I have been trying to get my thoughts and experiences on treating the stomach bug on paper for months. I have had an unusual amount of opportunity to try different things in the last year. Below are some things I have learned..
This past winter we had a bit of the stomach bug making the rounds at our house. I tried some new things this time around and have been pleased with their effectiveness. I have used activated charcoal for stomach issues for years and been happy with the success of it. But I was out of tablets when the bug hit and many little ones balk at drinking charcoal water because of the grit. In the last year, I read on Earth Clinic that plain water is not good for the stomach bug, that it will cause vomiting. I believe that I agree with that! Often my children ask for water after vomiting and I give it to them, only to have it come right back up! I was surprised to see on Earth Clinic that black tea is a help. We have tried that recently and found it to be quite true. I donâ€TMt think I have seen any black tea come up since I started it! I sweeten it a little with honey, having seen honey as helpful to vomiting. (But not for children under a year of age.)
Another thing I have been using in the last year for nausea and vomiting is a mix of essential oils. I use equal parts of peppermint, ginger, and lemongrass. A month ago my daughter was sick and very nauseated. I rubbed a couple of drops of the mix onto the bottom of her feet and repeated that in 30 minutes. It helped her immensely! I love this treatment as oftentimes, with nausea and vomiting, a child does not want to take anything by mouth. When someone is vomiting or nauseous, I apply this every 30 minutes â€“ 2 hours. It is also helpful with fever. I have seen this mix reduce the fever of influenza. (Again, applied to the bottoms of the feet, very often.) It is worth it to keep this mix on hand. Last year we had a severe stomach bug go through our house and I used these oils on the bottoms of everyoneâ€TMs feet for days. In the mercy of God, I didnâ€TMt get it. (I think I was the only one of 11 that didnâ€TMt.) I wonder if the oils helped to keep me well from it since I had them on my hand constantly as I was applying them to sick people.
Having read about the wonderful effects of turmeric on digestive issues here at EC, I have hesitantly tried it on my family. Now, I think turmeric is amazing, but for me, the thought of turmeric if my tummy isnâ€TMt feeling well is kind of, well, not great. However, it has stopped diarrhea in its tracks and ended nausea in my children, teens and husband on enough occasions that I am now a fan of using turmeric for stomach issues.
Peppermint tea is great for nausea and vomiting, if you like peppermint, that is. One time when I had influenza and a fever, the only thing that was soothing to me was ice cold water with a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil in it. Peppermint is cooling and good for fever, too.
Some children, and adults, enjoy a cool washcloth on the forehead. I did this recently for my adult son when he was sick. I had a little bowl of ice water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil in it. I would dip in a cloth and wring it out and then put it on his forehead, changing it when it warmed up. He seemed to find that comforting. I think I would. When I put on my nurse hat at home I love to be able to find special things to bring a little comfort to the sick ones.
Recent another stomach bug came through and I learned another super remedy from the folks at Earth Clinic! Apple Cider Vinegar, of course! My husband had terrible stomach pain and diarrhea. After about 36 hours he was dehydrated and had lost ten pounds. He was putting essential oils on his stomach where the pain was, which helped temporarily. Charcoal was not stopping the diarrhea. Perhaps he should have taken more. Anyway, I gave him 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in 2 cups of grape juice. He repeated half the dose a couple of hours later. He had only one more trip to the bathroom. It was pretty amazing. Then I started to feel very, very sick. I put 1.5 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar into a cup and a half of grape juice and sipped on it as I was able. I never did have any vomiting or diarrhea, just felt awful. But my recovery was easier than my husbandâ€TMs since I didnâ€TMt have to get rehydrated. I also put a drop of the essential oil blend â€œDigestive Supportâ€ made by Heritage Essential Oils into my mouth every time I felt that I might vomit. It did seem to work. The next day my 5 year old threw up at 6am. I had him sipping on vinegar juice (1 teaspoon per cup of juice for a little guy.) He didnâ€TMt even drink it all. I also put oils on his feet. He was eating lunch at noon. (Just some rice. He insisted he was hungry and kept it down and was outside playing in the afternoon.) I gave everyone else in the house some vinegar in juice in the morning, just in case!
Some practical helps when vomiting begins in my house are the following:
I immediate braid girlsâ€TM and my own hair. If anyone is vomiting, it is easier to keep braids than loose hair out of the bucket or toilet, and cleaning vomit out of hair isnâ€TMt fun. I speak from experience with little girls here!
I round up buckets or containers and keep them strategically near beds in case someone new starts to throw up.
I remind children of â€œwhat is best to throw up on if they canâ€TMt make it to the toilet and they donâ€TMt have a bucket.â€
Here is the best to worst list: Toilet (best), bucket (second best), vinyl/hardwood/laminate floor (good), clothes (not terrible), bed (manageable) , carpet (worst! ) This winter I learned that cleaning up vomit from tongue and groove hardwood flooring with large gaps between the boards is not easy. Guess how I know? I need to insert that into my list somewhere. I think it goes between bed and carpet.
When I have babies or toddlers sleeping in my bed or room, I lay towels down under them and keep old towels nearby if I suspect a stomach bug is in the works.
Sorry if this is TMI (too much information). Please go take some turmeric if it is. :)
Have a great day!
~Mama to Many~