Is there anything worse than the stomach flu? In my opinion…ummm…NO. Nothing is worse than the stomach flu—it’s terrible! Like it or not, this virus goes around a few times a year so it’s best to be prepared as our kids go back to school this month. Today I’ve put together my list of natural remedies for the stomach flu.
What is the stomach flu?
The stomach flu is an intestinal infection characterized by diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting, nausea and sometimes a fever.
What causes the stomach flu?
The stomach flu is caused by a virus. Individuals may contract the virus by drinking contaminated food and water or by coming into contact with a sick individual.
Conventional treatment for stomach flu.
There are no conventional treatments for the stomach flu. Very sick individuals may be admitted to the hospital if they become dehydrated.
Natural Remedies for stomach flu.
As the body is in an acute stage of illness (vomiting and diarrhea) the most important thing to do is rest and let the body “do its thing” (as unpleasant as it is for all involved). In addition to rest and recouping, here are some things you can try:
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil may help to prevent the stomach flu. Coconut oil is made up of Lauric Acid, a fatty acid that may kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. Eat 1-2 tablespoons per day in smoothies, melted over veggies, in you morning cup of coffee, or straight off the spoon. (Coconut oil is better used to PREVENT the stomach flu–I can’t imagine being able to eat this oil in the middle of the stomach flu so don’t try to force any oil on a puke-y kid!) I have had good luck giving my kids coconut oil hidden inside my orange creamsicle smoothie that they love any time.
Hydration: Like diarrhea, the stomach flu is the body’s way of expelling a problem from the body so it’s best to let the virus run its course with limited intervention. Staying hydrated is key when fluids to not cause the child’ to vomit. During acute periods of vomiting a child may be unable to tolerate anything by mouth. In that case waiting until the acute vomiting is over is the best course of action. You can try replacing electrolytes with this homemade electrolyte drink after the vomiting has subsided.
Modified BRAT: The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast) has long been suggested as a treatment for childhood diarrhea. If you are recovering from the stomach flu some of these foods may be helpful. Bananas are easy on the tummy and replace lost potassium. Rice is okay to give to kids as long as it has been soaked overnight to increase digestibility. Homemade applesauce can be wonderful for sensitive tummies too. Toast made from refined grains, or containing gluten should be avoided as gluten is very hard to digest. A sprouted gluten-free bread, preferably homemade, is better.
Essential Oils: There is a great essential oil blend that Young Living makes called Di-Gize. It’s a blend of the following oils: peppermint, lemongrass, juniper, pachouli, ginger, fennel, tarragon and anise. You can dilute a few drops in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and rub it on the stomach. To find out how to buy therapeutic grade essential oils and the Di-Gize blend click here.
Ginger and Chamomile Tea: Both teas are soothing to the stomach lining and can help with nausea. Add a little raw honey to help balance electrolyte levels. Ginger tea can be made easily at home by combining grated ginger in hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink.
Homemade Electrolyte Drink: Coconut water is a nature’s best electrolyte replacement fluid. Full of potassium, magnesium and some sodium this is a great option for re-hydration. You can also make a homemade electrolyte drink after the vomiting has stopped and the child can tolerate liquid again. The homemade electrolyte drink can help to rebalance electrolytes and hydrate the body. Here’s a great DIY recipe that uses coconut water, so make sure to read up about the best coconut water to use here.
Herbs and Supplements
Probiotics: Probiotics should be given after the virus has passed to help repopulate the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria.
Bentonite Clay: Long used as a natural remedy for various digestive ailments, I have used bentonite clay to ward off the stomach flu when my kids get sick with it. I use this brand and I mix 1/2 teaspoon in 8 ounces and drink it down. Bentonite clay should not touch metal so use a glass and plastic or wooden utensils to stir. Take away from food (at least 1/2 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating).
Activated Charcoal: Used to help patients recover from alcohol poisoning, activated charcoal is known for absorbing toxins within the body. This brand is made from coconut and 1/2 teaspoon can be added to applesauce or water. I have used this to avoid getting a stomach bug when my kids have it. Take away from food (at least 1/2 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating).
Are you interested in learning more about natural remedies?
Then you might love my ebook, Natural Remedies for Children. This book saves you time and money by detailing easy and safe natural remedies for the 11 most common childhood ailments our kids face today. Learn how to build a holistic medicine kit and build strong immune function, too. Click here to get all the details!
What natural remedies do you use when your child has the stomach flu? Tell me in the comments below!