Stomach Flu Survival

Stomach Flu Survival

January 15, 2013
by Daisy Luther

There are few things more unpleasant than the stomach flu.  That  crippling nausea, the stomach and intestinal cramps and the frantic rush to the bathroom are sheer misery.

Sometimes this type of illness is caused by a virus and at other times it isn’t a virus at all, but food poisoning.  According to Lizzie Bennett of Medically Speaking,

“A non-food stomach flu is usually caused by a virus, often a norovirus,  rotavirus  or more rarely campylobacter.  It will usually occur after contact  with someone who as been unwell  but most often is brought home by school children. People will generally feel ‘ under the weather’ and then the gastric upset starts. it often is accompanied by vomiting .
With food poisoning there is an acute onset, it occurs quite quickly after eating/drinking contaminated food and will often affect  people who have eaten the same dish or who have eaten in the same place. Only lab testing will ascertain definitively what the cause is  as the symptoms are so very similar.”

The symptoms can be relieved identically. Often, you’ll never know which was the cause.  If the symptoms are especially severe or continue for more than 48 hours, the standard advice is to seek medical attention.

A stomach virus is incredibly contagious.  If a family member is suffering from the symptoms of a stomach virus, practice the following precautions to attempt to contain it:

  • Isolate the family member as much as possible
  • Wash cutlery and dishes used by the sick family member in water containing a couple of drops of bleach.  Wash again with your regular, non-toxic dish soap.
  • Wipe items handled by the sick person with antibacterial wipes (I keep Clorox wipes on hand for this purpose.)  Things like the telephone, the television remote, door handles, faucets and the toilet flush should be wiped before someone else touches them.
  • Household members should wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom (yes, I know this should be standard, but I’m repeating it anyway)

Vomiting and diarrhea can be the body’s natural defense against invaders.  It can be the digestive system’s way of ridding itself of toxins and viruses.  However, excessive vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, sometimes severe.  It’s very important to keep the sufferer hydrated with ice chips and clear fluids. You can find some recipes for homemade oral rehydration solutions HERE.  These recipes are a good basis for creating a solution using items that you have in your pantry.

Once the person is able to eat, try offering gentle, easily digested foods.  The “BRAT” diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and  toast.  Other options are saltine crackers, pretzels, mashed potatoes, pasta and clear soups.

If after 12 hours, if the patient is still unable to keep down liquids, medical attention should be sought.  The time shortens for younger patients. If an infant isn’t urinating at least every two hours his little body is trying to hold onto liquids because he is dehydrated – you should seek immediate medical assistance in this case.

Treating the Symptoms

There are all sorts of options for treating gastro-intestinal upset, both traditional and chemical. In our home, chemical treatments are always a last resort.

Over-the-Counter Medications

We very rarely use chemical medications, but I do keep these on hand for extremely sparing use.


The most common type of anti-diarrheal is the compound Loperamide Hydrochloride (found in Immodium or Kaopectate). It works by  slowing the propulsion of intestinal contents by the intestinal muscles.

The most common side effects of loperamide are: stomach pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue and dehydration. According to the National Library of Medicine, loperamide hydrochloride can actually paralyze the intestines in a condition called paralytic ileus. This means that the intestines no longer participate in digestion and do not push the stool along for excretion.

Many natural practitioners feel that diarrhea should not be stopped – that the body is naturally ridding itself of viruses or toxins. As well, overuse of anti-diarrheals can result in a constipation so severe that medical intervention becomes necessary.


Anti-nauseants are also called anti-emetics.  The most popular brands contain  dimenhydrinate(found in Dramamine and Gravol).

According to the Alberta Health Services website, the medication (sold under the brand name Gravol in Canada) can have a number of side effects.  There has also been a noted problem with abuse of medications containing dimenhydriante, so those medications have been relegated to “behind the counter”.

