Loose motion is a funny medical term for diarrhea (atleast to me). We here in Nigeria say diarrhea, purging or runny stomach. For a more polite term, simply use upset stomach.
Diarrhea like cough and flu is a constant companion in our life. As you have probably experienced, it is the frequent passing of loose liquid bowel movements. After digestion, the fluids were not reabsorbed by the intestine hence it is passed in its loose or watery form. The frequency is set at having three (3) or more loose toilet visits in a day. It is can be caused by a number of reasons such as a bacteria, virus, food poisoning, a parasite, food intolerance, eating some foods such as a hot egg etc. It usually goes away without medication within some hours or less than 2 days
The main symptoms for diarrhea are watery stools, bloating, stomach cramping, stomach noises etc. It makes the patient feel dehydrated, fatigued, discomfort, frequent urge to visit the toilet and sometimes even fever. In babies and toddlers, it can be more dangerous for them because it can cause serious dehydration in just one day so it is important to keep a close eye on a small child with diarrhea.
The main drawback of having diarrhea is the inconvenience it causes in our lives. It tends to come unexpectedly and disrupts our activities forcing us to stay in one place until it is over. Contracting diarrhea while traveling to a new place is actually common because your body needs to adjust to the new place and its food.
Dysentery vs diarrhea
It is easy to believe you are experiencing diarrhea while it is dysentery and vice versa. Though diarrhea happens more often than dysentery, dysentery also occurs few times in a year for most people. The difference between diarrhea and dysentery is that dysentery is an intestinal inflammation; especially the colon which that can lead to severe diarrhea with mucus or blood in the stool while diarrhea is the frequent passing of loose or watery stool. You can read more about their differences and similarities here. Understanding their difference is important in finding the best remedy for the relevant condition.
We will discuss ways of putting a quick stop to diarrhea with home remedies and fast action. t For fast relief from diarrhea, it is important to combine the use of remedies with some behavioral changes such as:
The body is losing water fast with every toilet visit which is why dehydration is one of the most concerning effect of diarrhea on the body. Beyond just water, electrolytes are also lost which are important minerals such as sodium, potassium and chloride. Babies, children and older adults are the most vulnerable to dehydration and its harmful effects on the body.
A popular electrolyte solution we call in Nigeria ORT which is a solution of salt and sugar dissolved in water. This has been used for generations safely and effectively for dehydration during diarrhea and dysentery.
How to make: Dissolve 6 teaspoons of sugar with ½ a teaspoon of salt in a liter of clean boiled, filtered or bottled water. Use this solution as part of your drinking water throughout the day and not once at a time because that may worsen your condition so take it as part your drinking water and sip it throughout the day. A liter of this solution is enough for one person in a day.
The electrolyte solution is better for the body than just simple regular clean water because it helps in replenishing some of the salt lost from the body, water for the dehydration and sugar for energy. This is because often, fatigue and weakness is an expected side effect of diarrhea and dysentery.
Eating safe Bland foods
Oily foods, spicy foods, diary sugary foods and snacks etc. all need to stay far away from you and your stomach. To soothe the stomach and firm up the stool, eat:
- plain bread with no butter, egg or sauce.
- plain rice, with little oil and salt no pepper or with some plain soup
- plain soups
- cooked oat cereal without milk or sugar and if you have to use sugar, use very little .
- Weak black tea with no milk or sugar or as little sugar as possible.
- pap (koko, akamu) without sugar or milk etc.
Foods to avoid:
- spicy foods
- all diary foods
- raw vegetables
- sardines and other canned fish
- all citrus fruits
- coffee soda and other carbonated drinks
- fried, fatty and greasy foods
- beans etc.
I think from this small list, you get can understand the foods to eat and what to avoid if you want to quickly get out of this situation. Let us move onto the actual remedies that stop diarrhea in its tracks.
Baobab leaf powder
Scientific name: Adansonia Digitata
Hausa local name: Kuka
Baobab is commonly found in the African continent and its leaf powder is often used for soups in Nigeria. The use of baobab for diarrhea is safe and commonly used by the local population because it stops diarrhea in its track.
How to use:
- Mix about a tablespoon of pure baobab leaf powder in water
- Drink the mixture
- Repeat this 2-3 times a day or until the diarrhea stops
Where to get it: It is commonly found in the market in Nigeria where they sell items for soups such as dried okro, locust bean etc.
The common guava fruit is packed with many useful nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and fiber which firms up stools and aid digestion. They are also used to prevent constipation and keep a healthy gut environment.
How to use:
- Eat 3-5 ripe guavas in a day and drink plenty of water afterwards.
The bark of Danya Herb
Hausa Local Name: Sassaken Danya
Unfortunately I am still searching for the scientific and English name of this plant if it has any. nevertheless, it is very effective in firming up the stool and stopping the bacteria in the gut.
How to use:
- Add about a teaspoon of the bark powder to a pap or water without milk or sugar
- Take it twice a day morning and evening. Usually, the diarrhea stops before the second day.
Where to get it:
It is available in the local herbal market in various localities of Nigeria.
The African Basil
Other nigerian names: Efirin (Yoruba), daddoya (Hausa) and Ncho-anwu (Igbo)
I know this herb is very popular both in the kitchen and for medicinal purposes. Well lucky us, it is also a good remedy for stopping diarrhea whenever it appears.
How to use:
- For fast action, take a handful of the leaves
- Squeeze the leaves or blend the herb with some water
- Divide the water extract into two and drink the water extract twice a day. morning and evening after meals. That should be enough to stop any and most diarrhea.
Keep in mind, common diarrhea lasts for about 2-4 days at most and it will take about 6 hours before you’re your diarrhea clears from a combination of the listed remedies and the quick actions you take. So don’t rush and be patient with your body. You can also let your body to readjust itself while eating properly as indicated above without any medication or remedy. Unfortunately, it can take up-to 3-4 days for that to happen which is not something most of us are willing to wait on.
Remember, it is not encouraged to immediately reach out for a pharmaceutical drug at the onset of a diarrhea instead, it is either you wait it out to stop on its own or use safe and easy home remedies. Some of these drugs can lead to other unpleasant conditions such as from dysentery to constipation which is an equally uncomfortable problem. medical intervention might be needed in the case of frequent or severe diarrhea and dysentery. see a doctor as soon as possible if that is your case for a proper diagnosis.
While trying to remedy your diarrhea, once you begin to vomit, notice weight loss, blood in your stool, the stool is dark or black, severe and continuous stomach ache, persistent diarrhea for more than 2 days, then it is time to immediately visit the hospital because it looks like your condition has become serious.
I hope these effective remedies for diarrhea worked for you as we know every body is different. I wish you best of luck with your health and have a nice day. please rate this article and let me know if these remedies worked for you in the comments below.
Until next time.