10 Home Remedies To Treat Food Poisoning For All Types

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is a very common ailment and is usually caused due to ingesting food that has toxins in it. Toxins, in this case, can be anything – ranging from bacteria, virus, parasite or even some chemical agents. Many of us suffer from food poisoning in our lives and most of us will readily get cured if we follow the right steps and the correct treatment procedure.

Sings of Food Poisoning:

The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The affected person will also have severe abdominal cramps. If you have recently seen or felt the above symptoms after eating a particularly dodgy piece of burger, I think you should be getting yourself checked for food poisoning! Don’t worry – it’s not too late!

Cause of Food Poisoning:

Food poisoning may be caused by a number of reasons as we mentioned above. However, here are some main reasons why you might have contracted the food poisoning bug:

  1. Bacteria

    The number one cause of food poisoning in most adults and young children is bacteria. In fact, Salmonella is the biggest reason why someone might get a bout of food poisoning. Botulism is another major cause.

  2. Virus

    Though not as common as bacteria-infected food, but sometimes you might also get food poisoning due to a virus. The most notorious one is called the Norovirus, or the Norwalk virus and in some cases (very rarely), it can also be fatal. Sapovirus, Rotavirus, and Astrovirus also show the same type of symptoms, but they’re not that common. Sometimes, Hepatitis A virus is also transmitted through food.

  3. Parasite

    Again, these are not as common as getting infected by bacteria, but even food laden with parasites can trouble your tummy. Parasites easily spread through food and it can be very dangerous when you ingest food which is affected by these parasites. Toxoplasma is the most common parasite in food poisoning cases. Do you know, parasites can live in your digestive tract and be undetected for years. Sometimes their symptoms flare up causing a lot of problems.

  4. Chemical toxins

    Ingesting certain types of chemicals like lead and magnesium (in an amount which cannot be safely digested by the body) can also lead to food poisoning. These chemical toxins might come into your blood stream through contaminated water (mostly).

  5. Allergens

    People allergic to certain foods, such as nuts, milk, eggs, or seafood, can have an allergic reaction when the body’s immune system is triggered by the food intolerance, thus leading to food poisoning.

Is Food Poisoning Contagious

Food poisoning is not contagious in most cases as it is a result of overeating or eating food that doesn’t suit the body. This can include stale food, food infected with bacteria etc. It is important to wash food before cooking it and disinfect areas that might be contaminated to prevent food poisoning. Food poisoning can cause cramps and vomiting, but isn’t contagious to spread.

How long does food poisoning last?

In most of the cases of food poisoning, the symptoms and the problems of nausea and vomiting will last for 1-2 days, but if the symptoms persist for more than that, then the affected person should reach out to a healthcare professional.

There are different types of food poisoning and depending on the type of the poisoning, your problems will persist for those numbers of days.

Here Is The List Of Most Common Types Of Food Poisoning

1. Salmonellosis

Foods that Cause:

This is the most common type of food poisoning and is caused by ingesting

  • Raw meats like chicken, mutton etc.
  • Eating raw egg or undercooked egg
  • Raw egg mayonnaise.

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever-like symptoms

Duration: In most cases, the symptoms persist for 8 hours to 7 days (Incubation period for the bacteria is between 12-36 hours)

2. Botulism

Foods that Cause: Botulism is mostly caused due to plant products and some of the most common types of foods that can cause this include

  • Potato salads
  • Honey
  • Canned food
  • Home-preserved item.

Symptoms:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in swallowing and breathing and even speaking
  • Blurred vision
  • In fatal cases – Paralysis

Duration: It lasts between 12-36 hours, but in case the symptoms are too prevalent, you should get yourself admitted.

3. Shigellosis

Foods that Cause: Shigellosis is caused mostly by contaminated water and raw and uncooked food. Sometimes food which hasn’t be heated well and has come in contact with an infected person may also lead to Shigellosis.

Symptoms: Most of the symptoms that are associated with Shigellosis are similar to salmonella infection, except that there is more blood involved in this and noticeable in the stool

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and pains
  • Diarrhea – you might see blood and mucus in the stool
  • Fever-like symptoms

Duration: It lasts for 4-7 days depending on the strength of the bacteria and the immunity of the person

4. Campylobacter enteritis

Foods that Cause: Campylobacter enteritis is mostly caused by

  • Ingesting meat that hasn’t been cooked well
  • Meat that hasn’t been slaughtered and cleaned well.
  • Contaminated water
  • Contaminated milk, etc.

Sometimes, the bacteria also transfers through the stool of pets, if handled incorrectly.

