Food poisoning is serious business; nothing to be trifled with. According to estimates by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people per year suffer some form of food poisoning. That’s roughly one in every six Americans. Degrees of poisoning vary, with some 128,000 needing hospitalization. Of those, roughly 3,000 die.
But food poisoning really isn’t poisoning. Rather, it is the name we use for food-borne illness. For it to be poisoning, it would actually have to be some sort of toxic chemical in the food. But it isn’t. Rather, food poisoning is caused by bacteria carried within the food. Specifically, salmonella and norovirus.
Ninety-one percent of all food-borne illness is caused by:
- Campylobacter – found in uncooked meat and contaminated water
- Clostridium perfingens – found in meat and poultry
- Coli – found in undercooked beef and unpasteurized milk
- Norovirus – found in oysters, fruits and vegetables
- Salmonella – found in eggs, meat and dairy products
- Staphyloccus – found in animal products, such as cream, eggs and milk
These pathogens are why proper cleaning and cooking of food is so important. Unwashed vegetables or undercooked meats can be carriers of these bacteria and viruses. However, cooking or even pasteurizing the food kills these pathogens, making it safe to eat. The problem comes when that is not properly done, specifically when the core temperature of the food doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bacteria.
Thanks to a 19th century French scientist, named Louis Pasteur, we know that raising the temperature to 158°F (70°C) will kill all bacteria. Hence, the process of pasteurization, like milk, in which foods are raised to 160°F (71°C); hot enough to kill the bacteria, but not hot enough to cook it. Meats are typically cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C)for the same reason.
Related: You’ll Probably Catch One of These 5 Infections When The SHTF
When You’ve Got Food Poisoning
Food poisoning comes on slowly, appearing much like a stomach “bug” or the flu. In fact, it is often mistaken for either of those maladies. That’s mostly because the symptoms will be roughly the same:
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
So, how do you know when it is food poisoning and when it is something else? You really don’t. But that’s not really a problem, as regardless of whether it is food-borne illness or some other sort of illness, you basically need to deal with it. Since almost all illness is caused by bacteria and viruses, the treatment for food-borne illness, mosquito borne illness, or air-borne illness is about the same.
You can often treat food poisoning on your own with homemade cures that I’ll show you in a minute. You should go see a doctor when you have severe symptoms, such as:
- Signs of dehydration
- Inability to hold down liquids without vomiting
- Diarrhea that lasts longer than two days
- Severe gut pain or vomiting
- Fever of 102°F or higher
- Stools that are black, tarry or bloody
Using Homemade Remedies for Treating Food Poisoning
As I mentioned, unless your case of food poisoning becomes severe, you can treat it at home. Since this is actually a bacterial or viral infection, it’s really not much different than treating any other disease, such as a cold or flu. This means either killing off the pathogen (virus or bacteria) or flushing it out of your system.
While treating any case of food poisoning, be sure to keep hydrated. In many cases, it’s not the infection itself that kills, but the dehydration that it causes. Diarrhea flushes large amounts of water out of the body, making one prone to dehydration. That can kill. Replenish your body’s hydration by drinking water, sports drinks, clear sodas, decaffeinated tea and chicken broth. Don’t worry about drinking too much, as any excess with naturally flush out of your system.
Using Jell-O as a Treatment for Food Poisoning
In many cases, common foods can be used for treating food poisoning. Such is the case with gelatin, most commonly sold under the trade name “Jell-O.” This works because it absorbs the pathogens which are causing the disease, allowing your body to expel them.
To use Jell-O as a treatment, start by making hot liquid Jell-O. The recipe normally calls for this as the first step in preparing this food, followed by mixing it with cold water, before chilling. We’re going to ignore that second step and just chill the hot Jell-O, before drinking it as a liquid.
Bring one cop of clean, potable water to a boil. The water has to be boiling in order for the Jell-O to fully dissolve. This will end up being a supersaturated solution, so the Jell-O won’t fully dissolve if the water is not brought up to boiling temperature.
