Dealing with diarrhea is no fun. In fact, you may be tempted to try anything for relief. But the best answer isn’t the quick fix. Antibiotics or drugs that claim to stop diarrhea can make things worse.
Instead, try the following five natural remedies for diarrhea:
The “good” bacteria in your intestinal tract are constantly doing battle with “bad guys”— germs and disease-causing bacteria that inhabit your lower intestines. When the bad guys overwhelm the good guys, you get diarrhea.
So, to naturally treat diarrhea, you need to strengthen the good bacteria in your gut by eating cultured and fermented foods. They help the good bacteria grow, stopping diarrhea.
One of the best foods to naturally treat diarrhea is yogurt. A New York hospital study confirmed that 1/3 to 1/2 cup of ordinary yogurt stopped diarrhea twice as fast as the standard anti-diarrhea drug (Neomycin Kaopectate), for infants.
To naturally treat diarrhea, look for a yogurt that contains "active cultures." Some companies pasteurize yogurt after it's made, killing off the remaining beneficial bacteria and making it useless. Look for yogurt where the live cultures have been added after pasteurization.
Other foods that naturally treat diarrhea include buttermilk, cottage cheese, whey, and kefir. My favorite fermented food (besides unpasteurized beer, of course!) is homemade sauerkraut.
If you don't have access to fermented and cultured foods, or don't care for their taste, I recommend taking a quality probiotic product daily to help encourage the growth of friendly bacteria.
Look for a supplement that contains the L. rhamnosus strain of probiotic. It’s known as the “travel probiotic” since it’s one of the best natural remedies for preventing traveler’s diarrhea.
For some people, diarrhea is caused by a faulty ileocecal valve. This valve is a “gatekeeper” that’s supposed to keep toxins from backing up from your small intestine to your large intestine. Plus, it keeps food from passing from your small intestine to your large intestine.
When the ileocecal valve is harmed—either by eating spicy foods, stress, or trauma—you get diarrhea. Fortunately, you can “unstick” your ileoceal valve by massaging your “reflex points” (see the photo below).
Massage each reflex point with firm pressure for 10-20 seconds each. It’s not beneficial to rub the points any longer than that. In fact, it may negate the effect.
To naturally treat diarrhea, try removing these common “trigger foods” from your diet for about a week or so. These include:
It's also helpful to eliminate all roughage-type food for a short period of time until the diarrhea ends.
Clay has a long history as one of the best natural remedies for diarrhea, especially for cases caused by food poisoning, food allergies, viral infections, and spastic or mucous colitis.
In one study of 35 people, two tablespoons of smectite clay (montmorillonite) were given with distilled water three times a day. In food allergy cases, six tablespoons of clay per day were used.
In 34 of the 35 individuals, the diarrhea stopped in 3.8 days. Diarrhea from viral infections resolved the quickest. Food allergy–induced diarrhea proved to be the most difficult.
One source of clay that I’ve used for years and can highly recommend is Pascalite, Inc. Just remember that when you mix clay, never let it come into contact with metal. To avoid any possible reaction with metal, always use wood utensils and glass, clay, or ceramic containers.
Since clay has such strong absorptive and adsorptive properties, it is best not to take it with your vitamins or at the same time you take prescription medications. I would suggest taking it on an empty stomach and waiting at least four hours before taking any medications.
Without supervision, ingesting clay isn’t recommended for someone with an intolerance for iron or for someone with high blood pressure.