Every year, stomach flu affects millions of people all over the world. The disease is highly contagious and can spread from one person to another easily. While not fatal, the disease is characterized by severe diarrhea and vomiting and can weaken the affected person considerably.
In this article, we take a detailed look at the disease, its causes, symptoms, prevention, and natural remedies for stomach flu that can cure the disease completely.
What is Stomach Flu? It is basically inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. Despite the name, it has got nothing to do with influenza. The medical term for the disease is gastroenteritis. It is also referred to as infectious diarrhea, due to its symptoms.
Causes of Stomach Flu: It can be caused as a result of a bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infection. Though, in most cases, viral infection seems to be the most common cause. In adults, the infection is generally caused by the norovirus. In children, it is caused by the rotavirus.
Bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter jejuni are also known to be the cause of gastroenteritis among many people, particularly children.
Symptoms: The most common symptoms of the disease are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. In case of a viral infection, there could be other symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. In case of a bacterial infection, the symptoms include severe stomach pain and bloody stools.
Diagnosis: The disease can be diagnosed based on the symptoms alone. If you have blood in your stools, a stool test may be necessary.
Treatment: Physicians generally do not prescribe any antiviral or antibacterial medications for gastroenteritis, as the disease is self limiting. There are, however, a number of natural remedies for stomach flu that can not only treat the symptoms, but can also help you protect yourself against recurring bouts of the disease.
The most effective home remedies include
Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, ginger can provide you relief from cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. You can eat small pieces of raw ginger or drink tea made with freshly chopped ginger.
Cinnamon: Very similar to ginger in its properties, cinnamon can provide relief from vomiting and nausea. You can make tea with cinnamon powder and honey and drink it twice a day.
Asafetida: Known for its antimicrobial properties, asafetida can alleviate the symptoms of stomach flu and strengthen the digestive tract. You can add half a teaspoon of asafetida to a glass of warm water and drink once or twice a day.
Basil: It is particularly effective in treating stomach cramps and spasms. You can drink basil tea, add equal parts of basil juice and ginger juice and drink it, or drink water boiled with 5 to 10 basil leaves.
Lemon: It is rich in vitamin C, has antimicrobial properties, and helps prevent dehydration. You can add a few teaspoons of lemon juice to a glass of warm water, add some honey, and drink it.
Apart from this, you can also drink mint and chamomile tea, both of which are known to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. You should avoid meat, processed foods, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine completely and eat foods that are easy to digest such as bananas, toast, porridge, and rice. It is also important to sip small amounts of water at regular intervals to avoid dehydration.
With these remedies, you can easily treat and prevent stomach flu and also improve your digestive health greatly.