Mix in one small box of Jell-O or generic gelatin mix. Stir until the powder fully dissolves.
Turn off heat and chill the liquid Jell-O until it is back to room temperature. An ice bath can be used to help it cool quicker. It is then ready to drink. Drink the whole cup, repeating treatments as necessary.
Garlic has amazing medicinal properties, combining antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal elements all in one. This makes it one of the things we should all keep on hand in our herbal medicine cabinet. Cooking with a lot of garlic is also a good way of maintaining your health, as it will help keep your body clear of any unwanted pathogens.
In the case of food poisoning, you would want to eat garlic directly. You can either chew up whole cloves or eat minced garlic. In either case, the antibacterial and antiviral properties of the garlic will attack the pathogens causing the food poisoning directly.
Fenugreek & Yogurt
Fenugreek seed is a common natural remedy in Europe, but difficult to find here, even in health food stores. However, I was able to find it powdered and encapsulated at Wal-Mart. It can either be taken directly or mixed with yogurt and consumed.
While it is clear that feunnugreek has many positive medicinal properties and is a boost to the health, little is known about the specific ways in which it helps. Amongst those known are increasing breast milk production in women and testosterone production in men. It has been a part of Chinese medicine for centuries.
Yogurt has known antibacterial properties, as well as providing good bacteria for the digestive system. When using the two together, the proper ratio is one teaspoon of fenugreek to one tablespoon of yogurt. This should provide almost instantaneous relief from stomach pain and vomiting.
Ginger & Honey
Ginger has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, which include aiding in the absorption of essential nutrients. In this case, we are more interested in how it helps as a remedy for nausea and vomiting, providing relief from the symptoms of food poisoning.
Coupling the ginger with honey makes for a strong medicine. Honey, like garlic, is a strong antibacterial and antifungul (although it doesn’t act as an antiviral). While the two can be taken by mixing them together, they are most often used in tea, making them more palatable.
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You might add sub micron or nano silver to your list. It wipes out viruses, bad bacteria, alergens and fungi. Used it it for years. Better than antibiotics for sure. I make my own – very inexpensively. Generators available. Can get at health food stores for a price. generators pay for themselves rapidly
I had a cold that wouldn’t go away, but I had to go to work. Decided to make my own cold meds. A wide mouth thermos filled three quarters with boiling water, liptons tea bags to make tea. removed bags, added honey to taste. Teaspoon ( approximately) each of cloves, ginger, and cinnamon topped off by a quarter cup of brandy and sealed the thermos. I sipped that as needed during the day. It was strong enough in spices, I really didn’t drink that much, but it had more effect than a week of bed rest. YMMV.
Fresh ginger root is my goto for nausea. I’ve put it to good effective use in the Philippines and India as well as here in the US of A; also works for folks who suffer from motion sickness. Real ginger-ale can be effective as well but shake it up to get it to go flat first; gas on an upset tum is to fun.
No, no, no, THIS treatment is for ANY food poisoning, even chlorela, 1 tilson ginger root chopped up FINE, mix into 1 cup of raw unfiltered honey, sip for 30 mins, should be GONE inside 2 hrs. Seen it work 4x already
did you mean “chlorella” as in sea dulse (a seaweed) that detoxes heavy metals or are you saying “cholera” as in the bacterial disease? And by “tilson” are you saying “1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon”. It would help if you could clarify. thanks.
Not for diabetics, all that honey could kill you.
Also add activated charcoal. It adsorbs, and eliminates the toxins.
You beat me to it. Granulated activated charcoal, perhaps mixed with a little ACV has always been a go to for us.
We’ve also used it on dogs.
Note that this is pure charcoal, not ground up Kingsford.
Gurmpus McGick: I forgot to mention this about activated charcoal, it will absorb any medicine you’re on.
Taking activated charcoal along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication.
To prevent this interaction, take activated charcoal at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.
since we’re on the subject on how medicine is affected. Grapefruit also has the opposite effect, you have accidentally overdose yourself by taking Meds while having your grapefruit.
