Diarrhea is so common that anyone can define it. It is, as you know, increased frequency of bowel movements along with looseness of stool. If you are having more than five bowel movements in a day or completely liquid stool, you are suffering from absolute diarrhea. However, if you are just experiencing a little looseness in stool or having one to two more bowel movements as compared to your regular habit, you are suffering from relative diarrhea. You begin feeling weakness with the increased gravity of diarrhea. This is mainly due to dehydration and imbalance in bodily electrolyte (minerals). This loss of fluid and vital minerals due to increased bowel movements need to be contained fast when you suffer from diarrhea otherwise it may lead to various complications. Here is how you can get rid of diarrhea with the help of some home remedies as well as controlled diet and other measures.
Simple Ways to Get Rid of Diarrhea
1. Have Lots of Fluid When Having Diarrhea
This is quite natural to recommend as you lose lots of fluid from your body, you need to replace it too. However, you also need to put lesser strain on your stomach, particularly digestive system. So, best way to consume fluids is to have it in small batches. Do not at once gulp a full glass of water or juice whatever you are having. Takes sips now and then. The same is true with your meals. Take smaller meals and those foods that do not put pressure on your digestive system. What foods to take will be discussed later. As we are now talking about liquids, you may have the following.
- Fruit juice except apple and prune juice because they have mild laxative effect
- Weak tea, preferably ginger or some herbal tea with little sugar. Avoid any herbal tea that has laxative effects
- Coconut water
- Sports drink
- Ginger ale
In fact, you should make an oral rehydration drink to replace fluid which is also our next way of getting rid of diarrhea.
2. Make Oral Rehydration Solution to Combat Diarrhea
You may have heard a lot about ORS or the Oral Rehydration Salts. It is a special drink consisting of dry salts that is needed by your body and that get lost due to frequent bowel movements during diarrhea. ORS drink helps rehydrate your body and in fact is the basic and the best treatment for diarrhea. While you can always buy ORS drinks, it is so easy to make right at home, you would like to make it yourself.
How to Make ORS Drink at Home?
- Salt- ½ tsp
- Sugar- 6 tsp
- Clean drinking water (or boiled and cooled water)- 1 liter (5 cups)
- Add sugar and salt to water.
- Stir it till the sugar and salt get completely dissolved in water.
- Have this water through out the day.
If you get tired of having so much fluids, you may also make thick porridge type preparation with cooked rice cereal and some other ingredients. This is a good substitute for ORS drink, especially for small babies. The recipe is given in the next remedy.
3. Rice Porridge for Diarrhea
Why is rice porridge good for diarrhea? Because it is bland and low in fiber. Such foods does not stress out your digestive system. Additionally, the water content of rice porridge helps replace your body’s lost electrolytes.
How to Make Rice Porridge?
- Short grain rice or precooked baby rice cereal- ½ – 1 cup
- Water- 3-8 cups
- Salt- ½ – 1 tsp
- Maple syrup/ banana/ (optional)- as sweetener
- Mix the rice, water and salt
- Simmer it for about ½ – 1 hour till it gets watery thick and gets the consistency of a thick porridge.
- If using precooked baby rice cereal, just mix the salt and water and stir well to make it thick.
- Add mashed banana or maple syrup to make it sweet. Banana also helps replenish lost minerals.
Have this porridge in small amounts through out the day. Rice and banana, the two main components of BRAT diet recommended for diarrhea patients make this porridge a good remedy.
4. Follow BRAT Diet During Diarrhea
BRAT that stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast is a diet which is best suited for the digestive system of a diarrhea patient. All these components of BRAT diet are bland and low in fiber, exactly what is needed for a sluggish digestive system. As the intestinal mucosal cells get damaged due to infection, they cannot properly absorb nutrients till they get regenerated. This takes about 2 days or 48 hours. By having bland food without fats and proteins that are difficult to digest, you help shorten the duration of diarrhea. So, have these foods while you suffer from diarrhea:
- Toast, without butter of course
In fact, some other foods are also bland and help shorten the duration of diarrhea and as such new extensions of BRAT diet have evolved like BRATT where the extra T stands for tea, BRATTY where the Y indicates yogurt, and BRATCH having ‘CH’ and indicating chicken, usually boiled. Therefore, now we have to understand the roles of tea, yogurt and chicken in treating diarrhea.
5. Black Tea for Diarrhea
Black tea contains tannins that are polyphenols and give tea its astringent property. Astringent ingredients are capable of binding up and contracting bodily tissue. Tannins, in fact, stick to the protein layer of inflamed mucous membranes and make these membranes thick. The thick membranes cannot absorb toxins that fast. Also, their thickness prevents the bodily fluids from being secreted. In case of diarrhea, tannins thus thicken the irritated intestine and stops loss of bodily fluids. Therefore, you may have a cup or two of black tea when suffering from diarrhea.
How to Make Black Tea?