At recommended doses, Gravol can cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. It can impair your concentration and motor coordination. For these reasons, you should use Gravol with caution if driving or doing other things that require you to be fully alert. It can be especially dangerous to combine it with alcohol and other depressant drugs.  Dry mouth, excitation and nervousness
(especially in children) are other side effects.   At lower doses, you can experience feelings of well-being and euphoria. At higher doses you can hallucinate. Taking Gravol with alcohol, codeine and other depressant drugs intensifies these effects. Large doses can cause sluggishness, paranoia, agitation, memory loss, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and difficulty swallowing and speaking.

 Natural Remedies

Treating the symptoms doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the pharmacy. Just like treatments for the seasonal flu, many good remedies can be found, already in your kitchen.   If you don’t already have these items on hand, they are excellent, multi-purpose additions to your stockpile.  Before using these or any other herbal supplements, perform due diligence in confirming potential interactions with any other drugs or supplements that person may be taking.  Some of these plants can be easily grown in a variety of climates, providing a constantly replenishing supply.


Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory with a long history in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.

Ginger can be found in the form of tea, the root itself or in tablets.  Keep in mind, though, if you are vomiting already, ginger, especially in the form of tea, can make the experience far more unpleasant because of worsened esophageal reflux.

When purchasing ginger tablets, read the ingredients carefully.  Gravol makes a “Natural Source” ginger chewable pill containing certified organic ginger.  I was really excited because you can find that in even the tiniest pharmacy.  However, upon closer inspection, the ingredients listed “aspartame” .  Ummm. NO, I won’t add a proven neurotoxin to my organic herbal remedy, thanks.

Several companies offer a ginger tablet remedy.  However, if you go over to the vitamin section, quite frequently you can find Ginger Root.  Buying it from the vitamin section, without the glossy anti-nausea advertising, can save you a hefty amount. I checked at my local pharmacy today and 90 Ginger Root capsules (500 mg) were the same price as the bottle of 20 “All-Natural Ginger” anti-nausea tablets.  Both were $8.99.  As well, the one in the supplement section had no additional ingredients aside from the gelatin capsule that encased the powder.


Chamomile has anti-spasmodic properties.  This makes a cup of chamomile tea a soothing treatment for a stomach upset that includes abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas.  It has a mild pleasant taste with a hint of “apple” flavor.


There are all different kinds of mint tea available.  The most common are peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen.  They all contain menthol, a volatile oil.  Menthol is the component that gives mint that “cooling” sensation.  Mint tea is anti-spasmodic, so will aid in relieving gas, cramping and bloating. Additionally, menthol has muscle relaxant properties that can help reduce vomiting.

Candy containing real peppermint oil can easily be carried in your purse for a mildly soothing effect.

Some people that suffer from acid reflux find that mint worsens the condition.


Yogurt can’t be tolerated in all episodes of stomach and intestinal upsets.  However, yogurt with active cultures can help to rebalance the “good flora” in your stomach and intestinal tract, making it especially valuable for treating diarrhea.  Regular consumption of yogurt can actually prevent stomach viruses in the first place by making your digestive tract inhospitable to viruses.

Black Tea

Black tea is rich in tannins, which have been a longtime home treatment for diarrhea.  You can sweeten your tea but leave out the milk until you’re feeling better.


Goldenseal capsules or extract can also be used in the treatment of diarrhea.   Goldenseal kills certain bacteria, like e coli, which can cause diarrhea.


There isn’t really any way to “cure” a stomach virus – the illness must simply run its course.  The best things you can do are rest, keep hydrated and treat the symptoms to keep them at a tolerable level.

Do you have any treatments for upset stomachs that you’ve found effective?  Please share them in the comments below.

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

Categories: Healthcare, Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Stomach Flu Survival

  1. Take a good probiotic daily and you should help your body to avoid these viruses/bacteria to begin with.


    • I prefer to eat my probiotics through fermented foods. However, for those that don’t or can’t, probiotics in pill form is an option. DRG supplements her diet with a pill to help build up her gut flora after all the chemo poisoned her system. Thanks for sharing that tip.


