Of all the gastrointestinal ails I have experienced in the course of my life, food poisoning was not one of them….until recently! After a lovely dinner out with both Roy’s and my parents at our favorite Farm to Table Restaurant, three of us ended up with a long night ahead of us. The culprit, we believe, was wild morel mushrooms.
I have never gotten so sick—so quickly and so violently—in my whole life. As unpleasant as that experience was (and as strange as this may sound) I was also completely filled with gratitude, even as my insides were being forced back out. Food poisoning feels very “primal” because it is quite literally your body trying to save you from harm by expelling the poisonous substance as quickly as it possibly can.
Despite feeling immense gratitude towards my body, food poisoning is certainly something I hope to never experience EVER again! But in the event that you or a loved one consumes something tainted, here is what I did to treat myself. Thankfully, I recovered amazingly well and relatively quickly.
1. Let It Out!
As I said above, vomiting and/or diarrhea are your body’s attempts to quickly remove the harmful or contaminated food from your system. As unpleasant as vomiting and diarrhea are, you do not want to stop this process. For most people, this acute phase should only last a couple of hours.
2. Small Sips.
The biggest risk of food poisoning is dehydration resulting from vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting too much liquid at once can trigger your gastrointestinal tract to expel it again, so the trick is to take small sips of fluids every 10-15 minutes.
This is similar to how we recommend treating someone with a stomach virus and in this video (at 45 seconds) Roy covers what fluids to drink (my personal favorite is water with mineral rich sea salt).
3. Take Bentonite Clay or Activated Charcoal.
Adsorption (not absorption) is the ability of clay or charcoal to attract and soak up toxins on their exterior wall and then pull them into their interior center, where they are held and then ultimately excreted. Both bentonite clay and activated charcoal prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body which is why they work so well as food poisoning remedies.
I personally have more experience with Bentonite Clay and have used Sonnes #7 and Great Plains brands over the years. I took 1 Tbsp. between meals, 3 or 4 times per day for 2-3 days to help “mop up” the toxin. I got in the first dose as soon as I felt the nausea/vomiting had passed. I personally always keep a bottle of clay at home (and I sometimes take along with us when we travel) for this very reason.
Liquid clay actually has a relatively benign taste and you want to be sure that you drink ample water so as to remain adequately hydrated and give the “held” toxins a means out of your body through your stool.
If you want more information, my friend Jini Patel Thompson has written a great article about Bentonite Clay.
4. Baby Your Belly.
If you’ve seen me over the years for any GI problems, you know that my mantra is “soft, warm, & mushy”. When your stomach and intestines are feeling irritated and inflamed, you want to eat easy to digest, soft, cooked foods such as pureed soups and well cooked rice, meats, & vegetables (think: crock pot stews) for a few days. Teas like peppermint, chamomile and ginger can be soothing. For some people, simple fruit smoothies (banana, mango, berries, and plant-based milk) may also be ok.
Liquid meals and cooked food are easier on the digestive system than raw foods (such as salads) or dry and crunchy foods (such as granola or nuts).
5. Rebalance Your Flora.
Even acute illnesses like food poisoning can throw off your gastrointestinal flora temporarily. Although I was mostly well two days after getting food poisoning, it took me another week to feel 100% back to myself digestive-wise and able to eat totally normally and without any discomfort.
Most of my clients already take a high quality probiotic and/or regularly consume probiotic rich foods. If you don’t do so, after a bout of food poisoning I would recommend getting on a probiotic once daily, for at least 30 days. Additionally, I am a huge fan of saccharomyces boullardii and I personally will add in a bottle for about a month (1 capsule, twice daily) after an encounter with food poisoning or the tummy bug. Roy also discusses saccharomyces in his Tummy Bug Video (at 3 minutes, 35 seconds).
ProbioMax Daily is a great shelf-stable daily probiotic. For saccharomyces boullardii, we use and recommend Saccharomycin. If you are interested, both can be purchased at our office or though our Xymogen eStore here.
If you ever get food poisoning, I hope these recommendations will help you to recover as quickly and painlessly as possible. If you have ever had food poisoning and discovered something that worked well for you, please comment below and share the information with our community.