The stomach flu – though not actually a flu at all – can nevertheless cause quite a bit of misery when someone is down with it. The nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that can accompany these bouts makes these stomach bugs very difficult to deal with while they last – which fortunately is not usually very long! They can, however, be particularly difficult for more vulnerable people like young children or the elderly.
While there is no cure for the stomach flu but to let it run its course, there are, fortunately, a number of natural remedies which can help make some of the more unpleasant symptoms easier to deal with. Read on to find out more about some of the best home remedies for stomach flu.
Most people think of chamomile strictly as a sleep aid, but it is also good at calming down the digestive tract due to the fact that it is an anti-inflammatory and can also help to relax the smooth muscles that line the gastrointestinal tract (and which kick into overdrive during the flu!). As a carminative, it can also help with any gas and bloating that are also common symptoms of this bug. (1)
Mint has a reputation as a digestive aid that goes back centuries – and with good reason. Mint, like chamomile, is a smooth muscle relaxer (which is very useful for this kind of bug) and has strong anti-microbial properties, so it is effective against many of the common viruses and bacteria that cause this ailment to begin with. (2)
If the stomach flu is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, it is easy for the body to become too low on sodium, which can lead to a whole array of other problems secondary to the bug itself. Drinking – in moderation – salty drinks like soups or broths is a good way to help restore sodium levels and prevent this common electrolyte imbalance. (3)
Studies have shown that bananas are able to help slow down diarrhea and restore some normality to the digestive system. They are also important for electrolyte balance: it is easy to lose minerals like potassium and magnesium during bouts of vomiting or diarrhea, and banana can help restore levels of those electrolytes to normal. (4)
Toast or Crackers
Dry toast or crackers are a long-used remedy to coax someone to eat even when they have an upset stomach. They are able to help settle the stomach down – probably due to the fact that they can absorb excess acid – which makes it easier for a person to begin eating again and regain their health and strength. (5)
The remedies above are all natural and gentle and can help soothe down the entire digestive system and alleviate some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of the stomach flu. Many of them can also help add to hydration levels, which is very important when going through this kind of illness. Either way, the body benefits from these nature-based therapies!
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