When a stomach bug hits, it can feel as though everything is upside down. Although the feeling of battling the stomach flu will make you want to search for a medication to ease your symptoms, you’ll likely find that natural remedies can be just as effective.
How to Beat the Stomach Flu with Home Remedies
If you’re stuck in bed with the flu, never fear. With the best home remedies, you can use all-natural, tried-and-true techniques to start feeling better. The following 12 home remedies are the best ways to begin treating your stomach flu:
1. Get Some Quality Sleep
Though we all want a quick and easy way to cure flu, experts say that sleep is the best option. Though you may be tired of lying in bed all day, your body needs the rest to recover from the virus waging war on your body.
While you may hope your doctor can prescribe medicine to rid your body of the virus magically, the fact is that this infection won’t respond to medications. Though antibiotics will work against bacteria-borne illnesses, they won’t work against viruses. The best medicine for you at this time is to spend your days and nights in bed.
Fight off the flu by reducing your physical activity and letting your body heal. If possible, change your sheets and disinfect all surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading the bug. Though being forced to rest can be aggravating, the longer you sleep, the faster you’ll recover.
2. Consume Ice Chips
With a stomach virus, you’re likely to experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. The most disruptive complication caused by this virus is dehydration. Though you may not feel up to drinking or eating anything, you need to rehydrate.
One of the most effective ways to battle dehydration when sick is to suck on ice chips. The benefit of using ice chips is that you’ll be able to consume liquids at a steady pace without triggering nausea. Should you eat or drink nothing else, consuming ice chips will help you to rehydrate your body.
3. Drink Clear Fluids
Once you’re able to keep liquids down, the next best step in your road to recovery is to double down on the liquids. The more fluids you drink, the faster you’ll be able to overcome dehydration.
Stock up on clear liquids as you regain your appetite. As clear liquids are mostly carbs and water, they’ll be the easiest to digest. Broth, water, and decaffeinated teas are all excellent choices as you recover from the flu.
Don’t neglect fruit juices as you rehydrate. Try organic, no added sugar selections like cranberry, grape, and fruit juice.
4. Make Your Own Rice Water
Rice water is another liquid to consider as you recover from your sickness. Rice water or “rice tea” has long since been a remedy for upset stomachs, indigestion, nausea, and other unpleasant systems associated with the flu.
If you already have rice at home, you can easily make rice water yourself. After boiling rice for 15 minutes, strain the rice and drink the water after it cools down. The water is most effective if consumed when warm.
5. Eat Bland Foods While You Recover from Stomach Flu
As your body fights the virus, it’s natural to avoid eating any food. However, your body needs the energy to keep fighting. If you’re not feeling up to eating a hearty meal, bland foods like toast, rice, bananas, and apple sauce are all options for food that will fill you up without triggering nausea.
Often referred to as the BRAT diet, this simple diet of all bland food will be gentle on your body. While this diet is safe as you recover, remember that you still need to add more nutrients to your meals. Once you’re adequately rehydrated and starting to feel less nauseous, it’s essential to return to a nutrient-rich diet.
6. Eat More Ginger
Ginger is another superfood to consider adding to your holistic recovery diet. Ginger is incredibly useful in alleviating nausea. Though ginger is helpful at this time, it’s best to consume it in moderation as concentrated amounts of ginger can lead to diarrhea.
As you get over the flu, it’s best to eat ginger by grating it in your tea or soup. This way, you’ll be able to eat a moderate amount.
7. Take Peppermint Capsules
Peppermint is another favorite for soothing indigestion and upset stomachs. If you’re experiencing symptoms of the flu-like pain in your lower gut or indigestion, peppermint can help.
Research shows that the most effective way to consume peppermint is by taking coated capsules. Found online, at grocery stores, and health food stores, these capsules contain peppermint oil and are highly effective. The tablets allow the peppermint oil to bypass the stomach and instead release into the small bowel. By taking these capsules twice a day, you’ll feel the most relief from the worst symptoms of the flu.
8. Drink Some Tea
Tea is another calming beverage to consider as you recover from the flu. The best tea to drink when facing the flu is herbal tea.
Herbs like cinnamon, clove, and sage are incredibly useful in helping the body fight germs. Together or separately, these herbal teas will help to soothe your stomach and fight the virus with its many antioxidants.
If you have these fresh herbs already in your home, try making this tea yourself. Steep the cinnamon, clove, and sage in freshly boiled water. Drink the tea without sugar to reduce the likelihood of diarrhea.
9. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile cure-alls when it comes to treating a variety of ailments. If you’re an avid drinker of apple cider vinegar, experts found that ACV may even be able to prevent the flu.
If you are currently battling the flu, ACV is something you should add to your diet as soon as possible. The many benefits of ACV make it an excellent treatment for the worst of the flu. Raw ACV is a powerful probiotic that will help with digestion as it increases the good bacteria in your gut.
Similarly, ACV’s anti-microbial and anti-infective qualities help destroy germs, fight against infections, and treat upset stomachs. In addition to increasing your immunity, take ACV to balance your stomach’s pH. By adjusting your pH, you’ll restore your body’s alkalinity to normal levels, which will help to fight off the virus.
When purchasing ACV, make sure to get the raw version. Most ACV you’ll see are artificially processed and don’t have the probiotics you need to treat the flu.
10. Try Yogurt and Kefir During a Stomach Flu Bout
While most people are under the impression that they should avoid dairy items during the flu, the likes of kefir and yogurt are all excellent choices for getting your strength back after recovering from the flu.
If you’re still nauseous, stick to bland foods until you are feeling better. Once you can stomach your regular diet, yogurt and kefir can help you restore your body to its natural level of good bacteria.
Yogurt and kefir are high in probiotics. So make them a go-to if you are attempting to recover from the flu quickly. These foods will stabilize your blood sugar, helping you to feel stronger.
Don’t want to add dairy to your diet? Try lactose-free yogurt options. Remember, it’s best to try plain yogurt as the flavored kind can be too irritating for anyone that is still in recovery mode after dealing with a stomach virus.
11. Take Probiotic Supplements
If you’ve had your fill of yogurt and kefir or aren’t ready to eat it yet, consider getting your probiotics elsewhere. Get rid of the harmful bacteria from the flu with probiotic supplements. These probiotics wipe out the antibiotics that are responsible for upsetting symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Add probiotic supplements to your diet to start replenishing your gut’s good bacteria. This way, you’ll be able to bring balance to your digestive system. As you look for the best probiotics to use, look for those that will specifically target the stomach flu. Probiotics like Bio-K+ are ideal for replenishing your gut and putting an end to the worst of your symptoms.