I love how everyone comes together with great input.
i Like, OLE!
Do you mean that you pour the ingredients on a table and mix it up with a spoon?
Hans… You’re Killing Me HAHAHAHAHA
chewing raw garlicmay be unpleasant for some. try putting the minced garlic in empty gelatin capsules (avail at some groceries, healthfood stores, and amazon). the no-flavor gelatin caps go down much easier than the raw garlic.
Jell-O !? I Love Jello. Ok, this subject is Up my Alley. I’ve posted it twice. 1st time in Harvesting and Using Dandelions Roots, 2nd time I can’t remember.
3rd time Here We Go!
It’s Charcoal !!!
Great for food poisoning. same thing they administer at a hospital for food poisoning.
Do Not Use Kingsford Charcoal since it has lighter fluid in it.
go buy a 2×4 pine or any wood will do at the local hardware store. yes you can use the kind they sell on corners that say freshly cut fire wood bundle for $5.00
I say that because someone is going to be a smarty pants. scrap wood from the hardware for free. if you have a woodstove use that to burn it.
I have a small Hobo oven that I made from a big can. I use it to make smores with my daughter and keep the charcoal. Hobo oven instructions on youtube
You can use the fireplace. pretty sure you’ve been left with black burnt pieces of wood that didn’t turn to ashes. that’s your charcoal and it’s activated. activated means it’s oxygenated.
1. wood, burn it. light it with paper or cardboard.
2. let it burn till becomes charcoal.
3. put it in a sealed jar. that’s it.
4. once you have those burnt pieces of wood, to re-oxygenate simply put it in and oven and cook them for 2.5 hours at 350 degrees. I like to reactivate / re-oxygenate when making a new batch. to reactivate or not Meh.
You can also burn tortillas on the stove with fire. I gave that to my children when they had upset stomach, diarrhea.
How do you take it is the next question huh ?
You can crush them into powder and drink it like that
( they do sell it like that. I don’t like it)
or encapsulate them. (they do sell it like that at Whole Foods for $14 ? Rite Aid has some but they’re caplets and are coated pink. I don’t like.
I break a piece and swallow it with water.
How big a piece ? depends on how big you can swallow. don’t go to big because it’s very dry even with water. I just take it raw size.
To make charcoal,
Take a sealable metal can such as a new gallon paint can.
Fill it with fine split kindling wood, if you use pine cut away the pitchy knots, press the top on tight and drill a small hole in the bottom near one edge, about 3/16 inch diameter. Place in campfire, BBQ ETC with vent hole down toward fire and heat for a couple hours. Let cool and open can. It will be full of charcoal. Vent hole allows volatile gases to vent and burn off providing additional heat for the process. The can will be usable for several batches of charcoal.if you keep it dry between fireings.
I make both charcloth and small batch charcoal like this using an Altoids tin.
Kingsford also contains clay mixed with charcoal dust to mold into briquettes.
Where are our comments? FVP just posted after I did and I see neither comments posted. Awaiting moderation?
Where are our comments? FVP just posted after I did and I see neither comments posted. Awaiting moderation?
Moderation? first time that’s happened… I Love JELLO!!! and for it to be used in food poisoning is great, Incredibly Great with Children. I’ve always gave my daughter the burnt tortilla version till she finally decided to take the powdered charcoal capsules.
link to the Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots
Giving a Shout Out to LoveYourLifeIntoBeing for you support. Thank You. i Like, OLE!
Far more E Coli outbreaks are sourced from fruits and vegetables than beef.
True & especially salad greens wich we may rinse; but, don’t often cook.
A remedy I’ve used for diarrhea is a fresh leaf of bayberry. I’m on the coast, so it’s relatively easy to find. Tried it in desperation one day I had to work and IBS was acting up badly.
