Whenever I'm facing a healing crisis I start by looking at two things. First, I look at what the commonly prescribed not natural ways of treating this illness are. Secondly, I research what the natural alternatives to achieving the same or better results with non-toxic products are.
Typically for dehydration that is still preventable and not in a dangerous zone from prolonged illness, the general recommendation is to wait approximately 2 hours from the last episode of vomiting, then offer sips of a natural homemade rehydration drink. Never offer more than a teaspoon or two at a time, every 10-15 minutes for the first couple of hours. It’s a bit like a homeopathic dose of fluids. Each bit of fluid that is held down increases chances for a speedier recovery because it decreases the risks of dehydration.
I don't always wait a full 2 hours, but waiting at least an hour after vomiting before starting fluids is wise. Despite your careful efforts if vomiting persists frequently for more than 8-12 hours start looking for signs of dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration Include:
- Dry mouth and dry, cracked lips.
- Not making tears when crying.
- No urination in 8 hours or more for infants or 12 hours or more for toddlers and older children.
If your vomiting child has signs of dehydration and is still vomiting frequently, it’s time to consider heading to the doctor.
I hope you can prevent that outcome, so let’s get started!
What Fluids to Give:
This is UNICEF's lifesaving rehydration therapy, and I have really enjoyed the results. It's very effective. You can use honey instead of sugar, but honey's not recommended for children under one.
Measure out the water into a medium sauce pan and heat the water until it's warm to dissolve the salt and sugar. You do not need to boil it (unless you live somewhere without clean water, which of course will make everything worse).
Then, let the liquid cool down to room temp before serving.
*Once your hydration drink is complete be sure to taste it before serving to make sure it is less salty than tears.*
I find in our family that I only need to have children consume spoonfuls of this to start the recovery process.
Recovery Step #1 ~ Activated Charcoal
Activated Charcoal has a long history of being an effective anti-poison remedy. I find it to be extremely valuable for treating Stomach Bugs because it works as an absorbent of toxins in the digestive system, relieves gases, can eliminate fungi, viruses and bacterias. Activated Charcoal Powder has the ability to absorb a variety of particles and gases, which is why I value it so highly for removing potentially toxic substances from the digestive tract. Your stomach acid will not break down the Activated Charcoal; it's not absorbed by the body, but carries toxins out of the body in the feces. Don't be alarmed by very dark stool, this is just the charcoal being passed.
4 oz. of water to 1/4 tsp. of Activated Charcoal
This ratio is suitable for everyone, it's the amount the individual takes that varies.
Activated Charcoal - start with 1 TBS at a time
You can get charcoal and water into a baby by using a plastic medication syringe, a bottle, sippy cup or eye dropper. They don't need to consume very much for it to be effective. Don't delay if you have a vomiting breastfeeding child; the sooner the better.
Rehydration - Breastfed infants can have breast milk as rehydration fluid and don’t need other liquids since it’s the best thing for them on so many levels. Make sure to be aware of how much they are feeding and peeing to be on the safe side safe.
For Toddlers and Children:
Start with 1 oz. at a time.
Straws are a helpful tool when getting children to take it. Activated charcoal doesn't have much flavor. It just leaves a bit of a gritty feeling behind in the mouth. Have faith your child will take it because they want to feel better too. We call it Black Water;)
Rehydration - Use the drink above
Drink the whole 4 oz. if you are ready to hold down that amount of fluids. Otherwise go slower.
Rehydration - Use the drink above
Where to Get Activated Charcoal:
Activated charcoal is available at most health food stores and vitamin shops often sold as a bottle of capsules. To give it to a child or someone who doesn't want to swallow a capsule, simply open one up and add to 6oz. water.
You can also order it in the powder form online, which is what I prefer.
Here is a source that I trust: Activated Charcoal Powder.
First Recovery Food
- Cook the rice with a ratio of 4 cups water 1 cup rice. (If many people need to eat it, the ratio is 4 parts water to 1 part rice. Just multiply to make enough for all.)
- Boil the rice for 25 min.
- Then ladle out only the rice water and drink as a tea with a pinch of sea salt. It is best consumed warm like a starchy tea. I find this helps to coat the stomach and ease physical discomfort.
- Continue to fully cook the rice and save for later meals.
- When they improve further, give the overlooked puréed rice with a bit of salt, a pinch of cinnamon and honey/sugar.
Other favorite recovery foods are: toast, baked and steamed yams, mashed potatoes, crackers, rice, and bone broths.
Recovery Tonic - Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, Acidophilus and Raw Honey tonic.
Continue to watch symptoms! Diarrhea is common for a a day or two, but if their bowels haven't regulated after 3 days, you need to focus on healing the intestinal integrity. The Tonic (from above) is extremely helpful in recalibrating the flora balance.
Sore Bottoms - If the bottom gets red and sore from so much coming out, using Herbal Salve on it will reduce all the symptoms.
Once your child has gone 6-8 hours without vomiting, you can start some bland foods like crackers, dry toast or broth, but again, go slowly and don't be swayed by emotion. It is just a few days at best that they aren’t eating much and soon they will be eating all the foods they want to again. Now is the time to hold firm to feeding only foods that will aid the recovery process.
Keeping them out of the kitchen and meet their needs before they are hungry helps cut down on drama that may accompany food restrictions. Distract and occupy is my motto! It’s also kind to serving everyone else who is feeling well the boring foods so at mealtimes you aren’t having extra battles.
I take out my Healthy Nesting Arsenal of Thieves Cleaner and Essential Oils for some powerful cleaning and disinfecting and get to work asap! I even add a bit of Thieves, Lemon and/or Oregano Oils to my washer and dryer to boost the laundry. (This is the best source for Thieves Oil, Thieves Cleaner, Lemon Oil, and Oregano Oil.)
Also make sure to clean the toys, especially is you have babies and toddlers!!! Clean all surfaces, door knobs, light switches, etc. When I say everything, I mean everything. If the stomach bug is lasting longer than 24-48 hours, re-contamination is happening. Something isn't clean. Start again.
Common Mistakes Parents Make:
- Not using activated charcoal soon enough
- Offering foods too soon
- Not cleaning up well enough.
Take it slow as long as your child is consuming rehydration fluids and is holding their own and not showing signs of dehydration, you can be slow to get them back on to solid foods. Recovery takes time and rushing the process along by giving foods to quickly will often make the whole thing last longer.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
For the Family:
Have everyone in your house who isn't feeling ill take activated charcoal immediately. You can prevent an even greater mess and stop the cycle of spreading the illness throughout the family.
Diffuse Thieves Oil
Clean Everything (as spoken of above)
For Adults who want something stronger:
Take an anti-viral/anti-bacterial. Here are some examples:
- Thieves Oil internally for adults as prevention. I just put a drop in tea.
- Put Oregano Oil on my feet topically.
- Jackass Bitters taking internally is also effective.
I hope this information serves you well. Please, share your success stories in the comments below, I'd love to hear how you overcame illness naturally!