So recently my mum had a bout of bad watery diarrhea that lasted 2 days. I think the biggest mistake she made was ignoring the symptoms and continuing with her daily errands instead of resting it out. Word to the wise – I’ve always maintained that our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves despite the crap we put them through. However, we need to equip it with the right resources to heal faster. Common illness like cough, fever and diarrhoea (to name a few) should never be ignored if symptoms last for over 2-3 days.
The post is merely intended to offer a natural process to help your bowel movement get back to normal. However if there are no changes in your symptoms after a day or if the intensity of your symptoms worsen it is best to visit a doctor.
Cause of Diarrhoea
1. Usually, diarrhoea is our body’s natural defense against a virus, toxin or bacteria that may have been consumed with the contaminated food. The body tries to push the stool through the bowel to get rid of the toxin.
2. Other causes include – Irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, alcohol abuse, digestive issues, diabetes and strong medication.
According to webmd, you should visit a doctor if you have:
– Blood in your diarrhoea or black, tarry stools
– A fever that is high (above 101 F) or that lasts more than 24 hours
– Diarrhea lasting longer than 2 days
– Nausea or throwing up that prevents you from drinking liquids to replace lost fluids
– Severe pain in your abdomen or rectum
– Diarrhea after coming back from a foreign country
Without further adieu, here’s the meal plan we follow when we’re down with the dreaded ‘D’:
One of the most serious dangers associated with diarrhoea is dehydration given that your body loses water rather quickly with the continuous runs to the loo. You have to replenish the loss of water by drinking fluids throughout the day. Just plain water is not recommended because when you have diarrhoea you also lose essential electrolytes from your body. Drink a glass of water with either a touch of salt or lime juice or natural sugar (brown or coconut sugar) every hour throughout the day. Alternatively ginger and basil have anti-inflammatory powers. Simply add 2 inches of ginger and a couple of mint or basil leaves to a glass of water and bring it to a boil. Add a dash of natural sugar for sweetness and sip on this tea throughout the day.
Also a number of recipes recommended here call for use of ghee. In Indian households such as ours, Ghee is a common ingredient used in everyday meals and is an excellent source of good fats. When used moderately, it provides the body with strength and energy which is particularly important when you have diarrhea.
Breakfast – Choose from any one of the 3 recipes based on your food preference – Oats, boiled apples or bananas. Top off your breakfast with a hot ginger/mint tea. Recipe listed above.
Recipe 1 – To make oats, simply bring 1/4 cup of oats and 1 cup of water to a boil. Once the concoction thickens (which will take less than 3 minutes), add a pinch of natural sugar and serve.
Apples and Bananas help bind stools and hence are highly recommended when you have diarhoea. You can pick either one of the two recipes depending on the fruit you prefer.
Recipe 2 – Chop a red apple into tiny small pieces. The point is to consume food that is easy to chew and easily digested hence chopping the apple into small pieces is important as you don’t want to strain your intestine any further. Add the chopped pieces to 2 cups of water. Stir in a 1 tsp of grass fed butter or homemade ghee. Add a pinch of nutmeg powder (jaiphal), pinch of cinnamon (dalchini) and a pinch of cardamom powder (elaichi) or 2 whole cardamoms to the water. Bring to the boil till the apples turn to mush which will take about 20 mins on a high flames. The final concoction should be semi-dry and not too soupy. Cook the mixture for a longer time if there’s too much water after 20 mins of cooking.
Recipe 3 – Chop a banana into small round pieces. Pour a tsp of homemade ghee or organic butter above the banana, add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Points to note: – For the tea plain ginger can be used as well if you’ve run out of basil or mint. – Bananas are cooling fruits and hence they’re best consumed during the day. Avoid having bananas at night
Mid morning – To strengthen your gut, after an hour of having your breakfast have a bottle of Yakult or 4 tsps of room temperature yoghurt (curd) mixed with a little ghee. Alternatively, if you have someone to help you, get them to prepare a a yummy smoothie of½ cup yoghurt, 1/2 cup water, 1 inch grated ginger. Whip it in a blender and drink it to help soothe the inflammation in your body
Points to note: – Yoghurt should ideally be homemade. If that’s not possible, ensure the yoghurt is freshly bought from the supermarket and not too stale (over 2 days old) and served at room temperature. – Dairy should be completely avoided if you have diarrhoea. The only exception to this rule is yoghurt as it is a fermented product that helps cool the intestine.
Lunch – Rice water (Kanji) and Yoghurt.
– To prepare rice water, add 1/2 cup of rice to 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil. If you’re cooking the rice in a vessel, soak the rice for 30mins before cooking it to soften it and cut cooking time. Alternatively you can prepare the rice water in a pressure cooker which will quicken the cooking time.. Turn off the cooker after 2-3 vessels. The result should be water mixture of rice and water. Rice water is a misnomer as it is actually a concoction of both rice and water and not just the latter. You can have the rice water as is or with a pinch of salt and a tsp of ghee. Rice water is an excellent source of energy and helps prevent dehydration.
– Follow up with a small bowl room-temperature yoghurt.
Mid afternoon – Have a glass of tender coconut water without the coconut pulp. Coconut water is a cooling product that is high in potassium and sodium and helps replace depleted electrolytes in the body. It also helps prevent dehydration which is a major concern when you have diarrhoea.
Dinner (by 8-9pm at the latest) – It is generally recommended to have your dinner as early as possible to make sure your body has enough time to digest the food. This is particularly important when you have digestive issues so ensure you have an early, light dinner. For dinner, have the same thing as lunch i.e. Rice water. However avoid yoghurt at night as it is a cool food and you may catch a cold. Instead follow up with a warm glass of ginger/basil tea.
Morning – Start the day with a glass of coconut water. Follow up with oats and 1 chopped banana sprinkled with a pinch of cinnamon powder fruit.
Mid morning – Ginger/Basil Tea
Lunch and Dinner – Sweet corn chicken coup or plain vegetable soup
Mid afternoon – Yoghurt with 1 chopped apple. Ensure both the yoghurt and apple are at room temperature
Continue this meal plan for 2 days and if it doesn’t yield good results, please visit a doctor. If you feel better at the end of 2 days you can slowly introduce normal food into your diet on the third day. Avoid any food that is spicy, salty, sugary and sour, dairy products, alcohol and caffeine as they’re known to be heavy on the intestine and will further aggravate digestive issues.
So what did you think of this meal plan? Do you have any home remedies of your own? Let me know in the comments below.