Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning

Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning
So, I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday, or to do much else for that matter. In fact, I spent most of the day getting a very close view of just how badly the inside of the toilet needed to be cleaned.

After a lovely date with my husband on Wednesday night, I started to have a weird feeling in my stomach. I drank some Apple Cider Vinegar, which is my normal remedy for any kind of tummy troubles and the feeling went away… until 3 a.m.

At 3 a.m., I was awoken by that feeling of needing to vomit but not being able to. I spent the next few hours with horribly cramping stomach aches and awful nausea. Then the vomiting hit… and did it ever!

I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but basically, I couldn’t keep anything down, including water, for the next 8 hours and I had really bad stomach cramps, dizziness, chills, etc. In fact, I had every symptom under the definition of “Food Poisoning” on WebMD.

At some point Thursday afternoon when I was debating going to the hospital to get an IV so I would have some fluids to be able to nurse the baby, I remembered the vinegar and how it had helped for a few hours. I also remembered something I learned in a class long ago about activated charcoal being a fast remedy for food poisoning.

Figuring I had nothing to lose because I’d be heading to the hospital anyway if I couldn’t stop vomiting, I started slowly sipping a mixture of equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and Water and chasing with 1/2 tsp activated charcoal mixed into applesauce.

Yes, it tasted awful. Vinegar was pretty much the last thing I wanted at that point and the charcoal in the applesauce looked like tar, but within a few minutes, I actually started to feel a lot better. (Apparently, this is a common remedy that works really well, according to this forum thread).

I took a few more doses of each, probably about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar total and a few teaspoons of activated charcoal. I was still really tired that night and sore from the vomiting, but was back to normal the next day. From what I’ve read of food poisoning, it can last days or weeks, so I’m very grateful that the Vinegar and Charcoal worked.

I share this so that hopefully any of you who ever get food poisoning can do without the 8 hours of vomiting and just take these two right away. I will definitely be keeping both on hand at all times!

What I did:

– At first signs of symptoms, took equal parts water (or juice) and apple cider vinegar (organic, with the mother!)

-In water or some kind of soft food, took 1/2 tsp or more of activated charcoal (or capsules if you can swallow them)

-Repeat until my symptoms stop.

Ever had food poisoning? How did you recover?

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Reader Comments

  1. Amy says

    I’ve had food poisoning twice in my adult life, both from fast food — big surprise there, huh?

    First time from some bad oysters (lesson #1: don’t eat fast food fried oysters at 1:00am).  I didn’t know what to do so I suffered through two days of vomiting and other fun things, and another day trying to recover.  My body decided that I should never eat shellfish again, and I had an allergic reaction the next time I ate some, complete with hives and a swelling tongue.  Haven’t touched shellfish in years because of this.

    Second time, I was traveling in Germany and ate something bad at a well-known, worldwide burger chain because I needed to grab a meal while on the Army base (lesson #2…).  Being in Germany, I was able to easily find activated charcoal at a local shop.  That solved the problem pretty quickly the first day.

    I wish I had known about the apple cider vinegar then.  That stuff is amazing!!

  2. Dazane says

    Last Saturday night, while staying in a hotel, I became violently ill.  Started with diarrhea, then vomiting and diarrhea.  Began at midnight and continued until about 4 AM.  I have known for years the benefit of charcoal, so always travel with it, and took it at the first sign of discomfort.  I’m always a little late with it as I don’t want to lose the benefit of the meal and supplements I take with my meals.  But now that you’re advising folks what to do about this misery, let me share the recipe for “Black Magic,” which is a better way to go, especially with young children.  When my children were young the clerk in a Seventh Day Adventist bakery (this was during my bread eating days) shared this recipe when I told her how ill my little boy had been.  He had had diarrhea so badly that a neighbor talked me into giving him kaopectate.  Well, the directions were a tablespoon every time he went to the bathroom, so that’s what I did.  Soon he was green, the diarrhea continued only in much smaller volume, and he complained contantly of wanting to have a bowel movement.  Soon I figured out that I had created a blockage with the kaopectate.  That was when I learned of Black Magic.  1 tablespoon of charcoal powder (or tablets or capsules), 1 tablespoon slippery elm, and 1 tablespoon of carob powder, all blended together in the blender with enough honey to make it palatable.  The kids loved the stuff because it was black and they could pretend crazy adventures about drinking weird black stuff.  The charcoal soaks up everything, the slippery elm helps move it out, and, I’m told, the carob powder helps heal the gut.  After only one glass of Black Magic my little guy was dancing around the living room and singing, “I’m well!  I’m well!”  Even if the potion gets vomited up, it soaks up enough that there is still benefit.  Once I’m better after a digestive upset of this kind, I pull out a jar of blackberry applesauce and  eat small dishes of that until I feel like eating a normal diet.  Of my three sons, one of them never leaves home without charcoal, another has it in the house, though his wife thinks it’s goofy, and the third, alas, is a product of the AMA and would rather subject his gut and liver (and those of his little family) to the ravages of prescription medication.  :(

    • Dazane says

      Hey, I forgot the all important 8 ounces of tepid water with this concoction.  Sorry.  I hope no one tried it without the water.  -dazane

      • Mike says

        I’ve used about 200mls of colloidal silver and lay down for at least half an hour, I wonder if there could be some super combo if the charcol didn’t absorb the silver could chase the black honey goo down with a small cup of colloidal silver ….homework time just don’t want to get food poisoning again.

