What To Do For Food Poisoning: 6 Home Remedies

May 2022
  1. Saline solution
  2. Coconut water
  3. Ginger tea
  4. Peppermint tea
  5. Fennel tea
  6. Apple cider vinegar 

Home remedies for food poisoning (like ginger tea, fennel tea, homemade saline solution or coconut water) can replenish electrolytes and lost water. They possess antiemetic, antispasmodic and analgesic action, which help to relieve symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea which help to treat and prevent dehydration.

Food poisoning is caused by the ingestion of food contaminated with bacterial or fungal toxins. Symptoms usually appear within a few hours of consuming the food. Treatment is aimed at preventing worsening of symptoms and preventing dehydration. In addition to some home remedies, it should include light meals, rest and plenty of fluid intake. Learn more about the symptoms of food poisoning and how it is caught. 

Home remedies can be used to relieve symptoms of food poisoning, however if symptoms do not improve within 2 days, you should see a doctor for assessment, as you may require treatment with medication. 

1. Saline solution

Saline solution is a great natural way to treat food poisoning, as it contains electrolytes and sugars which can help maintain normal bodily function and prevent dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. Read about other ways to stop diarrhea

2. Coconut water

Coconut water is another great home remedy for food poisoning, as it is rich in vitamins and electrolytes that help to hydrate the body and replenish any nutrients or fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea. It can help the body to recuperate faster.  Check out some tea recipes that can help to treat nausea and vomiting.

Generous amounts of coconut water should be consumed, however you should opt to drink natural coconut water that is cold. 

3. Ginger tea

Ginger tea is rich in phenolic compounds like gingerol and chogaol which contains antiemetic action. It helps to reduce nausea and vomiting and improve symptoms like heartburn and indigestion. It is a great option for the treatment of food poisoning. Get familiar with other home remedies for heartburn and indigestion. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cm of ginger root 
  • 1 cup of water

How to prepare

Peel the ginger slices and chop into smaller pieces. Add the ginger to a pot, add the water, and boil for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, strain and drink up to 3 cups of ginger tea per day.

Ginger tea should be not used by people who use anticoagulants like warfarin or aspirin, as it can increase the risk for bleeding or hemorrhaging. Pregnant women who are close to delivery or with a history of miscarriage, or who have a clotting problem or risk for bleeding should also avoid drinking ginger tea.  

4. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is a great home remedy for food poisoning because it is made up of essential oils like menthol, menthone and limonene, all which contain analgesic and antispasmodic action. This helps to relax the intestinal muscles and reduce gas formation which can help to decrease contractions that cause diarrhea and cramping. Learn about other home remedies that can help with gas relief. 

In addition, peppermint tea contains antispasmodic action, which helps to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by food poisoning. 

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh, try or ground peppermint leaves 
  • 150 mL (5 oz) of boiling water 

How to prepare

Place the peppermint leaves in a teacup and fill with the boiling water. Allow to soak for 5 to 7 minutes then strain. You can drink this tea 3 to 4 times per day.

5. Fennel tea

Fennel tea contains anethol, estragol and camphor, which have antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and digestive action. It is a great home remedy for decreasing cramping, gases, nausea and vomiting caused by food poisoning. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of boiling water 

How to prepare

Add the fennel seeds to the cup of boiling water. Cover and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Then strain and drink up to 3 cups per day. Another option is to use a premade fennel teabag to prepare this tea. 

Fennel tea should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

6. Apple cider vinegar 

Apple vider vinegar contains antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It can help to replenish intestinal flora, which makes it a great natrual option for treating diarrhea and cramping from food poisoning. 

Apple cider vinegar can also be used to relieve nausea and stomach aches. 

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup of filtered water 

How to prepare

Dilute the applie cider vinegar in the water and drink on an empty stomach, up to 3 times per day, for the first 24 hours of the food poisoning. After this time, you can drink 1 cup of this mixture once per morning and another time at night to prevent diarrhea. 

It is important to rinse your mouth with water after drinking this solution to prevent tooth decay. You should also brush your teeth 30 minutes after drinking this solution.

Apple cider vinegar should not be consumed if you have an allergy to this ingredient, nor should it be used by people who are being treated with digoxin or diuretics like furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide as it can reduce potassium levels and cause muscle weakness, cramping, paralysis and cardiac arrhythmias.

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Edited by Tua Saude editing team in May 2022. Clinical review completed by Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse in May 2022.

References

  • TING, Xia; et al. Nutrients and bioactive components from vinegar: A fermented and functional food. Journal of Functional Foods. 64. 103681, 2020
  • MCKAY, Diane L.; BLUMBERG, Jeffrey B. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytother Res. 20. 8; 619-633, 2006
Show more references
  • ANHEYER, Dennis; et al. Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 139. 6; e20170062, 2017
  • U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE: DRUGS AND LACTATION DATABASE (LACTMED). Fennel. Available on: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501793/>. Access in 01 Mar 2021
  • YAGNIK, Darshna; et al. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 1732 . 8. 1732; 1-12, 2018
  • SEMWAL, Ruchi Badoni; et al. Gingerols and shogaols: Important nutraceutical principles from ginger. Phytochemistry. 117. 554-568, 2015
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.