- Use blackberry root bark, meadowsweet, goldenseal and/or red raspberry leaves for occasional bouts of diarrhea. These herbs can be taken in tea form or added to applesauce, bananas, pineapple, or papaya juice. Caution: Do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than a week at a time, and do not use during pregnancy. Do not give goldenseal to children under two. Do not use goldenseal without consulting a physician if you have had heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, a stroke, or high blood pressure or if you are allergic to ragweed.
- Strawberry leaves can be used in infants and blackberry roots or leaves can be used in children.
- Marshmallow root soothes the mucous membranes of the lower intestinal tract
- Pau d’arco is useful against parasitic infection and good for the digestion.
- Diarrhea caused by parasites can be treated with goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape, and goldthread
- Barberry is effective in halting diarrhea in cases of bacterial dysentery
- Carob pod powder is great for acute diarrhea in children and infants (3-21 months).
- Garlic is an excellent remedy for diarrhea and is also protective against stomach infections
- Agrimony helps heal the intestinal tract and soothes inflammation
- Mullein can relieve stomach cramps and help control diarrhea
- Chaparral, lungwort, and/or wintergreen helps halt diarrhea. Caution: Wintergreen taken in large doses can cause vomiting.
- Catnip tea has antispasmodic properties which can be effective at relieving diarrhea and stomach cramps. Catnip tea is recommended for children due to its mild effects
- Ginger tea soothes the bowels and is good for cramps and abdominal pain.
- Basil is an excellent choice for reducing gas
- Slippery elm bark, taken in tea or extract form, is soothing to the digestive tract.
- Let a mild case of diarrhea run its course. It is the body’s way of cleaning out toxins, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. Do not take any medication to stop diarrhea for at least two days. Stick to a liquid diet for twenty-four hours to give the bowel a rest.
- Drink plenty of liquids, such as hot carob drink, carrot juice, “green drinks,” vegetable broths, diluted fruit and vegetable juices, electrolyte-replacement drinks as well as plenty of quality water. Note: Brewed teas of roasted carob powder is effective in the treatment of acute onset of diarrhea and is particularly helpful in treating diarrhea in young children
- Increase your intake of pectin-rich fruits and vegetables such as pears, grapefruit, apples, carrots, potatoes and beets. Increase intake of oat bran, rice bran, raw foods, fresh blueberries, yogurt, starchy soups and cereals, bananas, rice, tapioca, and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.
- Drink 3 cups of rice water daily. To make rice water, boil 1/2 cup of brown rice in 3 cups of water for forty-five minutes. Strain out the rice and drink the water. Eat the rice as well. Rice helps to form stools and supplies needed B vitamins.
- Avoid dairy products (except for live-cultured yogurt), fruit juices, alcohol, sorbitol, spicy foods, and coffee during the acute phase of diarrhea. These foods can trigger diarrhea.
- Foods that can delay recovery of diarrhea include caffeine, high sugar juices and soft drinks, “rest the bowel” diets (also beans, cabbage, onions, fruit and vegetable peels, whole-grain cereals, soft drinks, very diluted soups)
- Try limiting your intake of foods containing gluten, including barley, oats, rye, and wheat.
- Look into the possibility that food allergies are causing or contributing to diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of food allergy.
A well balanced diet is a more natural source of nutrients and it is best to get as much as possible from food. If you are not eating a varied mixture of the main food groups or foods high in a certain nutrient needed for your health situation then make up the remaining through vitamin and mineral supplementation.
- Charcoal tablets: Take 4 every hour with water until the diarrhea subsides. Take separately from other supplements and medications.
- Sodium and potassium: 4 oz sports drink, taken every hour for as long as diarrhea lasts (idea is to sip constantly)
- Kelp: 1,000 milligrams daily to replace minerals lost through diarrhea.
- Psyllium seeds provide bulk that aids in forming stools.
- If diarrhea is chronic or recurrent, an underlying problem such as a food allergy, infection, or intestinal parasites may be the cause. Allergy testing can determine if you have any food allergies. A stool culture can be done to check for infection or the presence of parasites.
- Chronic diarrhea in very young children is evident if the child has five or more watery stools a day. A baby with diarrhea can become dehydrated very quickly, and should be evaluated by a health care provider.
- Consult your health care provider if any of the following conditions occur:
- the diarrhea lasts for more than two days
- there is blood in the stool
- the stool looks like black tar
- you have a fever above 101°F
- you have severe abdominal or rectal pain
- You suffer from dehydration as evidenced by dry mouth or wrinkled skin, or urination is reduced or stops.
In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs