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How To Cure Food Poisoning Fast!

Last Modified on May 05, 2015

Food Poisoning Cure

Food that has gone bad or been contaminated by toxins, bacteria, or parasites can cause food poisoning, otherwise known as food-borne illness. And it ain't pretty! We've all been there, having eaten something we often knew wasn't a good idea or been surprised by food that was improperly prepared or stored. Picnics and food buffets are often at fault; when foods are kept above or below safe temperatures for several hours, pathogenic bacteria and viruses can grow to infectious or toxic levels. Meat and poultry are common sources, but so is water - especially if you've traveled somewhere new. So what do you do if you think you're in the early stages of food poisoning? Fortunately, there are fast-acting home remedies in your cupboard that can stop a bout of food poisoning in its tracks!

But first, what exactly are the symptoms for food poisoning? Well, they can be obvious (vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea) and occur within an hour or two after eating; however, the effects of a food borne disease can also be more subtle such as a fever or abdominal cramping and pain. In mild cases, food poisoning will resolve on its own. On the other hand if you see lasting or more significant symptoms such as blood in your vomit or diarrhea, see a doctor.

Find a Natural Cure for Food Poisoning

Hands down, the most popular home cure for food poisoning is apple cider vinegar (ACV). Pathogens such as salmonella are very sensitive to acids1, so ACV helps there, as does its natural antibiotic qualities. Will any old vinegar do as well? Possibly, but it's a questionable time to take the risk, no? Still, use what's on hand for fastest relief! Also, some have found relief from food poisoning symptoms in the toxin-absorbing qualities of activated charcoal. Check out that folk medicine cure and many others below!

1Antibacterial Action of Vinegar against Food-Borne Pathogenic Bacteria Including Escherichia coli

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Most Popular Food Poisoning Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar103
Activated Charcoal8
Activated Charcoal, Apple Cider Vinegar7
Lugol's Iodine3

User Reviews

Activated Charcoal   8  1   

Posted by Sacha (Murewa,zimbabwe) on 02/25/2014

[YEA]  Charcoal really helped me in a matter of minutes, it completely stopped the pain from food poisoning.

Replied by J London

[YEA]   Note to things that can mimic food poisoning (from personal experience ) ... appendicitis .. & ... food allergy ... alfafa leaves in "Super food blends" ... or cheap "clorophyl" .. which may be just crushed alfafa in a gel cap ... can cause internal intestinal / stomach rash. Neither ACV or charcoal will help. If you have "Hay Fever" .. consider this possibility .. just time for recovery & avoidance ...
Replied by Cierra
Baltimore, MD

[NAY]   Did the pills completely eliminate the pain from food poisoning, even the next day? Seems like it is not working for me :-(

Posted by Nanci (Brandon, Ms) on 08/04/2011

I purchased activated charcoal several years ago when I read how wonderful it is for a variety of things.

My son thinks that he ate some shrimp that were not good several days ago and has felt terrible since and has had diarrhea for several days. Could I give him the charcoal now and should I buy a fresh product since I have not used this for several years. I have not refrigerated it. Should it be refrigerated?

Replied by Lr
Naperville, Il

I have personally not tried the charcoal but have been a loyal follower of ACV (Apple Cider Vinigar) for 15 years or so. It is remarkably effective. I won't be without it at home! Even my once doubting husband became a believer. It's the best natural remedy going. Take 2 tsp in a glass of water (i just pour 2 capfuls). If you can't hold anything down the best way to take it is by the spoonful. Just keep sipping a spoonful every 3-5 minutes, or as often as you can handle, and it will stay down. Very quickly it will take effect. Usually in 30-60 minutes it will stop the vomitting by killing the bacteria, which causes such sickness.
Replied by Che
Roxas City, Philippines

Acidophilus is available in the Philippines. You can go to health shops at SM shoemart Cebu. Not sure from other branches of SM. If you are in Manila acidophilus is available at Doc Tam Mateos Center at Maybunga, Pasig.
Replied by Td
Jerusalem, Israel

I ate bad canned tuna about 1 and half hour ago. I didn't realize it when I was eating it because of the other over powering ingredients in the salad. About half hour after I ate it, I got fishy tuna after taste, and then a funny feeling on my tongue. I have a full of day of work tomorrow that is important to attend to.

I am grateful for this apple cider vinegar idea you mentioned. I just took it. Hopefully it will work!!

Thank you again Naperville, IL resident for posting. I really appreciate it!