Take a leaf, rinse it in potable water, pop it in your mouth and chew. Take sips of water and swallow as you chew on it. You will feel the astringent effect in your mouth right away, but chew the leaf to a pulp and swallow it once it is soft enough – you may have to spit out the center vein and stem of the leaf depending on whether or not it’s new growth. Drink plenty of water to wash it down. You should feel better in about fifteen minutes; your mouth will be dry for some time after treatment.
Leaves can be harvested and dried for later use. Use a pinch of dried, powdered leaves steeped for at least fifteen minutes in a half cup of boiling water, and swallow the fragments. Again, drink plenty of water, cool.
I don’t know if it has antibacterial properties, but it will check diarrhea and cramps better than anything else I’ve tried.
Has anyone used pumpkin to stop it? That is what I use for cats and dogs with either constipation or diarrhea. It should work just as well for humans. use 100% pumpkin.
Diarrhea on it’s own is not a bad thing…it’s the body getting rid of the “problem child”. However, if it is long lasting, causing potential dehydration, blackberry root is good to use. Pick root in the fall, wash and chop fine. Let dry and store. To use, boil one teaspoon in 1 cup water for 5 minutes, let cool and strain. Honey can be added to make it more palatable.
Does fermented/black garlic work as well as raw garlic in this instance? I know black garlic is actually better nutritionally–just not sure about for food poisoning.
Rich, thank you. The Jello sounds good especially for kids. But, you missed the major one, rosemary tea. Rosemary is very popular in places where refrigeration is lacking or they prefer older animals, aging the meat for days in the heat to ‘ripen’ it. Rosemary stops the symptoms food poisoning, not prevents it. One level teaspoon of dried leaves. Put in a cup, pour boiling water over than, cover, let steep for 10 minutes and sip. No more than 2 cups per day are recommended because rosemary is a very strong remedy. Rosemary is hardy to Zone 6, but might not do well farther north. But, my sisters keep plants in a sunny window all winter. One uses coal to heat and the rosemary does just fine. niio and a Happy New year.
Pepto Bismol works great for nausea and/or diarrhea, fast, cheap, easy, and the tablets last forever if kept dry.
I eat fresh garlic every day, somebody was wondering a good way to get it down, I chop a couple cloves finely, scoop it into a spoon and squeeze lime juice over it, put the whole mess in my mouth and wash it down with water or a margarita. Makes you want Italian food for about an hour but tastes a lot better than the dang Roselle tea this site got me started drinking.
Thanks for any other great article. The place else may just anybody get that
type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation next week,
and I am at the search for such information.
Long long ago and far far away I had salmonellosis. Let me tell you, boys and girls, it is nothing to fool around with. I lost 20% of my body weight before the Navy corpsman decided maybe I had better go to the hospital where I spent another ten days taking antibiotics.
I won’t go into all the gory details but you dehydrate and lose weight very rapidly when your meal leaves you about 15 minutes after you have ingested it. It’s hard to absorb nutrients when your meal is passing through your alimentary canal with that speed.
If it is the end of the world take everything listed above. If it is not and you have the trots more than two or three days, get yourself to the Doc In the Box and get antibacterial treatment.
All of the disease entities listed in Rich’s article have the potential to kill you. I can’t count the number of times, in reading a book about earlier days where people died of the “bloody flux,” including royalty whom you would think would not be eating contaminated food. Even a food taster eating the meal before the king wouldn’t protect the king from any of the pathogens listed. He might join him in dying of the “bloody flux” however.
Very good article! When the grid goes down, how to keep food from spoiling will be a major labor. We use one level teaspoon whole rosemary leaves. Put in cup, pour boiling water over it, and cover. Steep 10 minutes, then sip. No more than 2 cups, but one usually reverses all symptoms. niio
You have totally missed the one thing that will stop most of this is 15-20 minutes.
Apple Cider Vinegar. 1-2oz in a glass of water will stop most of this quickly.
Why? Because most of these are anaerobic bacteria, that thrive in an alkaline environment. You have to acidify your stomach to kill them. and it is very quick.
Once you have used this you will never have this again for any length of time.
You can even drink pickle juice, if you have nothing else, it just will not work as quick.