a liter of water and add some honey to soften the flavor
- Ginger tea: peel and cut one rhizome of ginger, boil in one liter of water, add honey if you want. Chewing ginger is also possible, but some caution: very hot! Ginger is extremely potent in curing nausea, but also relieves cramps.
- Banana and soft mashed plantains may be eaten.
- Garlic: Garlic is a natural antibiotic, gives a boost to your immune system and nourishes the stomach tissues.
There are a few additional treatments one can choose:
- Staying on a liquid diet for one day, drinking kefir/yogurt.
- Peppermint oil: helps eradicate harmful bacteria in the small intestine. Peppermint oil is available in capsules in your health food store. Take one capsule after meals. Peppermint oil can cause some undesired side-effects. Peppermint tea is a valid alternative with less side effects.
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Oregano oil
- Olive leaf, like garlic, is a natural alternative to antibiotics. Aloe juice is very soothing to the intestine.
- Tumeric root extract
Often taking antibiotics is necessary, it is very important to follow an adapted diet on the side, which will help you restablish the natural bacteria. This diet will typically be low in carbohydrates and exclude sweet and starchy foods. You might also want to focus on fatty food to keep your caloric intake sufficient. Supplementing with probiotics and fish oil is also highly recommended.