Replied by Cleanstep
Los Altos, Ca

I can assure you that water and vinegar are excellent at knocking out food poisoning, one of the fastest remedies around. I use 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup apple vinegar (usually stronger than most) if available or any vinegar if not. The ascetic acid in the vinegar kills the pathogens that are making you sick in a very short time period, faster than antibiotics for me. Usually witin 2 hrs you are good to go. I always use vinegar and oil on salads when traveling in developing nations, and eat the salad last so the vingar has time to penetrate the lettuce and veges and it will knock out Ecoli, Salmonella, etc., within 20 min and you will not get sick.
Replied by Amyg
Houston, Texas

My boyfriend thought he might have food poison from some sushi he ate at lunch yesterday. He hadn't vomited or had diarrhea but had been having acid reflux and nausous all night. I gave him 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with 3/4 cup water..... He chugged it and with in seconds projectile vomited.... He got into the shower and had to jump out as he then had explosive diarrhea..... And well he's feeling better now. I felt awful it happened so quickly but it did the trick so far!!!

Posted by Timmy (Minneapolis, MN) on 01/29/2009

[YEA]  I do not know If I received food poisoning from Mexico but I arrived Sunday morning and by Tuesday I had the grumbles then later the squirts by the end of the day. The first night less then 4 hours of sleep. The second night the same. I had bad cramps when I ate and I had severe stool problems. I decide to hit the net and look for a home cure. I had apple cider at home so I first tried that and it worked a bit by stopping my stool I still had some stomach pain. I went and got the charcoal caps took 2 and with in 10 minutes I felt better. I have not had a stool for 40 min, kept in a glass of water and feel good. I am now going to finally eat something.

Replied by Dr. Michael
Briarcliff Manor, Ny

[YEA]   After a nice Valentine's Day dinner, my wife woke up with severe diarrhea & couldn't stop throwing up. Even water. Fortunately, I stumbled across this website! I ran out and bought her activated charcoal capsules and gave her 2. Within 20 minutes she was finally able to get some rest. She still slept all day & was exhausted from the emptying both ways, but at least it stopped & she felt good enough to sleep. Thanks!

Posted by Mitsue (Wishart, Queensland Australia) on 11/06/2008

[YEA]  One late afternoon I bought Sushi with raw salmon in it, it must have been sitting there all day, after eating it I had very bad case of vomiting and diarrhea for almost 3 weeks. I remembered that charcoal helps with the poison, and I had charcoal my mother sent me for purifying water. I just was so desperate I just cracked a small piece and ate it. Surprising as it is, my vomiting and diarrhea stopped almost immediately. I should have taken it sooner.. So I have medicated charcoal tablet in my medicine cupboard now and when I had vomiting the other I took one straight away and I was fine!!

Posted by Al (Opelousas, USA) on 06/30/2008

[YEA]  I too had food poisoning so bad that I was sent to the emergency room, during which time, I was given 2 liters of Sodium Chloride(??). Of course the hospital wants you to pass (diahrrea) the poison, so nothing was administered. I sent a relative to the drug store for Activate Charcoal capsules and followed the recommended dosage; 1gm/hour...within 6-7 hours I could eat small amounts and not experience nauseau or diahrrea(sp?)You should keep a bottle in the refrigerator (safely).

Posted by GT (Vero Beach, Florida) on 08/22/2007

[YEA]  Charcoal pills were used for severe food poisoning. Eating chicken that has been left out in the heat of the blazing sun from 4am to dinner time, no refrigeration. Many around me got sick with severe bowel problems. I took charcoal pills,the loose bowels stoped within 10 min.

Posted by Shawna (Mountlake Terrace WA)

[YEA]  I have had multiple issues with food poisoning all throughout my life. I had a Naturopath tell me once to take 3-4 charcoal pills two times a day at the onset of pain and queasiness, then continue the same for 3 days afterwards. You can purchase charcoal pills from any health food store or in some local corner drug stores. I have used this remedy for about 15 yrs now and it's ALWAYS worked. My husband just had it and he took the pills and he felt better right away and was able to keep down food and water.

