What to Do When the Stomach Bug Hits
A few weeks ago, every member in our house (five total because we’re living with my in-loves right now) went down with a violent strand of the stomach bug except me. By God’s grace and a few tactics that I had in my back pocket for weeks like this, I avoided it.
Another week or two went by, and we continued to hear of people getting the stomach bug. I continued filling my family with my natural remedies, and we washed our hands like crazy.
Then, I forgot to be vigilant for a couple of days (and we were around people who had recently been sick), and one night after dinner I didn’t feel so well.
The next twelve hours I spent laid up in bed. I wasn’t getting sick, but I felt very queasy and run down. I couldn’t think clearly and just felt yucky.
About the time I started feeling a bit better, my oldest started throwing up. Mom’s simply do not get sick days. He kept at it for about six hours or so before he fell into a deep sleep for the rest of the night.
No one else has caught this strand of the bug. Yet.
How did I avoid the stomach bug the first time, and then only contract a mild, mild case the second time? I went to my natural medicine cabinet and got straight to work as soon as the first sickness reared its ugly head!
How to Avoid the Stomach Bug
Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a healthcare professional. I have no medical training and am simply a mom sharing her story. Please do your own research when using anything you are not familiar with. If needed, seek healthcare advice from your doctor.
1. Activated Charcoal
This is something I am never without in our home. Activated charcoal is my go-to for any tummy ailment.
Activated charcoal works by absorbing chemicals through the entire GI tract, and therefore reducing their toxicity. It’s shouldn’t be taken with two hours of consuming vitamins or medications because it will likely absorb them rendering your vitamins or medications useless. (source)
When someone in my home or someone I’ve been in contact with starts showing signs of sickness, I pop two activated charcoal pills and drink a huge glass of water. I also break a capsule into a small glass of water for my children to sip from.
The first couple of days after exposure, I will take 1-2 capsules a day with water.
If I become sick, I take one to two capsules of activated charcoal three times a day with water, and my children will sip as they are able.
Next to activated charcoal, garlic is my go-to remedy for anything that ails me.
If I get a tickle in my throat, I take garlic.
If I hear the flu is going around, I eat garlic.
If I hear a stomach bug is making its rounds, I eat garlic.
And I make everyone in my family join me including my 18 month old.
Garlic is most commonly known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Practically speaking, garlic is a natural antibiotic that your body does not grow resistance to, which means it has on-going positive benefits.
I take garlic because if our bodies are being bombarded with viruses and bacteria, it is a stellar fighter of all things bad. Said another way, it’s an immune booster.
Therefore, we take garlic 1-2 times a day for several days after being exposed to someone sick (or hear it’s going around). Our favorite way to take garlic can be found in this post.
We do not take garlic while we’re sick with the stomach bug. For obvious reasons, I think.
3. Essential Oils
To aid my digestive system as it fights off the virus, I rub peppermint essential oil on my stomach a few times a day. I use lavender essential oil with my children.
We use essential oils when we fall victim to the stomach bug as well. It helps to sniff or diffuse the oils throughout the home as well.
I’m a lover of herbs. They are so fascinating to me, and they are incredibly useful! You can see all the herbs I grow in my back yard here.
Peppermint has so many wonderful uses. It’s an herb I always make sure to keep stocked. It’s wonderful for the digestive system, migraines, and a natural pick me up. It’s very easy to drink and great for children.
I steep peppermint leaves in a cup of hot water for 5-15 minutes and sip on it a couple of times a day. We use it when we get sick as well.
Mixing peppermint and chamomile is another favorite of mine, and it’s really great for children!
Oil of Oregano
We take oil of oregano in capsule form because tincture form is just too potent for us. I want to learn to make my own oil of oregano though!
I take this 2-3 times a day when I’ve been around sickness for a couple of days.
Elderberry & Echinacea
Perhaps you’re catching on, but this is another great immune booster, which is a great way to help stave off any sort of sickness, including the stomach bug.
I use the Double-E Immune Booster mix from Bulk Herb Store to make my own immune boosting tincture. We take a few doses a day after being exposed to the stomach bug.
Finally, I boost up on probiotics. We all take proboiotics in capsule form, but we also seek to eat or drink a variety of fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt to get even more into our systems.
If the “bad guys” are taking over our systems, then we want to make sure we’re supplying plenty of “good guys” to fight back!
I believe my body is created to heal itself, and I believe that God has provided amazing healing elements in His creation.
However, I also recognize that we live in a fallen world where sin and sickness still exists. Sometimes, we can do everything “right” and still fall prey to the plague of sickness. With anything, nothing is completely infallible.
Therefore, all of this must be blanketed in prayer. God is the ultimate Healer and sovereign Lord. We can trust Him with our health as we steward what He has given us to the best of our abilities.
After the stomach bug has swept our home, we cleanse our home with much cleaning, laundry, and immune boosting supplements and foods. I found bone broth to be the best thing for me as I healed from the mild stomach bug I contracted.
I sipped on warm broth when I was feeling queasy and it always made me feel so much better!
What about you? What ways have you found to ward off the stomach bug?
Other posts you might find helpful:
If you’re looking for other ways to fight the stomach bug, check out my friend, Erin’s, post: How to Avoid the Stomach Virus After Being Exposed. It has a few other ideas that I didn’t mention that you might be able to use as well!
You can see how I stock my natural medicine cabinet here and how we fight the flu naturally here.
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These are great tips! I also use garlic and echinacea and oil of oregano. I also use tea tree oil – I put it on the bottoms of our feet to boost our immune systems when I feel like there’s flus/colds going around. I’ve kept quite a few colds at bay this way. I’ll have to look into the other things you recommended. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the great post, I have tried a lot of different methods for an upset stomach but none of them really do the trick properly.
I like the sound of your Activated Charcoal remedy so am looking forward to giving that a try.
When my bowels went crazy about a few weeks ago, I tried drinking two cups of coffee and it got words, that I would love, never drink coffee if you have a stomach thing.
A nasty stomach virus is going around and my son just woke up with a mild case of it. Got my diffuser on with tea tree and eucalyptus oil in it. Also put a little bit of peppermint oil on his belly. I happen to have activated charcoal on hand for my organic soaps I make so put active little in a glass of water to help absorb any bugs. Hope he gets well soon. Hope my husband and I don’t catch it.
We have always seen really, really good luck with activated charcoal. Best of luck! Stomach bugs are just awful.