Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stomach Flu Or Food Poisoning! What did I do?

A couple of weeks ago, I awoke on the day of a long cross-state journey, feeling terrible. "I'm not that stressed out about moving our chickens, am I?" I considered the lousy feeling in my gut, recalling similar times four years ago, twelve years ago .... I don't get stomach flu very often, but ....

A half hour later, I was bowing to the porcelain god. As the day progressed, the rest of the family joined in the miserable experience.

I know the herbs can help me, I thought through the day. But I didn't have it in me to look through my resources, and I'd never made a "what to do" list for myself (as I'd always intended) for when the inevitable stomach flu returned or disagreement with food.

When I finally stabilized enough to keep water down, I switched to peppermint leaf tea, and offered that to my family when they were ready for something. That seemed to help stabilize my stomach a little further. Eventually I considered replenishing my eloctrolytes. Heather Nic Fleisdeir in her Village Herbalist course on HerbMentor.com had suggested this blend:

Electrolyte Blend
Mix in a cup of warm water:
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of salt

I couldn't quite stomach the idea of drinking a cup of this, so just hastily swallowed a spoonful of apple cider vinegar, and a spoonful of honey, and figured I was getting the salt from the cracker I'd just eaten, and the water from my peppermint tea.

When I was growing up, my mom had always given us Saltine crackers and Ginger Ale for our recovery. I considered how this 'home remedy' might have helped us kids. Had the ginger in the Ginger Ale helped settle our stomachs? (this is assuming that Ginger Ale was actually made with ginger back in the late 60s to early 70s. Ginger Ale doesn't seem to be made with ginger in any of the bottles I looked at when I finally made it to the store once more). Had the salt in the crackers and the sugar in the ginger ale helped replenish our electrolytes in some way? I don't have that answer. But I always enjoyed crackers and ginger ale when recovering from the stomach flu as a kid!

In our recovery a couple of weeks ago, I flaked oat groats with the flaker attachment to our grain grinder, and cooked a pot of oatmeal. My husband said that my oatmeal and peppermint tea (and infusion) both helped restore him! (nice when a family member appreciates these things :-)!). A couple of days later I downloaded the latest in Think Like An Herbalist -- the second audio course by Heather Nic Fleisdeir at Herbmentor.com, and it was all about Pathways of Elimination. Better late than never! I thought as I listened to it.

And I took notes about what I could have done (be prepared!).

A great tip was this one:

To help prevent or relieve vomiting
50 drops peppermint extract (basically the extract is a tincture)
1 tsp. hot water

Combine and drink! The small amount ingested isn't as likely to trigger the body to get rid of it (unlike a drinking a quart of peppermint infusion), and so this mixture will have a better chance of working.

My husband never vomited, but was pretty miserable for a longer period of time than the rest of us. If we were living those days over I would have supported his other pathways of elimination.

(***Please note***I'm still learning this stuff and haven't tried it out! I'm something of an advanced beginner. So be sure to do your own research as to why anything written here might be effective or not in your situation! Thanks!)

- A bath filled with calendula infusion (infused for two hours) to encourage him to sweat some of it out.

- A burdock decoction to support his liver in eliminating the toxins.

- Perhaps a nettle infusion to support his kidney function in elimination.

He never had diarrhea, so no need to work with blackberry root or sage to slow that response down or lessen its severity.

Okay! Enough for today on this cheery topic.

Be well!

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