Diarrhea is one of most commonly seen conditions clinically, which refers to a much higher frequency of defecation than usual, accompanied with loose stools, increased amount of water, over 200g stool weight daily, or undigested food, red blood, mucus or pus contained. According to the duration, it is classified into acute and chronic types. Compared to chemical agents, home remedies for diarrhea, natural herbs in particular, are preferred thanks to their convenience and harmlessness.
What causes diarrhea?
Healthy people poops on a daily basis, 2-3 times daily or once in every 2-3 days, in normal shape and size, 150-200g of stool weight on average, and 60%-75% of water contained. Diarrhea is often accompanied with symptoms and signs of sudden strong urge to have a bowel movement, nausea, upset stomach, anal discomfort, vomiting, and incontinence sometimes. Generally acute one is easy come and easy go, lasting about 2 to 3 weeks while persistent type lasts for more than two months or for 2 to 4 weeks between the episodes in recurrent type.
In severe case, it may result in dehydration, electrolytes disturbances in the body, or worst of all threatening the life of patients, regardless in adults or in children. When it comes to diarrhea causes, there are lots of elements involved. The most common reasons are gastroenteritis (stomach flu), indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, alternating diarrhea and constipation), food poisoning, hay fever, emotional tension, soy-based foods, pancreatic diseases, cancer, laxative, antacids, caffeine, parasite, colitis, virus, germs and other microorganism, drinking contaminated water, eating undercooked or spoiled food, and allergy to some certain foods or chemicals.
Common home remedies for diarrhea
Since the household treatments are simple and available at home whenever you need, homemade remedies, in most cases, are adopted. What’s more, known as one of your body’s best defense mechanisms, the acute type can excrete the hazardous substances out of the body along with feces. This is exact where the natural treatment helps, which won’t disrupt the expelling-toxin process triggered by the immune system while still bringing relief. Instead, the process would be interfered and aggravated in the case of chemical medicine. Common home cures are as follows:
(1). Take a good rest. Most patients of acute type are with weak physique and low immunity. Getting rest helps a quick recovery;
(2). Drink more water. The higher frequency of defecation, the more water lost in the body. Rehydration is a must to complement the lost ingredients like water and sodium chloride. It is better to drink more frequently but in smaller amount each time. In addition, other fluids are highly recommended too, such as chamomile tea, syrup, yogurt, rice soup, vegetable soup, hyacinth bean soup, normal saline, carrot juice, and green drinks containing chlorophyll, etc.;
(3). Keep an eye on diet. During the illness, digestive discomforts are very commonplace due to intestinal mucosal hyperemia, edema, bowel spasm, and speeding-up peristalsis. At this time, clear liquid diet is preferred to oily and fibre-rich food, such as lotus root starch, rice gruel, millet congee, and vermicelli. Meanwhile please avoid dairy products except of yogurt like milk and cheese. In addition, vitamins and herbal supplements are also recommended too;
(4). Keep the abdomen warm. This believes helping a quick cure;
(5). Keep the perianal skin clean. The frequent bowel movements stimulate the perianal skin so badly that the exposed skin is vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. It may lead to inflammation or even erosion if failing to do so. The advisable method is to clean anus with warm water thoroughly each time after toilet, and then wipe clean with soft tissue or cloth.