  2. Pingback: Do you know what to do if you contract the flu? When to see | Prepared Christian

  3. Hello Everyone,
    Remember that last Flu strain that killed some people in the US.

    I caught the darn thing But due to this formula it only lasted but 3 days 5 days TOTALY GONE:

    Right From My Notebook:
    take as a tea daily
    1/8 tsp. cayenne
    1/2 Elderberry powder
    1/4 tsp. Echinacea Root powder
    1/4 tsp. Astragulas Root powder
    1/8 tsp Slippery Elm bark Powder

    #2 To clear Lungs of mucous Slowly

    2 tsp. Chamomile Flowers
    1/4 tsp ground anise seed.

    Note DO NOT take this before you go to bed you will be up all night bringing up mucous if present Anise Seed has very powerful demuculant properties.

    I have another formula I am going to dig out and will post it tomorrow.
    God Bless,
    The “Herbal Survivalist”

    P.S. You may want to start to stock up on these herbs and or grow them even indoors then dry them out. (more powerful) the drying effect concentrates the herb so you only need to use half as much.
    Particularly Slippery Elm Bark and Slippery Elm Bark Powder.


    • Hello Everyone,
      Yes it is tomorrow. So here is that other formula This is a throat antiseptic/antibacterial spray. Targeting the last flu strain. the most susceptible place were flus incubate are the mouth. yes its a hangout for bacteria. This spay DEFEATS that on contact.

      4oz. distilled water
      2 drops of peppermint essential oil
      1 drop of thyme essential oil

      fill atomizer sprayer with it spray top left and far back of throat and inner mouth with this formula.
      God Bless,
      The “Herbal Survivalist”


  4. In Regards to Stomach Flu
    Adults need at least 1000mg daily Garlic that will Fix it.
    1. 4 oz. pure lemon juice strait down daily for 2-4 days
    2. Oil Of Oregano ( Diluted)
    3. If Due to Parasite or parasitic Larva; Oil Of Clove(diluted) Be careful with this it can have an Anesthesia effect to the body (numbness).
    God Bless,
    the “Herbal Survivalist”


  5. I hate that feeling when you are lying in bed and you know you are going to vomit – but you lay there hoping it will go away…

    I had previously heard that ginger was very good, so was glad to see that mentioned here.


    • Steve,
      Ginger is a Calmative herb that relaxes both the G.I. and Intestinal Tracks. Secondly, it has powerful anti inflammatory properties and is anti-viral. it is great for upset stomachs and nausea.


  6. Natural Solutions For Muscle Pain

    In addition to essential oils the body must be properly hydrated using coconut water will provide enough electrolytes to maintain a healthy hydrated system as well as supplying some vitamins and mineral support for the muscles especially, calcium, magnesium,sodium,potassium and glucose and other proteins otherwise you may get muscle pains from this and the muscle cells will not work efficiently.
    All natural Solutions on this page are for EXTERNAL USE ONLY!!!
    Essential oils for muscles with inflammation

    if you have exercised or pushed yourself and strained a muscle it may become inflamed . This can cause cramping or a pulled muscle.

    Some Essential Oils that are helpful are:


    For Cramped or Charlie Horsed Muscles:
    Increasing the circulation especially to overworked and “overstressed muscles.

    Some Essential Oils that are helpful are:
    Roman Chamomile
    Clary Sage

    For Cramped Muscles can be caused by tearing or even a slight tear, keep the area relaxed
    Some Essential Oils that are helpful are:

    Black Pepper

    “Herbal Liniments are also good for External use”

    A real powerful liniment for soar muscles by Jethro KLOSS have help many people. his Book Back to Eden I very highly recommend I have one for myself the herbs used MUST be organic and from a trusted source.

    Here is his recipe:

    1 oz. myrrh powder
    1 oz. goldenseal powder
    1 oz. echinacea
    1/4 oz. cayenne powder
    1 pint of Rubbing alcohol


    Put all ingredients in a glass jar and fill the jar with rubbing alcohol so that it covers all the herbs by at least 2 inches. Place in a dark place and shake daily.After 4 weeks strain and press and bottle USE only EXTERNALLY. you can put it in a glass sprayer mister bottle that the use for perfumes Use only Sterile and Glass sprayers you can by atomizers online very inexpensively I use a place called Specialty bottle for all my glassware.


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