11 Home Remedies for Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a sign that your body is trying to rid itself of something toxic in your system. Avoid over-the-counter medicines and instead try these natural solutions for relief.

Adapted by Taylor Shea from Kitchen Cabinet Cures (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    Sip clear broth or juice

    Apple juice and clear broth will help replace salts and minerals lost to diarrhea. But avoid citrus, pineapple, tomato, and other juices that you can’t see through, because their acids can irritate already inflamed intestines. Start with small sips, and work your way up to drinking a cup every half hour.

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    Make fresh orange peel tea

    A traditional diarrhea remedy and general digestive aid, orange peels stimulate digestion. You need organic oranges for this brew; nonorganic orange skins may contain dyes and pesticides. Peel an orange and chop the peel finely. Place in a pot and cover with a pint of boiling water. Cover the pot tightly and steep until cool. Strain, sweeten with honey, and drink.

    Bind yourself with rice

    Plain white rice is known for it’s “binding effect” on bowels. Eat small portions of white rice, butter-free, until the diarrhea is under control.

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    Calm yourself with chamomile

    This tea, known for its gentle relaxation powers, can also calm bouts of diarrhea. It attacks the problem on two fronts, via compounds that ease intestinal spasms and combat inflammation.

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    Honey to the rescue

    Many cultures swear by honey as a cure for diarrhea. Mix 4 tablespoons of honey into a cup of hot water. Let cool and drink. It’s very sweet, but effective.

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    Sip some vinegar water

    If a bacterial infection is at the root of your diarrhea, apple cider vinegar could help contain the problem thanks to its antibiotic properties. What’s more, some folk remedy experts contend that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms.

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    Try some applesauce

    Applesauce contains pectin, which helps to firm soft bowel movements. Try applesauce spread on a slice of dry toast for a filling snack that won't upset your stomach.

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    Stick to the BRAT diet

    Bananas, plain Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast, and tea: These foods are generally safe to eat when fighting off a bout of diarrhea, and will keep you feeling nourished.

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    Drink a glass of buttermilk

    Many cultures swear by buttermilk as a diarrhea remedy. An Ayurvedic healing approach is to mix 1/2 teaspoon of dry ginger into a cup of buttermilk and drink that three to four times a day.

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    Brew caraway tea

    To calm the intestinal spasms and discomfort that accompanies diarrhea, try sipping caraway tea. Brew it by adding a teaspoon of caraway seeds to a cup of boiling water, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve before serving.

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    Try these decaffeinated black teas

    Tannins in black tea have an astringent action on the mucous membranes in the intestines. This helps the body absorb fluids and calms intestinal inflammation. In particular, blackberry and raspberry leaf teas are praised by herbalists for their ability to ease diarrhea. Be sure to choose teas made from real leaves (some berry teas are mainly flavoring). Choose decaffeinated black teas; caffeine is dehydrating (there is no caffeine in herbal teas). Red teas, such as rooibos, can calm spasms in the colon.

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