Symptoms: Most of the symptoms that are associated with Shigellosis are similar to salmonella infection, except that there is more blood involved in this and noticeable in the stool

  • Fevers
  • Body aches and pains
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and pains
  • Diarrhea- You have to run to the bathroom very often

Duration: This one can last really long if you don’t pay attention. Beginning from 2 days to at least 10 days.

5. E. coli Enteritis

Foods that Cause: E. coli Enteritis is one very dangerous type of food poisoning because in fatal cases it might even kill the person who is inflicted with this bacterium. The ‘E’ here stands for Escherichia Coli and is a very violent and virulent strain of bacteria. Foods it is mostly associated with is:

  • Mass-produced beef
  • Unwashed vegetables.

These contaminations happen due to contact with infected human feces.

Symptoms:

  • Very watery diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Blood in vomit and in feces
  • Stabbing pains in and around the colon region

Duration: The incubation and duration of this type are similar to that of other infections and may last from 3 days to over 7 days.
Make sure you reach out to a healthcare professional and get this treated as soon as possible. In several strains, this can be a fatal case of food poisoning.

6. Cholera

Foods that Cause: You may love sushi and all seafood raw, but cholera spreads mostly through contaminated water and seafood that hasn’t been washed properly and has been in that contaminated water.

  • Oysters
  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  • Basa
  • Any seafood that hasn’t been cooked properly may be targets of cholera bacteria

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever-like symptoms

Duration: The symptoms of cholera last for a week or so in case the strain is not too virulent. But in case it is, you need medical attention pronto. In any case, we advise you to get yourself checked as soon as you start getting Signs of food poisoning.

7. Cyclospora Cayetanensis

Foods that Cause: This one is mostly caused by various types of fresh produce that haven’t been washed properly.

  • Imported berries
  • Lettuce
  • Herbs like basil, mint, coriander and thyme are also carriers of this bacterium.

Remember, wash your veggies properly before eating any of these raw.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Substantial loss in weight
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Duration: The problem with this type is that though the symptoms will last for about a week or so, the strain can keep reappearing and you might relapse into the symptoms again.

8. Hepatitis A

Foods Associated: Hepatitis A is one of the most commonly heard type of food poisoning. This one is again contracted via

  • Fresh produce that hasn’t been washed well
  • Contaminated drinking water
  • Undercooked foods
  • Food that hasn’t been reheated after coming into contact with an infected person
  • Shellfish that has been in contact with contaminated water.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Dark urine (usually this is the first sign of hepatitis, and you should get it checked as soon as you notice something like this)

Duration: The duration of Hepatitis A is very variable and may last from a few weeks to up to 3 months.

9. Ciguatera (Fish Poisoning)

Food that Cause: As the name suggests, ciguatera is also known as fish poisoning and is an incurable disease that afflicts many adults in their lifetime.

This one is mostly associated with fish which are found in tropical regions and the worst part is that you can’t kill the bacteria by freezing or cooking it.

Hence, your best bet is to avoid fish which come from these regions and mostly when you do not know the origin of the fish.

Symptoms:

  • Typical symptoms including diarrhea and nausea and vomiting
  • Neurological symptoms like phantom limbs
  • Trouble sensing hot and cold objects

Duration: This can last anywhere between 4-6 days and if left untreated, it can even be fatal.

10. Listeria

Foods that Cause: Listeria is mostly caused due to ingesting:

  • Food that contains unpasteurized milk
  • Veggies that have grown in infected soil
  • Canned fruits
  • Seafood
  • Raw vegetables might carry germs from listeria disease.

You can even contract it from smoked food- this is identifiable via the presence of a thin and slimy veil over the contaminated food.

Symptoms:

  • Very severe flu-like symptoms
  • Sometimes affected people might also get meningitis-like symptoms
  • A weaker immune system, thus leading to a host of other diseases

Duration: The symptoms can be seen beginning from three days and can last up to a week or even more. Medical attention is very necessary.

11. Norovirus

Foods that Cause: Norovirus is caused by a virus. The foods that can cause norovirus include:

  • Raw produce that hasn’t been washed well
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Foods that haven’t been cooked properly and
  • Cooked foods that are not reheated after contact with an infected person.

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting – This symptom is more prevalent in children who have contracted this disease
  • Abdominal cramps and pains
  • Diarrhea – This symptom mostly occurs in adults
  • Fever-like symptoms

Duration: The symptoms can persist from anywhere between 12-60 hours and can be very dangerous if left untreated. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

These are the first few steps you should follow once you ascertain that someone might be affected by food poisoning. There are also several home remedies. Let’s start with them:

Home Remedies for Food Poisoning:

They say, all the best medicines are available in your kitchen, and true to that- the cure of most of the common ailments are ingredients that are readily available in the kitchen! In this section, we have covered some of the most effective home remedies for combatting food poisoning.