Activated Charcoal, Apple Cider Vinegar   7  0   

Posted by Julian (Kissimmee, Florida) on 04/17/2013

[YEA]  I am writing this because this is the second time apple cider vinegar has cured my food poisoning. Last night I had chicken and pasta, thought it was delicious. This morning though I woke up around 4:30 feeling nauseous. I went to the bathroom and I threw it up. I mean ALL of it. So I went back to sleep, and woke up again at 6am. I again felt nauseous and proceeded to the bathroom where I gagged and choked until my stomach and intestines were in severe pain and I could barely breathe, but nothing came out. So I drank a glass of water. Went back to sleep, at this point I had bad cramps and was exhausted from waking up multiple times. At 8am I went to the kitchen and threw up again, this time it was the whole glass of water I drank before. Went back to sleep.. And at 1 in the afternoon I woke back up and had some black lipton tea, suggested here on EC to help food poisoning. Less than 30 minutes later I threw that up too, that and some blood. I was so sick of vomiting!! So I came back on EC and looked up more vomiting/food poison remedies and remembered about ACV. I also saw that activated carbon/charcoal works too by absorbing the poisons created by the bacteria. So I went to a health food store and bought 32oz of organic ACV, you already know the brand :D as well as charcoal capsules. Came home and took two capsules of activated carbon and 3 TBSP of ACV. It didn't work right away like most people, maybe because I waited too long.. But anyway within an hour or two (that seemed like eternity), I stopped feeling so nauseous and the cramps subsided. I took ACV and charcoal again a couple hrs later, 2TBSP and 2 capsules of charcoal. By now I figured I couldnt stand up or lay down, or I would get nauseous again. So I just sat slumped over for a couple hrs. And finally gave up because I was so exhausted, so I fell asleep. I woke up again about and hour ago, repeated the concoction of ACV and charcoal, and am feeling better now, except for my killer headache. I am thankful for earthclinic and all the helpful reviews here. And am especially grateful for this liquid gold, apple cider vinegar!!!

Replied by Lr
Naperville, Il

[YEA]   Sorry to hear how sick you were :( I've been there. Was so sick with my roomie, for nearly 3 weeks we vomited AND had diarrhea. Good times.

The ascetic acid in the AC Vinegar kills the pathogens that are making you sick. I don't recommend chugging 1/4 cp of it though, as that in itself could make many people sick. Two tbsp is more than enough, and repeating an hour or two later wouldn't hurt.

I'm a huge fan of ACV and know it works but I've picked up some charcoal too for general first aid but thankfully haven't had to try it. I've learned it is able to neutralize the majority of toxins, up to 60% - It is all natural (made from burnt coconut shells) - It has been a staple of poison control centers - It will usually stop a case of food poisoning from progressing. The toxins actually stick to the surface of charcoal like a magnet and stay firmly attached until they are expelled from the body in the feces... [nature is amazing]. Cheers & to good health :)

Posted by Gem620 (Gilbert, Arizona, Usa) on 07/30/2011

[YEA]  I woke up this morning dizzy, nauseous, & sweating. This is the first time I've ever experienced this type of misery. I tried ginger ale & candied ginger with very little relief. I had salmon last night as did my daughter but she feel great. I am so thankful to have found this site and all the great assistance. After suffering for 9 hrs. I decided to drag myself out & but the activated charcoal & apple cider vinegar. I took 2 capsules of the charcoal & took a swig of vinegar, I don't advise this, be sure to dilute with water. I felt worse for a couple hours & then the dizziness, nausea & sweating began to dissipate considerably. I'm so amazed at how much better I feel from just 2 hrs. ago! Thank you so much to all!!

Posted by Al (Salina, Ks) on 06/27/2011

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  About 2-3 hours after eating pasta and chicken breasts at a friends house, my girlfriend became nauseous, very achy, and feverish. In the middle of the night she finally vomited and had a little diarrhea. In the morning she was feeling a little better but then early-mid morning got the symptoms back. I found this Googled up this website and went and got some ACV and charcoal capsules. I had her take 2 capsules with a slice of toast and a tablespoon of ACV (yes, it's nasty), washing it down with some tap water. Before I left, I had her take 2 more charcoal capsules. I called her 30 minutes later and she says she is feeling much better. Will report back if anything changes.

Want to make a lot of money? Come up with an Apple Cider Vinegar that TASTES GOOD! Fish oil is the only thing I can think of that tastes worse. J

Replied by Ladyliza
Granada Hills, California

If you are having trouble with tasting fish oil, just freeze them. Then change to krill oil, which is better for you anyway. Just make sure you take enough to get the right amount of DHA and EPA.

Posted by Colleen (Honolulu, Hawaii, Usa) on 06/05/2011

[YEA]  I began to get food poisoning symptoms on Friday afternoon. I quickly took a Grapefruit Seed Extract pill. It seemed to help as I didn't get the usual painful cramping and the diarrhea seemed to have stopped. I took another pill that evening. The next morning, however, although still no pain, I had the runs. I wondered if there were other natural remedies and found this page. I happened to have some activated charcoal that I bought a few years ago and never tried. I immediately took two capsules. A half hour later I took the vinegar. The runs stopped in about 15-20 minutes! I was able to go out in the evening and eat normally. My stomach would feel queasy, so I continued to take the vinegar in smaller doses every few hours. This morning I'm totally back to normal!

Replied by Brandon
Gray Court, Sc

Sorry to bother you as I know this may be weird, but I am doing a questionaire for a college project on foodborne illnesses, and I was hoping you could answer a few questions?

