Diarrhea is a classic symptom of an infected, poisoned, or irritated digestive system. It can definitely be a big problem for those who experience it on a regular basis. After all, it is difficult to concentrate when all you can think about is finding a bathroom.
However, the increased volume and frequency of loose and watery stools is your body’s way of expelling toxins from the body, including a virus, bacterium, or even parasites. Diarrhea is essentially the body’s method of self-detoxification.
Sometimes diarrhea can also accompanied by gas, bloating, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and dehydration. Diarrhea is often a warning sign of a more serious health problem, including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, bacterial enteritis, celiac disease, hyperthyroidism, and even cancer in some cases. Other causes include anxiety and stress; contaminated food or water; and food allergies or intolerances.
How to get rid of diarrhea? Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies for diarrhea. Let’s take a look at 15 ways to get rid of diarrhea and improve overall digestion.
1. Increase Water Consumption: One of the quickest and easiest diarrhea remedies is to increase your water consumption. Hydration is critical when you have diarrhea. It is a good idea to consume 16-oz glasses of water every hour.
2. Fresh Vegetable Juice and Other Liquid Foods: Overall your diet should contain a variety of homemade liquid foods made by using a food processor, high-quality blender, or juicer. Some of the best high-fiber fruits and vegetables you can either blend or juice include bananas, spinach, kale, cucumbers, blueberries, apples, and avocados. Although these are great foods for overall digestion, when you have diarrhea they should only be blended or juiced.
3. Flaxseed: Studies have shown that ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil can reduce the duration of diarrhea. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2015 researchers found that flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed both display laxative and antidiarrheal activities and therefore improve constipation and diarrhea in mice.
4. Homemade Bone Broth: Chicken soup is good for more than the soul, especially when it is made with homemade bone broth. Not only does bone broth boost the immune system, but it also can help people overcome food allergies and intolerances and leaky gut syndrome. Bone broth provides hydration and nutrition to help those with diarrhea.
5. Probiotics: Probiotics are a great option to help you get rid of diarrhea. Friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus fight infection and aid digestion. Studies also show that the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii is effective at relieving diarrhea, especially when the diarrhea is linked with the use of antibiotics.
6. Digestive Enzymes: Two or three full-spectrum digestive enzyme formulas should be taken before each meal or as recommended by your health practitioner. Digestive enzymes help with the breakdown and nutrient absorption of food. Some enzymes found in digestive enzyme formulas include pancreatin, papain, pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin.
7. Chia Seeds: It is a good idea to add three tablespoons of raw chia seeds to your meals throughout the day. The soluble fiber in chia seeds helps thicken stools and decrease the frequency of diarrhea.
8. L-Glutamine Powder: L-glutamine is an amino acid that naturally repairs the digestive tract, and it is most useful for relieving conditions associated with chronic diarrhea. It is a good idea to take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of L-glutamine three times each day to help with digestive tract repair.
9. Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint essential oil taken internally in a capsule has been proven to effectively treat irritable bowel syndrome. In a four-week study published in the Digestive and Liver Disease in 2007, peppermint oil reduced IBS symptoms such as diarrhea in 75% of patients.
10. Ginger: Ginger can not only help with diarrhea, but it can also alleviate cramps and abdominal pain. Ginger is known to reduce intestinal inflammation and reduce the effects of food poisoning. It is a good idea to drink a fresh cup of ginger tea or take 2 mL of a ginger tincture every couple of hours.
11. Chamomile Tea: The antispasmodic properties of chamomile help with intestinal inflammation and reduce stomach pain caused by diarrhea. Chamomile tea soothes the digestive tract for immediate diarrhea relief.
12. The Right Homeopathic Combination: Homeopathic remedies are great for not only eliminating IBS symptoms like diarrhea, but for helping the body eradicate the deep patterns of susceptibility and weakness that triggered the issue in the first place. This is where a trained homeopath can help select the right remedy for diarrhea. For instance, Arsenicum album is useful for diarrhea caused by food poisoning; however, China officinalis may be best when weakness and exhaustion result from diarrhea. Other possible diarrhea remedies include Aloe socotrina, Argentum nitricum, chamomilla, ipecacuanha, Mercurius solubilis, phosphorus, podophyllum, Pulsatilla, Veratrum album, and sulfur.
13. Activated Charcoal: Two tablets of activated charcoal can be taken three times daily or as directed on the container for relief of acute diarrhea. A study published in the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer found that activated charcoal reduced the frequency and severity of irinotecan-induced diarrhea in children. Irinotecan is a drug used to treat small-cell lung cancer and colon cancer. Activated charcoal also helps prevent poison from being absorbed in the stomach.
14. Other Healing Herbs: Besides ginger and chamomile, there are other herbs that benefit digestion and relieve diarrhea and other IBS symptoms. For example, goldenseal helps improve diarrhea that is related to an intestinal infection. Astragalus, on the other hand, is an astringent herb that is excellent for chronic diarrhea. Other herbal diarrhea remedies include oregano oil, marshmallow, slippery elm, cranesbill, and red raspberry.
15. Get Lots of Rest and De-Stress: Rest is sometimes the best way to settle your tummy. Stress is a major cause of IBS symptoms and taking a break from your busy life can often relieve diarrhea. Besides sleep, other ways to de-stress and unwind include meditation, hiking in a forest, and taking a restorative yoga class.
What to Avoid with Diarrhea
When diarrhea is most intense, you will likely not want to eat much of anything. At this time, consumption of lots of fluids is best, and you should not force yourself to eat solid foods. As you begin to regain your appetite and feel better, you should stay away from foods that will re-aggravate your diarrhea such as fats and dairy products. Other foods that should be avoided include sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Sugar promotes inflammation ad discourages healing, and caffeine and alcohol are too stimulating for the digestive tract.
Other effective treatments to strengthen the digestive system include reflexology, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Remember that diarrhea is your body’s self-detoxification method. When ill with diarrhea, it is also a great idea to fast on liquid foods until your digestion improves.