Home Remedies for Food Poisoning

1. Lemon

Things you need:

  • A lemon
  • A squeezer
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Directions: To get rid of the symptoms of nausea and also to rehydrate yourself, it is essential to have either the juice of a lemon in its concentrated form or make some lemon juice and continuously sip it.

  1. Take the juice of one lemon and squeeze it into a glass.
  2. Add salt and sugar in equal proportions
  3. Mix well.

Your lemon juice is ready!

How it works:

  • Lemon has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • It is also a good anti-inflammatory agent and thus can kill the bacteria that cause food poisoning.
  • Lemon juice is also a great ORS replacement and helps to get hydrated and replace the essential fluids that have been lost due to the symptoms of food poisoning.

Tip: If you are looking for an even quicker fix to stop nausea, just smell lemon leaves! They work equally well!

2. Ginger Tea

Things you need:

  • Ginger slices or one finger of ginger
  • Sugar to taste
  • Tea leaves

Directions: You can either have ginger tea or have a concoction of ginger in boiled water depending on your preference. For ginger tea,

  1. Take some hot water and add the grated or pounded ginger into it.
  2. Add the tea leaves
  3. Let the potion simmer for some time.
  4. Then add sugar or honey to it for taste.

How it works: Ginger is an excellent therapeutic herb and can easily cure the feeling of nausea and vomiting. The properties of ginger also make it an excellent fix for aiding digestion.

Tip: Feeling lazy to get your ginger tea? You can just chew a slice of ginger and keep it in your mouth for as long as tolerable to get rid of the feeling of nausea.

[Also Read: Ajwain Water For Weight Loss]

3. Fenugreek Seeds and Yogurt

Things you need:

  • A few seeds of fenugreek
  • One teaspoon of yogurt

Directions: This is one of the simpler and easier types of food poisoning remedies and all you need are some fenugreek seeds and plain yogurt.

  1. Just pop the seeds in your mouth and swallow them whole with the teaspoonful of yogurt.
  2. Do not chew the seeds and swallow them at one go

How it works:

  • Fenugreek seeds are amazing for abdominal cramps and discomfort.
  • Yogurt, on the other hand, has anti-bacterial properties which help in the digestion of food.
  • The combination of both can work wonders for someone having severe bouts of vomiting and nausea

Tip: Try and get fresh yogurt instead of those from the departmental stores. The ones cultured at home are more potent at aiding digestion and helping fight the bug.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Things you need:

  • Hot water
  • Bottle of apple cider vinegar

Directions: Apple cider vinegar is easily available in many departmental stores.

  1. You can either have it directly (one or two teaspoons) before food
    or
  2. Mix it with warm water and gulp it down.

How it works: Apple Cider Vinegar is actually acidic in nature and you might get confused about how something acidic might work on food poisoning. Fortunately, once apple cider vinegar hits your body, it starts becoming alkaline the way it metabolizes inside your body.

Tip: Apple cider vinegar is also a great way to start your day with. It helps with your body’s metabolism and makes it easy to digest food, especially when had early in the morning.

5. Garlic

Things you need:

  • Few garlic pods,
  • Soya bean oil (not for consumption)

Directions: It’s a very simple method to get rid of food poisoning signs. All you need is to swallow a garlic pod and let it soak into your system. If you are not in for swallowing a garlic as a whole, you can also

  1. Mash a few garlic pods and sip the juice.
  2. You can mix this juice with soya bean oil and massage on your tummy for relief from cramps too.

How it works: Garlic has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which fight against the symptoms of food poisoning and help you to get some relief from all the pains.

Tip: Always rely on fresh garlic to make your juice. This was the effect will be better than using stale garlic

6. Basil

Things you need:

  • Basil leaves
  • Honey
  • Coriander juice
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Yogurt

Directions: There are three different methods of using basil to treat food poisoning.

Method 1:

  1. Add some coriander juice and basil juice and mix it with honey to make a concoction.
  2. Sip this mixture at least twice a day for quick relief.

Method 2:

  1. You can also use plain basil juice diluted with water
  2. Keep drinking it throughout the day to feel better.

Method 3:

  1. Add some basil leaves, a pinch of sea salt, pepper
  2. Eat this at least three-four times a day.

How it works: Basil is an excellent anti-bacterial herb and can do wonders for an upset tummy. Not only does it soothe your cramps, it will also give you a cooling sensation that can make food poisoning quite bearable (doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek medical attention!)

Tip: Yet again, we will give you a tip to always use fresh basil instead of week-old ones. The fresh ones will work much better than others.

7. Cumin seeds

Things you need:

  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafetida
  • Salt
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Cumin seeds can be mixed with water, salt and asafetida to make a concoction.
  2. This mixture can be had at least twice a day for quick relief from tummy pains and cramps

How it works: Cumin seeds help in the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, which in turn, help to make digestion of food easier and also works much better with food poisoning symptoms

Tip: Do not use roasted cumin seeds as they are not as effective as the dry ones.

