The sickness bug, stomach flu (very American), or even food poisoning can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. This inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract might be referred to as gastroenteritis or the noro virus, but in either case the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhoea.
It can come on very suddenly and can wipe you out from one to three days, longer for your little ones. Common treatment recommendations include drinking fluids, getting rest, and following the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet—but you might want to try an old Native American remedy. Which I swear by - Activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal is made with a variety of burned materials including bamboo, wood, coal, or coconut shells. This treatment was used by Native Americans hundreds of years ago, and there’s even some record of it being used by Egyptians. Activated charcoal is processed at high temperatures and results in a black powder that is incredibly effective at absorbing a variety of substances. Charcoal is “activated” when a high temperature is sued in combination with an activating agent that expand its surface area. This is what gives activated charcoal its incredible absorbing powers.
It is often used in hospitals to treat poisoning and drug overdoses, but activated charcoal is now gaining attention as a remedy for stomach bugs that cause nausea and vomiting. The theory is that activated charcoal can absorb the bacteria responsible for causing stomach bugs (the same way it is used to absorb poisons) and carries it out of the body.
You can buy activated charcoal online in capsules or powder I like these Highest Strength Activated Charcoal by LLS, as they have no bulking agents and no anti caking agents plus they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
If you feel the nauseating symptoms of a stomach bug coming on, or if you are actively vomiting, you can put the powder in some apple juice, if you have capsules you can open them up.
A common recommendation is 500 mg to 1,000 mg, two to three times per day. I recommend that you take other supplements at different time so that the charcoal doesn’t absorb good nutrients. If you notice any worsening symptoms after taking the supplement stop taking and call your doctor.
Check with your GP before giving activated charcoal to your children. If you get the okay, start with ¼ of a capsule (about 200 mg) in some apple juice and repeat no more than 2 times a day. If you or your child continue to have abdominal pain or persistent fever, you must see your doctor.
It doesn't taste of much - but putting it with apple juice for littles ones, really helps.
It also works really well when you have a hangover!