        Its correct the long term effects can linger as bad bacteria live in the gut untreated. Certainly not worth ignoring

  3. says

    Oh yes this is what we use too and it’s amazing!  Usually works within 15 minutes to 1/2 hour.  So glad you found this because while the expulsion of fluids doesn’t last over a couple days, the pain and weakness lasts for several days after that.

  4. Kellyc says

    I take high doses of probiotics (Garden of Life Primal Defense is my favorite.)for any gastrointestinal problems.  I will take 4-6 capsules, three times a day until symptoms stop.  Usually, I only have to take them once or twice.  I have stopped several very severe illnesses this way.  I empty the tablets into a small cup of water.  I use half of the dosage for the kids.  I also take a Mutaflor with each dose but it’s very hard to buy in the U.S..  I order it from Canada.

  5. Kat says

    Hi would other types of vinegar work?  I have fructose malabsorption and am meant to avoid apple cider vinegar. Thanks.

  6. Britte says

    Very interesting!  I didn’t even know you could buy activated charcoal for home use.  I will keep this post in mind, especially for my kids, who are prone to upset tummies.  I’ve never tried the apple cider vinegar in those instances, but I will!

  7. Kendall says

    I am finally startIng to feel better after a horrible bout of food poisoning (I suspect a fast food chicken sandwich). The most important thing is to allow all of your symptoms to fully commence so you can get all the bacteria out of your system. Otherwise, you’re just going to prolong the illness. Then, you can start taking meds to control the nausea. I really like Nauzene tablets, which work in minutes. I am also sticking to the BRAT diet until I am 100%.

    • Will R. says

      I like the PRAT diet, PASTA, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. I was travelling with my family and had a HORRIBLE case of the stomach bug, my mom and sister caught it. The first thing I ate was fresh pasta and it was filling and didnt upset my stomach.

  8. Jeri says

    The symptoms for food poisoning are very similar to gallstones..Have you ever been checked for gallstones? I had the very same symptoms you were describing in this post, and like you I thought that I had food poisoning. This “food poisoning” usually happened after eating out- usually something fatty or greasy. But it didn’t come on right away, usually it would rouse me from my sleep. I always felt nauseous, as though if I made myself throw up I would feel better. I had god awful stomach pain. And usually after a bout of puking, the next day I was sore, but fine. This would happen to me every so often, and I never went to the ER/DR. to get myself checked out. Well, one day it got so bad I had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. To make matters worse, I was also pregnant at the time, and baby and I spent 3 weeks in the hospital with gallstone pancreatitis. The baby is now a year old, she and I no worse for wear after that. But it is pretty serious stuff, and I wish I had known then what I know now. So that’s why I’m sharing this with you. Anyway, Hi! I found you on Pinterest and I am really digging your site. I’ve embraced my hippy mom side and have recently become a raw food vegan. Best wishes! Jeri.

  9. Kaybi says

    I’ve used charcoal for years now, anytime my kids have any sort of stomach/ digestive anything. (I did learn to not be tablets, only capsules.) Never tried the vinegar, but I will keep it in mind. I used acidophilus at first, now I use my kefir milk &/or water … if nothing is staying down, just a tablespoon or so every 15 minutes. Charcoal to absorb bad stuff. Probiotic good guys to fight the bad guys.

  10. Mepin says

    Is it safe to have the activated charcoal when you are breastfeeding?  that is my concern right now.  Stomach cramping for 4 whole days now and I remembered the charcoal thing, but wasnt’ sure it would go to my breastmilk.

  11. Christina Mendoza says

    When a family member had chronic diarrhea — which may or may not have been due to food poisoning — I searched for quite a while for a natural remedy to recommend that would work. The coconut cookies many people recommended did not help, but I finally found one obscure post that recommended turmeric tea. You make it with a teaspoon or so of turmeric powder mixed into a glass of warm water, and drink it. That really did the trick; the symptoms improved and then completely went away after a few doses!

  12. Randa Khouri says

    Is activated charcoal safe to use while pregnant? (not as a regular supplement, but just for acute needs)

  13. Tori says

    Good to know! I had some shrimp pasta that sat out to long and I can feel it coming! Sending hubby to the store to get some charcoal powder and apple cider vinagar!!

  14. Anita says

    Activated charcoal is not absorbed by the body so should be perfectly safe for pregnancy or nursing. All it does is adsorb (that’s right not absorb but adsorb) the poison and carry it out of the body. In a pinch regular charcoal will work too, it just has less surface area so is not as efficient. But be sure to use food grade charcoal (with nothing added).

  15. Joanna says

    I just tried this remedy tonight after eating chicken earlier today. I woke up with strong symptoms and remembered this post. I’m already feeling better– thank you!!

    Quick question: any thoughts on brushing my teeth with the activated charcoal powder to restore the ph balance in my mouth right after a bout of food poisoning?

