15 Herbs To Treat Food Poisoning Naturally

Heal your food poisoning woes with these 15 easy-to-grow herbs.

August 8, 2017
herbs food poisoning
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Adapted from The New Healing Herbs

Spread through contaminated food or water, food poisoning, when relatively mild, can be treated at home with simple remedies. As long as you know how to use healing herbs safely, you can combat the illness quickly. 

Related: Food Poisoning Or Flu? How To Tell The Difference

Heal your food poisoning woes with these 15 easy-to-grow herbs:  

Angelica
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Angelica

German investigators found that angelica relaxes the intestines. This lends some credence to the herb's traditional use in treating digestive complaints.

Angelica (one of the most popular edible flowers) may cause a rash in sensitive people exposed to direct sunlight.  

Related: 3 Wiccan Herbal Remedies To Try This Halloween

Apple
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Apple

Modern science has discovered that Johnny Appleseed's favorite fruit has tremendous value in healing thanks to its pulp, which is high in pectin, a soluble fiber.

Pectin helps relieve diarrhea because intestinal bacteria transform it into a soothing, protective coating for the irritated intestinal lining. In addition, pectin adds bulk to the stool, which helps resolve diarrhea.

Infectious diarrhea is caused by bacteria. One study found that apple pectin is effective against several types of bacteria that cause diarrhea: Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and E. coli. In fact, pectin is the "pectate" in the over-the-counter diarrhea preparation Kaopectate.

Physicians recommend diets high in fiber to add bulk to stool (just follow these rules for increasing your fiber intake). Pectin is a type of fiber that helps resolve constipation by adding bulk and stimulating bowel contractions.

Related: 30 Cleansing Foods To Naturally Detox Your Body

Bayberry
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Bayberry

Bayberry root bark contains myricitrin, an antibiotic that fights a broad range of bacteria and protozoa. Myricitrin's antibiotic action supports bayberry's traditional use against diarrhea and dysentery. Bayberry also contains astringent tannins, which add to its value in treating diarrhea.

Bayberry may change the body's sodium-potassium balance. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or a history of stroke, consult a physician before using it. 

Related: 10 Blood Sugar–Lowering Foods

Catnip
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Catnip

Like other mints, catnip has antispasmodic action. It soothes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. If you're prone to indigestion or heartburn, try a cup of catnip tea after meals. 

Related: 5 Calm-Down Drinks That Will Relax You, Naturally

Chamomile
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Chamomile

Dozens of studies support chamomile's traditional use as a digestive aid. Several compounds in chamomile oil—primarily bisabolol—relax the smooth muscle tissues that lines the digestive tract (anti-spasmodic). In fact, one study showed that chamomile relaxes the digestive tract as well as the opium-based drug papaverine.

Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicines for the German counterpart of the FDA, endorses chamomile for gastrointestinal conditions (and as an herbal sunburn relief).

Related: 8 Herbs For Beautiful Skin And Hair

Cinnamon
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Cinnamon

Along with lending flavor to foods, cinnamon assists the body in digesting ice cream and other high-fat treats. A study in the British journal Nature shows that cinnamon helps the digestive system break down fats, apparently by boosting the activity of the digestive enzyme trypsin.

Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicines for the German counterpart of the FDA, endorses cinnamon for indigestion, abdominal distress, bloating, and flatulence. 

Related: 7 Herbs & Spices Everyone Needs To Eat

Clove
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Clove

Like all culinary spices, clove helps relax the smooth muscle lining the digestive tract, supporting the herb's age-old use as a digestive aid. 

Related: 9 Spices That Boost Your Immune System

Dill
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Dill

If you use dill only in pickling spices or on salmon, you're missing out on a marvelous healer. While it won't cure hemorrhoids or increase milk production, some of its other traditional applications are supported by science.

Research has validated dill's 3,000 years of use as a digestive aid. The herb relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. One study found dill to be an antifoaming agent, meaning that it helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas bubbles. Dill seed oil also inhibits the growth of several types of bacteria that attack the intestinal tract, suggesting that it may help prevent infectious diarrhea.

Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicines for Germany's counterpart of the FDA, endorses dill for indigestion. 

Related: 13 Simple Home Health Remedies That Actually Work

Echinacea
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Echinacea

University of Arkansas researchers analyzed 12 volunteers' stool samples for evidence of bacteria that cause food poisoning and other gastrointestinal infections. Then the participants took echinacea (1,000 milligrams/day for 10 days). Subsequent stool analysis showed significantly fewer bacteria, enough of a decrease to reduce risk of GI infections. 

Related: The Top 10 Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Garlic
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Garlic

European studies show that garlic speeds elimination of lead and other toxic heavy metals. Children are particularly susceptible to lead toxicity. Add garlic to spaghetti sauces and other foods kids enjoy.

Garlic is an anticoagulant and may cause bruising or delay blood clotting. 

Related: How To Supercharge The Healing Power Of Garlic

Ginseng
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Ginseng

Herbalists call ginseng the ultimate tonic, in Chinese medicine, a strengthener of the entire body. Western scientific supporters call it an "adaptogen," an herb that helps the body resist physical and emotional challenges, combat illness, and stay healthy. 

Related: 7 Supplements For Cold & Flu Season

Goldenseal
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Goldenseal

Goldenseal stimulates bile secretion in humans, which means that it helps digest fats. 

Related: 4 High-Fat Foods For Healthier Weight Loss

Meadowsweet
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Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet contains astringent tannins that can help relieve diarrhea. In addition, a European study showed the herb to be effective against Shigella dysenteriae, one bacterial cause of infectious diarrhea, lending credence to the herb's traditional use for this condition.

Meadowsweet contains aspirin-like compounds. If you are aspirin-sensitive, consult a physician before using it.

Related: 8 Herbs & Spices You Should Add To Your Smoothies

Mullein
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Mullein

The astringent tannins probably account for mullein's traditional role in treating diarrhea. 

Related: Make Your Own Herbal Cough Syrup

Peppermint
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Peppermint

Thumbs-up for after-dinner mints. Menthol and carvone soothe the smooth muscle lining the digestive tract, preventing muscle spasms (antispasmodics).

In Germany, where herbal medicine is more mainstream than in the United States, an over-the-counter digestive remedy, Enteroplant, has two active ingredients: peppermint oil (90 milligrams/capsule) and caraway oil (50 milligrams/ capsule). German researchers gave 45 people with chronic indigestion either a placebo or Enteroplant (one capsule three times a day with meals). After 4 weeks, the placebo group reported no change in abdominal distress, but 95 percent of the peppermint-caraway group reported significant improvement, with 63 percent declaring themselves pain-free.

Related: The Best Home Remedies For A Healthy Mouth

In another German study, the scientists gave 118 adults with chronic indigestion either a standard pharmaceutical (ciapride, 10 milligrams three times a day before meals) or Enteroplant before meals. Four weeks later, the herbal treatment produced slightly better results.

Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicines for the German counterpart of the FDA, endorses peppermint for indigestion and abdominal distress.

The article 15 Herbs to Treat Food Poisoning originally appeared on Rodale Wellness.

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