1. When was the last time you ate something that did not agree with your stomach? What were the symptoms?

2. Have you ever had food poisoning, and if so, do you remember what it was that made you sick and what the symptoms you experienced were?

3. Have you ever taken anything like pepto bismol or imodium for stomach problems for something you ate? If so, do you remember the last time and what it was that you ate?

I understand if you don't want to answer these questions, thank you, and have a nice day.

P.S. Sorry if I sent this already

Posted by Brandon (Calhoun, Ga) on 01/08/2011

OMG!!! I feel for everyone here, Just had my first experience with food poisoning... Not fun.. Ate some tuna I mixed with some spices and mayo that was left out for about 1-2 hours thinking it was okay to eat about 6-12 hours before I woke up at 3AM. Starting to diarrhea a lot and took some pepto bismal (which I never do because prescription and non-prescription drugs are trash ) But the stomach cramp was just too much for me. Went back to sleep waking up at about 10AM thinking it was just indegestion but from then on till about 6PM I had to diarrhea about about every 30 minutes to an hour, threw up, starting shaking, felt cold, and had SEVERE cramps when I went to the bathroom.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO ALL WITH FOOD POISONING: The activated charcoal I took ( a 256 mg capsule ) at about 3:20PM helped, it made the pain more tolerable and made the cramps and diarrhea less frequent. The apple cider vinegar though, which in total was only about a few gulps worth did the trick! Within a couple hours of sipping on that vinegar I had no more sever cramping when I went to the bathroom, I felt 90% better, had a sore stomach afterwards but a few more sips did away with that! Best of all, I could eat solids again without having to rush to the bathroom. I didnt eat too much though, maybe a couple handfuls because I'm still weak from the experience and didnt want to overdue it.

Posted by Co (Glendale, Az) on 01/06/2010

[YEA]  Hooray to active charcoal pills and ACV!

My teenage son woke me up around 2:00 AM, on a school night with vomitting and the runs. I almost knew instantly that it was food poisoning. It was a local eatery here, not my food, of course! I jumped on-line, saw this site and viewed all of the stories for active charcoal and ACV. He took two charcoal pills and two tablespoons of ACV, followed with a Sprite to kill some of the taste. He hasn't thrown up for four hours now, and only one rush to the toilet. He's been asleep now for two hours! This works! Hope it works for you too!

Replied by Lisa
Cairns, Australia

[YEA]   Hi, thankyou for your website! My aunt here visiting from Spain, tried a seafood lunch in one of our famous seafood restaurants for lunch (hasn't had anything since)and suddenly this evening starts all the symptoms of foodpoisoning, found your info, and forunately had a good healthy friend just around the corner, with both applecider vinegar and activated charcoal powder (beautiful! ) (well, maybe not the taste... ) my aunt seems to be resting peacefully now, and I thank all the wise ones for knowing and sharing, blessed be...

Posted by Neilmorbs (Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK) on 07/18/2009

[YEA]  Hi,
~I recently had a nasty bout of food poisoning caused by some barbequed chicken (never leave chicken out of the fridge, even for an hour). I had fever, diarrhea, vomiting and horrible stomach cramps. It was only 4 days in that i discovered this website and i tried Activated Charcoal tablets and Cider Vinegar tablets from the local health food shop.

The charcoal was the first one i tried and within 10 minutes i found the cramps had eased considerably. I could even start to eat.

Later, when they returned I tried the Cider Vinegar and again 10 minutes wa all it took.

Overall I found them equally effective and I am using both in the final stages of the illness.

Thanks for all the great advice... I'll be using this site much more often!

Replied by Nan
Ridgewood, Nj

i wanted to ask if anyone had tried the apple Cider vinegar first before eating out? Last Christmas party 2 people got food poisoning.. we all ate the same food. I took a Tablespoon of ACV 1 hr. before eating at the party. i ate everything, including salmon, chicken and veggie dishes but did not get sick. Now, of course there were many who did not get sick or who didn't complain of it. But i'd like to know if anyone else has heard about this little pre-party preventative.?

EC: Yes, heard that tip in DC Jarvis's book Folk Medicine!

Activated Charcoal, Lugol's Iodine   1  0   

Posted by Shanti (Bangkok, Thailand) on 12/25/2009

[YEA]  I just arrived in Bangkok last night at 2am having not eaten all day and stupidly ate some very cheap food (I was very hungry). I immediately took a few drops of iodine in water out of fear of the inevitable... but an hour later the inevitable happened and I got the runs and all the signs of impending food poisoning. So I took more iodine and some tablets I had which had a small amount of charcoal in them and pepsin (the digestive enzyme). I must have had around 20 drops of iodine and about 5 of these tablets and all symptoms went away in about an hour or less. Today I feel fine! I'm off to find some clean food.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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