  16. Karen says

    Giving this a try! I ate some raw asparagus this afternoon from the public market and forgot to wash it! I feel like such a dummy, but I know that is what is causing my symptoms. I hope it works! Just did my glass of water/Braggs apple cider vinegar with 2 activated charcoal capsules. Glad I already had both on hand!
    For tummy aches I usually just do a small glass of water with a tsp of baking soda and a squeeze of lemon juice. My kids love It And it seems to do the trick. Thanks!

  17. Mary says

    Just used coconut charcoal with my sweet 3yo who found and drank a day old smoothie. She woke up this morning and vomited once. I gave her a 1/4t mixed in yogurt with raw honey & now she’s bouncing around like normal. (And equally fun were all my big kids reactions to black yogurt!!) Katie, you mentioned the charcol in a previous post a year (or three?) ago. I’ve had it in my house ever since just for this occasion. You saved the day again our house. :) Bless you!

  18. Rebecca says

    So glad I came across this post, but only wish I’d been strong enough to google it 2 days ago when I had my first experience with food poisoning. Within an hour of eating the contaminated food, I knew something was amiss but I had no clue it would turn into violent vomiting every 15 minutes for the next 8 hours.

    At that point my DH had no idea how to help me other than empty my vomit bucket and bring me water/ginger ale, all of which came right back up. And I certainly couldn’t keep anything together long enough to google any food poisoning cures. Luckily I had some of my stepdaughter’s Pedia One leftover from a previous diarrhea spell so that made me feel less concerned about dehydration.

    But I SO wish I had read this before and had some of these items on hand. My stomach has finally stopped aching from the violent vomiting enough to sit up straight and tomorrow, I think I may finally bathe myself and go to the store to stock up just in case this ever happens again! (There was a point during that first night when I swore I’d never eat again)

  19. Lucy Sisler says

    Hi I was reading on webMD and the doctors said electrolytes work very well for dehidration, I am sorry for the miss-spelled words. Where could I get the charcoal? I also cannot keep anything down, what should I do?

  20. Veronica says

    I am so grateful for this advice. I read it quite a while back and it saved me tonight.

    Earlier today, I ate some leftover Chinese food that I thought was fine. 4 hours later, I felt as if I had an alien invader. I immediately took iodine and Epsom salts since that usually helps me with any digestive problems I may have. It took me a while to realize I was on the cusp of food poisoning. I grabbed the activated charcoal, ACV an colloidal silver and kicked the invader to the curb before it had a chance to take me out.

    I’ve had food poisoning before when I didn’t have this knowledge at my fingertips, so I know what the alternative is. I’m so glad I spared myself.

    Thank you is not enough.

  21. Anthony Downs says

    For anyone wondering where to get the charcoal you can find it at literally any Walmart even if they don’t have the capsules. You can do into the fish section and it will be labeled activated carbon. Same thing, hope this helps

  22. Sadie says

    I was on the bathroom floor 5 hours ago, hugging the toilet, not having been this sick since my worst-ever food poisining in Vietnam…
    I asked by husband to get my computer, and found your remedy. I love all you other resources so I gave it a go. I am on a trip at a cabin in the woods in Sweden (I live in Norway), but had luckily brought with me my trusty unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
    I’m not gonna lie, it was like you said, the last thing I wanted to ingest. But now, even though I am a bit weak and only eating boiled veggies, I am sooooo much better!
    I noticed it working just a half an hour after I started. I got a hold of some (lower-grade) carbon (hey, i’m in the mountains) and started taking that too, and it really feels like I will be back to my old self tomorrow, as opposed to the usual 5-day knockout…
    I recommend this to anyone!

  23. Daiana says

    I have read this article a while ago and today it saved me!

    I had Sushi in town and in 15 minutes i felt huge pain in my stomach, headache, bloating … felt like i need to vomit … instantly knew it was food poisoning ….

    Thankfully i remembered what to do and i ran to the pharmacy to get some activated charcoal …. half an hour later felt good!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  24. sara says

    I ate bad tuna on monday, was sick from that night until the next with diarrhea and cramps and nausea. Now it’s wednesday and i’m back working but am curious…should i still get some ACV or charcoal?? Or will something like Pearls or plain yogurt be enough to get my gut healthy again and flush out the bad stuff??


  25. Darcy Webb says

    I really like that there are so many natural remedies for many of today’s ailments. I wish we had kept to this approach instead of using so many antibiotics that cause so much collateral damage. I am definitely going to be keeping your tips about apple cider vinegar in mind!

  26. Sophia Chang says

    I’m in China with second day of food poisoning (my second bout in this country – last one in ’06 after eating turtle – I’m adventurous, what can I say?) and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find activated charcoal, but there IS an apple cider vinegar drink here that tastes more like a soda. If I can’t find actual apple cider vinegar I’ll drink that instead. Just gotta make it through the night to morning when the stores open again. Crossing my fingers…

  27. Glenda Russell says

    I use organic coconut activated charcoal alone it will knock out any stomach upset. It has gotten me through the Noro Virus four times. That was the worst virus and hard to kill in your home. I will never be without my activated charcoal.

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