The stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is a condition where the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed, usually as a result of contracting a viral infection. The four common viruses that can cause stomach flu are adenovirus, astrovirus, caliciviruses and rotavirus.
Stomach flu is highly contagious and common among adults and children. It gets spread through contact with someone or something that is contaminated with the virus. Symptoms usually appear 48 hours after exposure to the virus and last for two to five days, or in severe cases up to 10 days.
Having stomach flu is a very unpleasant experience. Common symptoms include upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, headache, body aches, stomach cramping, mild fever, fatigue and vomiting.
In most cases, stomach flu goes away on its own. To speed up recovery, the best things you can do are take rest, keep your body well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and treat the symptoms with home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for stomach flu.
With its natural anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is a highly effective home remedy for stomach flu. Plus, ginger is a natural antiviral that will help fight off the virus causing the flu.
This herb will aid digestion and give you relief from nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and bloating. It will also help reduce the frequency of loose stools.
- Boil one teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger in 1.5 cups of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and sip this tea slowly. Drink it a few times a day until you feel better.
- You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root several times a day to soothe the stomach.
Note: People with high blood pressure should avoid ginger remedies.
Peppermint is another herb widely used to fight stomach flu. It is a carminative and contains antispasmodic properties that help dispel gas and bloating as well as give you relief from stomach and intestinal cramps.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves to one cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes, strain and cool. Drink this herbal tea four or five times daily between meals for two to three days.
- You can also take one or two enteric-coated peppermint capsules two or three times per day until you get relief from the symptoms.
Cinnamon is also very effective against stomach flu. It is a powerful antibacterial as well as antiviral agent that will destroy any bacteria or virus in your stomach. Also, cinnamon’s warm nature will quickly help get rid of the chills, aches and pains and make you feel more comfortable.
- Add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to one and one-half cups of boiling water. Let it brew for five minutes, and then strain with a cheese cloth or fine strainer. Add one teaspoon of honey. Drink the soothing tea three or four times a day for two days.
- Alternatively, you can mix one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder and one tablespoon of pure honey in a glass of warm water. Drink this up to three times a day for two days.
Another herb that is known for its wonderful stomach-healing properties is chamomile. It has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly effective in treating many of the stomach flu symptoms. Be it diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea or gas, chamomile will help give you relief.
- Add two to three teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain, and then add some lemon juice and honey as per your taste.
- Drink this tea three or four times a day for two to three days.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another effective home treatment for stomach flu is apple cider vinegar. It acts as an effective agent against the viruses that cause stomach flu. It is also a rich source of pectin, which helps soothe an irritated stomach. Moreover, it helps treat stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and gas.
- Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water or any fruit juice. Drink it before meals until you get complete relief from stomach flu symptoms.
- Alternatively, add one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey to one cup of warm water. Drink this every few hours until you start feeling better.
Because of its acidic effect, lemon is considered an excellent remedy for stomach flu. It can kill the pathogens that cause stomach flu. Plus, the vitamin C in lemon as well as the antimicrobial properties boost the immune system to fight off the virus.
- Mix one to two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice in a glass of water.
- Drink it 30 minutes before meals.
- Follow this remedy until you recover completely.