Herbs for diarrhea in home treatment
Chinese herbs are also one of suggested household remedies, no mater homemade by your own or bought over the counter. However, herbal remedies require a little bit training before using. Otherwise, chances are that it won’t work if used improperly. Here are the common six patterns according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
(1). Midnight onset, characterized by the constant onset before getting up every morning, pain around navel, distension, bowel sounds, and delight after defecating. Si Shen Wan is recommended in this case;
(2). Chronic diarrhea, characterized by emaciation with sallow complexion, languidness, indigestion, and loose stools. Gu Chang Zhi Xie Wan and Shen Ling Bai Zhu Wan are suggested, or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan in rectocele accompanied. Common herbs for diarrhea are Ying Su Ke (Opium poppy hull/peel), Wu Mei (Mume Fruit), Wu Bei Zi (Gallnut of Chinese Sumac), He Zi (Myrobalan Fruit), Chi Shi Zhi (Halloysite), Yu Yu Liang (Limonitum), Rou Dou Kou (Nutmeg Seeds), Tu Si Zi (Chinese Dodder Seeds), Jin Ying Zi (Cherokee Rosehip), Shi Liu Pi (Pomegranate Husk), Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra Fruit/Seed), Chun Gen Pi (Ailanthus bark), Qian Shi (Euryale Seed), and Zao Xin Tu (Hearth-core Earth);
(3). Excessive eating or improper diet, characterized by abdominal distention, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, stomach acid upward, and belching. Jia Wei Bao He Wan and He Zhong Li Pi Wan are recommended. Usual herbs for diarrhea are Shan Zha (Hawthorn Fruit), Shen Qu (Medicated Leaven), Lai Fu Zi (Turnip Seeds), Ji Shi Teng (Chinese Fevervine Herb), Zhi Shi (Immature Bitter Orange), Qing Pi (Green Tangerine Peel), and Bin Lang (Areca Seed);
(4). Cold induced, characterized by abdominal pain, bowel sounds, pain relieved when massaging or applying hot compress, and clear loose stools. Fu Zi Li Zhong Wan and Shen Gui Li Zhong Wan are suggested. Common herbs used are Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea Fruit), Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra Fruit/Seed), Rou Dou Kou (Nutmeg Seeds), Wu Zhu Yu (Evodia Fruit), Gan Jiang (Dried Ginger Root), Bai Zhu (Atractylodes Macrocephala), Tu Si Zi (Chinese Dodder Seeds), Xian Mao (Golden Eye Grass Rhizome), Yi Zhi Ren (Black Cardamon), Fu Zi (Prepared Aconite Root), Rou Gui (Dried Cinnamon Bark), and Hu Lu Ba (Semen Trigonellae Foeni-graeci);
(5). Heat caused, characterized by abdominal pain, bowel sounds, alternating pain and diarrhea, fever, and thirst. Shuang Huang Xiao Yan Pian and Jia Wei Xiang Lian Wan are suggested. Regular herbs are Ge Gen (Kudzu Root), Huang Qin (Scutellaria), Huang Lian (Coptis Rhizome), Fu Ling (Poria), Mu Tong (Akebia Caulis), Che Qian Zi (Plantago Seeds), Huo Xiang (Patchouli), Bai Bian Dou (Hyacinth Bean), He Ye (Lotus Leaf), Chuan Xin Lian (Green Chiretta), Di Jin Cao (Herba Euphorbiae Humifusae), Quan Shen (Rhizoma Bistortae), and Ji Shi Teng (Chinese Fevervine Herb);
(6). Spleen deficiency, characterized by sallow complexion, fatigue, lack of appetite, abdominal distention after meal, alternating loose stools and diarrhea, bowel sounds, and fart. Shen Ling Bai Zhu Wan, Ren Shen Jian Pi Wan, and Kai Wei Jian Pi Wan are recommended. Suggested herbs for diarrhea are Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root), Fu Zi (Prepared Aconite Root), Bai Zhu (Atractylodes White Rhizome), Bai Bian Dou (Hyacinth Bean), Shan Yao (Chinese Yam), Lian Zi (Lotus Seed), Qian Shi (Euryale Seed), Yi Yi Ren (Seeds of Job’s Tears), Sha Ren (Cardamon), Cang Zhu (Atractylodes), and Hou Po (Magnolia Bark).
However, home remedies for diarrhea are far from the cure-all medicine. Mind you, if it is toxic dysentery, the patients should be sent to the hospital immediately due to the sudden onset and graveness, so does chronic one caused by intestinal tuberculosis, amebic dysentery, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and malignant tumor.