8. Plain Honey

Things you need:

  • Honey
  • Lukewarm water

Directions:

  1. Just take a spoonful of honey and mix it with lukewarm water.
  2. The concoction can be drank several times during the day and it will cause you no harm!

How it works: Honey is nature’s potion when it comes to treating any kind of tummy upsets or stomach problems. The anti-bacterial properties of honey can cure absolutely anything. But for those of you who are suffering from more violent strains of food poisoning

Tip: If you can get a supply of pure honey, please use that instead of any other store-bought honey. It will work much better!

9. Bishop’s Weed or Ajwain

Things you need:

  • Bishop’s weed or Ajwain

Directions:

  1. Take some ajwain seeds and soak them in lukewarm water for about one night.
  2. Make sure you cover the potion. Next day, strain the water from the seeds and sip the water time to time.

How it works: Bishop Seeds work well on upset tummies and help to alleviate the signs of food poisoning.

Tip: You can also munch on Bishop Seeds if you want instant relief.

10. Peppermint Tea

Things you need:

  • Peppermint leaves
  • Water to boil the leaves and make tea

Directions:

  1. Take a few peppermint leaves and boil them in water to make a potion.
  2. Now strain the water and drink this at least twice a day.

How it works: peppermint leaves have cooling properties which work well to soothe an irritated stomach.

Tip: Drink this concoction for as many times possible during the day for instant relief.

Here is how food gets contaminated:

  • Most of the food poisoning occurs by consuming meat that hasn’t been processed and cooked well. This is because the animals which are bred to be eaten contain various strains of food poisoning bacteria. These may easily get transferred to human beings if the meat hasn’t been cooked properly.
  • Incorrect handling of food by infected people may also cause the food to get contaminated. Hence it is strongly advised to wash all raw produce thoroughly before consuming them in any form
  • Utensils and knives not washed properly may also be carriers of food poisoning germs
  • Last but not the least, canned food or food that hasn’t been stored well can also cause food poisoning.

food poisoning occurs

They say prevention is better than cure and even though you have now read about ways to get well soon after suffering from food poisoning, always prevent the food from getting contaminated.

How to Prevent:

  • Always wash your hands before handling any kind of food
  • All raw produce and meat should be thoroughly washed before being used in cooking
  • Utensils, knives and chopping boards should be washed and used every time to prevent any kind of germs lingering on them
  • Safe and hygienic habits while handling any kind of food will ensure that you don’t get food poisoning!

[Also Read: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy]

First aid to do:

Now that you know some of the most common types of food poisoning, their associated foods and the telltale symptoms, the first important thing to do once you realize that you or your acquaintance may have contracted food poisoning is to work on giving him/her a first aid treatment. Here’s what you should do:

1. Try and control the vomiting and the feeling of nausea

Since vomiting is the most common thing associated with a bout of food poisoning:

  • Eat very bland food. Concentrate on eating light food like bananas, crackers, and rice.
  • Sip on some cold, lime water. Lime counteracts the feeling of nausea too.
  • Take medication which will control diarrhea and vomiting. But make sure you don’t just have any medicines because some of this medicine might actually cause you more nausea symptoms.

2. Prevent the loss of fluids and dehydration

Whenever you get food poisoning, you will be losing fluids from your body because you are vomiting and suffering from diarrhea. Your body will stop functioning properly if you do not try and replenish the lost fluids and salt from your body.

  • ORS should be sipped in regular intervals and mostly when the food poisoning symptoms  persist for more than 24 hours.

When to call the Doctor?

When home remedies do not seem to work and the person is getting severely dehydrated or the symptoms persist even for more than two days, it is important that you reach out to a doctor and seek immediate medical help. Food poisoning can sometimes take a fatal turn, so reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible.

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6 Comments

  1. Betty

    July 3, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Can food poisoning make you dizzy?

    • Angana Gohain Barua

      July 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Yes, dizziness is a common symptom of food poisoning. This makes you feel uncomfortable until the toxins are taken out of your body.

  2. Candie

    July 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Can you have food poisoning without vomiting and diarrhea?

    • Angana Gohain Barua

      July 4, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Vomitting or diarrhea would be a part of the food poisoning process as the toxins inside need an outlet to leave the body.

  3. Reginia

    July 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    what is the difference between stomach virus and food poisoning

    • Angana Gohain Barua

      July 4, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Stomach virus is highly contagious viral infection and can spread quickly unlike food poisoning. Whereas food poisoning is caused by overeating or eating food that contains bacteria, virus etc.

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