- Black tea bag- 1 Or black tea leaves- 1 tsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Sugar (optional)- 1 tsp or as per taste
- Place the tea bag in a cup and pour hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 2-3 minutes or a little more if you prefer a strong tea.
- Take out the tea bag and add sugar if using.
- Stir and have it.
- If using tea leaves, let them steep for about 3-5 minutes and strain.
- Add sugar and have it.
For that matter, herbal teas are also good for diarrhea remedy. They work differently than black tea but do get you rid of diarrhea.
6. Chamomile Tea for Diarrhea
Some herbal teas are great for curing diarrhea. Chamomile tea is one such herbal tea. Chamomile has been proved to combat a type of bacteria known as Campylobacter jejuni. This species of bacteria is one of the causes of infections leading to severe diarrhea.
How to Make Chamomile Tea for Diarrhea?
- Chamomile tea bag- 1 Or dried chamomile flowers- 1 tsp
- Peppermint leaves- 1 tsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Place the tea bag or dried herb in a cup or a pot respectively.
- Add peppermint leaves to this.
- Pour hot water over the herbs.
- Let it steep for about 10 minutes or so.
- Strain and have it
- have 3 cups of chamomile tea a day.
7. Orange Peel Tea for Diarrhea
The aromatic bitter sweet orange peel not only cures diarrhea but also makes you feel good due to its sweet aroma. Orange peel also fights against viruses and bacteria and is a folk remedy for digestive disorders. It is specially beneficial if you also suffer from gas, bloating and nausea, along with an upset stomach.
How to Make Orange Peel Tea?
- Dried orange peel- 1-2 tsp
- Hot water- 2 cups
- Sugar or honey- as per taste
- Place the dried orange peel pieces in a pot.
- Pour the hot water over it.
- Cover and steep till it cools down.
- Strain and add your choice of sweetener.
- Have this tea throughout the day.
8. Ginger Tea for Diarrhea
Ginger tea, perhaps is the most common herbal tea recommended for diarrhea. It helps relieve the symptoms of diarrhea by giving you relief from stomach spasms and gas that accompany watery stools many a times. Ginger tea has gingerol and shogaol as its active ingredients that aid in better digestion by releasing gastric juices and enzymes essential for digestion. This tea helps in slowing down the peristaltic movements of bowel which is so needed to stop frequent motions. Ginger tea also cures cramps and pain related to stomach upset and diarrhea.
How to Make Ginger Tea for Diarrhea?
- Fresh ginger root (minced or chopped)- 2 tbsp
- Hot water- 1-2 cup
- Place chopped or minced ginger in a pot.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain and have this tea.
9. Agrimony Herbal Tea for Diarrhea
Agrimony is a very common herb belonging to the Rosaceae or rose family. Native Americans had long used this tea for various conditions like skin problems, cough, sore throat, and of course diarrhea, for which it finds place in this list of remedies. The active compounds of agrimony include catechin, thiamin, quercitrin which is an antioxidant having anti-inflammatory properties. However, its complex polyphenol tannin makes it good for diarrhea cure. Tannin gives it its natural astringent properties that help with diarrhea cure. Make a weak cup of agromont tea for diarrhea and have it about 6 times a day.
How to Make agrimony Tea for Diarrhea?
- Dried agrimony herb- 1-2 tsp
- Hot water- 1 liter
- Sugar or honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Place the herb in a pot.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Steep for 5-15 minutes for very weak to strong tea. If making for diarrhea, don’t steep for more than 5-7 minutes.
- Strain and have this tea in 5-6 batches during the day.
10. Blackberry Leaf and Raspberry Leaf Tea for Diarrhea
Herbal teas made using blackberry leaf or raspberry leaf are also good when it comes to diarrhea remedies. These teas also contain tannins that we discussed in our earlier remedy related to black tea’s tannin components and how they cure diarrhea. These herbal teas along with giving you the goodness of tannins, also replenish lost fluids. This is an added advantage for preventing dehydration resulting from diarrhea.
How to Make Blackberry and Raspberry Leaves Tea for Diarrhea?
- Blackberry leaves or Raspberry leaves (dried)- 1-2 tsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Place the dried herb in a cup.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and have the tea.
Now that we have explored the properties of black as well as many herbal teas that are beneficial to get rid of diarrhea, lets turn our attention towards the other extension of BRAT diet, the BRATTY diet where ‘Y’ stands for yogurt!
11. Yogurt to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Plain yogurt (and not the flavored ones) contains what we call probiotics, the Lactobacillus GG, acidophilus or bifidobacteria or the good bacteria. These friendly bacteria of yogurt help protect your intestine in a way that disease causing germs stay at distance from you. And what about the bacteria that had already invaded your intestine? For this, the lactic acid present in yogurt is good enough. This acid kills the bacteria that lead to an upset stomach. Yogurt is also helpful when your diarrhea is due to the use of antibiotic drugs. In such cases, probiotics of yogurts prevent loose stools caused by reduction of beneficial bacteria in your system. Yogurt helps develop these beneficial micro-organisms so that you may get rid of diarrhea and upset stomach. What more, you get a good dose of protein as well when you eat yogurt. Remember, you were on BRAT diet, devoid of all proteins!
