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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Natural Home Remedies for common ailments-3: Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is characterized by frequent passage of loose or watery unformed stools.
Causes and Symptoms
Diarrhoea is one of the commonest diseases, and is commonly known as ‘loose motions’. It may be acute or chronic.
The main causes of this condition are overeating or eating of wrong foods, putrefaction of food in the intestinal tract, fermentation caused by incomplete carbohydrate digestion, nervous irritability, use of antibiotic drugs, and excessive intake of laxatives. It can also be caused due to parasites, germs, virus, bacteria, or poison, allergies, emotional strain or stress in adults and fright in children.
1.Buttermilk: Buttermilk is one of the most effective home remedies in the treatment of diarrhea. It helps overcome harmful intestinal flora. The acid in the buttermilk also fights germs and bacteria. Buttermilk may be taken with a pinch of salt three to four times a day for controlling this disease.
2.Carrot Soup: Carrot Soup is another effective home remedy. It supplies water to combat dehydration; replenishes sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, and magnesium; supplies pectin; and coats the intestine to allay inflammation. It also checks the growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and prevents vomiting. ½ Kg carrots may be cooked in 150ml of water until they become soft. The pulp should be strained and enough boiled water added to it to make a litre. ¾ of a tablespoon of salt may be added. This soup should be given in small amounts to the patient every half hour.
3.Fenugreek: One teaspoon of seeds which have been boiled and fried in butter should be taken with a cup of buttermilk twice daily. The seeds are beneficial in the treatment of this disease.
4.Ginger:In the case of diarrhea due to indigestion, dry or fresh ginger is very useful. A piece of dry ginger should be powdered along with a crystal of rock salt, and a quarter of a teaspoon of this powder should be taken with a small piece of jaggery. It will bring quick relief.
5.Mint:One teaspoon of fresh mint juice, mixed with a teaspoon each of lime juice and honey, can be given thrice daily with excellent results.
6.Bottle Gourd:The juice of bottle gourd is a valuable medicine for excessive thirst due to severe diarrhea. A glass of plain juice with a pinch of salt should be taken every day in treating this condition.
7.Turmeric:Turmeric is a very useful intestinal antiseptic. It is also a gastric stimulant and tonic. One teaspoon of fresh turmeric rhizome juice or one teaspoon of dry rhizome powder may be taken in one cup of buttermilk or plain water.
8.Rice:Rice is useful in treating diarrhea in children. A teaspoon of powder of charred parboiled rice mixed with a glass of buttermilk, should be given in doses of thirty grams every half hour. This brings good results.
Other Remedies
Cooked or baked apples are good for this condition. The cooking process softens the cellulose. Much of its value as a regulating material is thus lost and it is effective in looseness of the bowels.
A glass of fresh tomato juice, mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper, taken in the morning, also proves beneficial.
Other starchy liquids such as arrowroot water, barley water, and coconut water are also useful in treatment of diarrhea. One can also take bananas and garlic.
Dietary Considerations
In severe cases, it is advisable to observe a complete fast for two days to provide rest to the gastrointestinal tract. Only hot water may be taken to compensate for the loss of liquids. Juices of fruits may be taken after the acute symptoms are over. After condition improves, meals can be enlarged gradually to include coked vegetables, whole rice, and soured milk. Raw foods should be taken only after the patient completely recovers.

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