Last Modified on Aug 17, 2015
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!
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Activated Charcoal for Food Poisoning
Home Remedy Ingredients
- Activated Charcoal
The incredible absorbency of activated charcoal powder can suck up the pathogens that cause food poisoning and bring swift relief. Activated charcoal capsules are available at the drug store.
[YEA] A little background:
I have a very sensitive stomach and get food poisoning often, it is something I am working on fixing. My husband and I can eat the exact same thing and while he wont feel a thing I will be running to the bathroom every 15 minutes.
I found that if I take 1 capsule of Activated Charcoal as soon as symptoms start coming on I feel immediate relief. Often times I will take a second cap about an hour after the first. Nausea can stay with me for about 8 hours but the vomiting and diarrhea are 100% gone. It is so effective that I always take Activated Charcoal with me camping and in the truck, it works every time! I have to share my success as I am sure there are others out there like me who get food poisoning often. Just remember to drink lots of water because it will dehydrate you.
PS. sometimes they sell Activated Charcoal with added licorice, this type of charcoal also works for the Food poisoning but can cause reactions in some people if they are sensitive to licorice.
Replied by Anon
Replied by Eberhardt
Santa Monica, Ca
[YEA] I suffered one night of hell on earth when I ate oatmeal in which milk and sugar had already been mixed. It was bought in St. Maarten at an outdoor market. I took the apple cider dosage of two teaspoons in water, and it helped somewhat, but I still had the runs and cramps. Thank God I decided to check Earth Clinic, and found the additional recommendation of taking Charcoal tablets. I took 2 for a total of 560 mgs. Immediate relief of cramps and stoppage of the runs. Two hours later, a slight cramp and I took another 2 tablets. That was it .... I was able to go out and even forgot that just a few hours earlier I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. Apple Cider Vinegar water helped, but the tablets were the magic bullet.
[YEA] Charcoal really helped me in a matter of minutes, it completely stopped the pain from food poisoning.
Replied by J London
Replied by Cierra
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
Replied by Che
Roxas City, Philippines
Replied by Td
Replied by Cleanstep
Los Altos, Ca
Replied by Amyg
[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] 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!!
[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).
[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.
[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.
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[YEA] It was a bad call, but I'd left some unfinished beet juice out overnight by accident. It didn't smell bad, so I thought maybe it would be okay. Drank the rest in one go, even though it was a bit congealed. Shortly thereafter (this was pretty much the only thing I'd had all day), I started to feel sick to my stomach. Symptoms didn't really escalate but I was afraid of it "coming out of both ends." I didn't want to ingest anything else and really wanted to prevent vomiting/diarrhea for obvious reasons, yet also because ... beet juice. If it did come out of both ends, it would be particularly revolting.
Thankfully, I came across this forum and immediately tried the apple cider vinegar diluted with water. Felt a bit better, good enough to go out and buy some activated charcoal capsules (100% of the workers at pharmacies I called were confused about this -- fair enough -- so I located it at a local Fresh Thyme, which is vaguely like a Whole Foods). Took two capsules.
I feel so much better! Thanks for posting this!
Replied by Sam
Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.
Replied by Sam
Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn.
[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
[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!!
[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
Replied by Toni B
Replied by Momathome
[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
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.