June 15, 2010

Natural Remedies For Stomach Flu Virus Relief

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Often people confuse the symptoms of a stomach flu with a viral infection, which is commonly called the flu. The causes of a stomach flu can be a number of factors including bacteria and virus, whereas the influenza flu is caused by viruses only. A stomach flu is a gastrointestinal illness,  and hygiene plays a vital role in this disease. A lack of good hygiene is the prime cause of a stomach flu. Stomach flu is highly contagious and usually goes through all members of a family.

The inflammation of the stomach and small and large intestines is known as gastroenteritis (commonly called stomach flu). It is caused by a virus other than influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract. It lasts for one to three days, and the symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and sometimes, fever.

A group of people who eat the same food or drink the same water can get stomach flu. Viral gastroenteritis can lead to severe diarrhea in both children and adults. Generally, pregnant women, infants, people with poor resistance to infection, and older adults are prone to gastroenteritis. Stomach flu can also spread to other people by close contact with an affected person and eating contaminated foods.

The most common causes of stomach flu are the following viruses:

  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Astovirus
  • Enteric adenovirus

Stomach flu can be transmitted by secretions of infected people. It can also spread by direct contact or through food, water, utensils, etc. The virus that enters the stomach causes inflammation and makes the stomach and intestines incapable of performing their functions normally.

Viral gastroenteritis is not a serious illness, and people who get the stomach flu condition recover without any complications. However, people who are at the risk of dehydration because of lack of sufficient fluid intake to replace what they lose through vomiting and diarrhea need to be hospitalized in order to prevent dehydration.

Home Remedies

There are several simple yet effective home remedies for a stomach flu that help to ease the condition. The most common symptom that accompanies stomach flu is diarrhea. This leads to loss of essential fluids, and in order to prevent dehydration and keep the body well hydrated while suffering from stomach flu, one should drink plenty of fluids.

Stomach flu may  start suddenly with abdominal cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea. The symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

If untreated, dehydration is the potentially severe complication of stomach flu that can occur due to the loss of minerals due to continuous vomiting or diarrhea. Given below are the common  signs of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Low urine output
  • Severe dehydration leads to coma

In order to get relief from the stomach virus problem, one should alter his/her diet. For a few hours, avoid solid food and stick to a liquid diet comprising juices, water, broth, clear soup, herbal teas, etc. This allows the stomach to settle. Then, gradually introduce solid foods that are easy to digest. BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple and toast) is an ideal diet for a day or two. Stay away from greasy foods, dairy products, citrus foods, tomato products, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, sugary drinks, spicy food, ice chips, and sour soups as eating these foods worsens vomiting.

Ginger tea and raw ginger root are  natural remedies for nausea.  Another herb that helps to cure upset stomach is mint. Herbal tea using mint helps to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. Herbal teas like chamomile tea and rooibos tea have soothing properties and can ease stomach cramps. Chamomile is an antimicrobial agent and reduces the inflammation as well.

It is vital to replace the fluids and electrolytes  that are lost by vomiting and diarrhea. Adults and older children can drink sports beverages and for younger children, electrolyte and fluid replacement solution and freezer pops can be used to avoid dehydration. Avoid fruit juices and milk. Fluids should be drunk in small amounts every 30 minutes as large amount of fluid at one time can result in vomiting. For infants, breast milk can be continued along with extra fluid.

Stomach virus will drain all of your energy and make you feel tired and exhausted. The most natural  remedy for stomach flu is  rest.

Since, there is no effective treatment for stomach virus, prevention is key. Frequent, thorough hand washing and proper handling of food can help to prevent stomach flu. Avoid kissing and sexual intercourse with an infected persons. Sharing of cooking vessels should also be avoided. While travelling, it is necessary to take extra precautions. Avoid eating raw foods and use only bottled water.

If the condition worsens, persists, or if dehydration occurs, it is important to get medical attention and be treated at once.


  1. http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000252.htm
  2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/gastroenteritis.html
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/gastro/faq.htm