Ways to Include Yogurt in Diet to Get Rid of Diarrhea
- Have a cup of plain yogurt twice a day after meals.
- When you have your cup of yogurt, add a tsp of powdered fenugreek seeds to this. Fenugreek is good for curing indigestion.
- You can make your yogurt even better by adding cumin seeds to it. Take ½ tsp each of cumin seeds powder and fenugreek seeds powder and add this to your cup of yogurt.
- You can add pieces of a banana or even mashed banana to your yogurt. Banana is already a good food for diarrhea and one of the most important constituent of BRAT diet.
- To make it even better, add some boiled rice, yet another constituent of BRAT diet, and banana with yogurt and have this as your meal when suffering from diarrhea.
Let loose your imagination to use yogurt with your other BRAT foods and you may come up with excellent tasty ideas!
Leaving behind yogurt, we now move to the other extension of BRAT diet- BRATTCH diet and explore how chicken helps relieve diarrhea.
12. Chicken Broth for Diarrhea
Chicken is traditionally recommended for diet following diarrhea or at the later stage of diarrhea when it is about to go. The most common form in which chicken should be used are in form of broth or soup. While you need lots of water to recover from dehydration caused by loss of fluid during diarrhea, you also need to restore the electrolyte levels so that the nutritional deficiencies are corrected. For this broths and soups containing sodium are best and chicken soup or chicken broth are high in sodium levels as well as water. Also chicken broth is very light, and gentle on your digestive system that still needs to avoid overwork.
How to Make Chicken Broth for Diarrhea?
- Chicken pieces (chopped, skin less and fat less)- 1-2 cups
- Onion (chopped)- 1
- Carrot (chopped)- ½ – 1
- Salt- a pinch or two (as per taste)
- Cumin seeds powder (optional)- ½ tsp
- Fenugreek seeds powder (optional)- ½ tsp
- Water- 2-3 glasses
- Add chicken, onion, carrots and salt to water.
- Bring this to a boil.
- Now simmer it for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove any froth that may come up on the surface.
- Add cumin and fenugreek seeds powder if using.
- Remove from the stove.
- Let it cool down to room temperature or let it be a little warm.
- Have it.
13. Eat Potatoes to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Starchy foods are one of the main components of diarrhea diet. What’s more starchy and tastier than potatoes! Though you don’t feel like eating anything when suffering from diarrhea, you need to replenish the lost nutrients as soon as possible so that you get rid of diarrhea fast. Starchy foods like potatoes make your body absorb the nutrients in these foods comparatively quickly. Additionally, they make your bowel movements firm. Because you hardly eat anything during the first 24 hours of acute diarrhea, your energy levels go really low. Calories and carbohydrate rich potatoes may help your body revive your energy levels faster. Potatoes also help you bring balance to your electrolyte levels by providing enough sodium and potassium. Just remember to eat potatoes without its skin during diarrhea. Potato skin is rich in fiber that may aggravate the condition.
How to Eat Potatoes for Diarrhea?
- Bake or boil your potatoes
- Remove the skin off potatoes.
- Now add some salt and have it.
- You can also mash the potatoes, add salt and have it.
- Do not add butter to your mashed potatoes though.
And remember, do not eat fried or spicy potatoes. They won’t do any good to you but will make your diarrhea worse. Other starchy foods that you can have while suffering from diarrhea include bread, rice, tapioca cereals etc.
14. Have Lemon Juice to Stop Diarrhea
The acetic properties of lemon juice restore the pH balance of your system. This makes it impossible for bacteria to survive. Thus, to make your intestinal environment hostile for diarrhea causing bacteria, take fresh lemon juice. It will help kill the pathogens and get you rid of diarrhea.
How to Make Lemon Juice for Diarrhea?
- Fresh lemon – ½ -1
- Water- 1 glass
- Salt (optional)- a pinch or two
- Sugar (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Squeeze the lemon to take out the juice.
- Add this fresh lemon juice to the glass of water.
- Add salt or sugar, or both, if using.
- Mix well and have this tasty drink.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day.
15. Get Enough Rest to Get Rid of Diarrhea
When it comes to quickly curing diarrhea, rest becomes mandatory. As it is, you cannot attend office or go shopping or even to a party due to your bowel movements, discomforts and restrictions on diet. Why not then take full rest to get well soon! When your body rests, you are more able to fight out the cause of diarrhea and your immune system performs well to fight off the pathogens that have invaded your body. Take it as an opportunity to lie down in bed, that you cannot often do! Grab a book that you have longed for long to read! Or just switch on the TV or your music system and watch or hear something that soothes you! Or just try to have a deep sleep and wake up to a healthier you!
When you take so good care of your body, you ought to get rid of diarrhea soon!