Besides the crazy extreme winter weather my family endured during our Christmas vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we also endured a crazy extreme stomach bug. It started with my cute little niece and spread like wildfire from there to almost every member of my extended family (20 out of 31 people succumbed to the bug to one extent or another).
Thankfully, my sister and I had brought along our essential oils, which we used extensively, both on ourselves and our ailing family members. There were a few other great tips shared between the suffering and we all managed to enjoy our Christmas – and even the long drive back – in spite of it all by Authentic Simplicity.
I’m going to share the home remedies we found to be most effective throughout the ordeal, but first, a little poem my brother wrote for the occasion:
‘Twas the night before Christmas a little past ten and not a sound could be heard save the sound of us pukin
The buckets were lined on the floor with much care, in the hopes that projectiles would find their way there.
And now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to some helpful remedies we employed to get over this bug:
5 Stomach Bug Remedies
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil ($21.50 from Young Living) is a classic oil for all kinds of stomach ailments, and can be used in several different ways to help with various digestive issues… even constipation!
- For children, rub heavily diluted peppermint oil onto the soles of the feet whenever they’re experiencing tummy trouble.
- Diffuse peppermint oil into the air to ease stomach complaints. This can be done simply by putting a drop or two on a cotton ball and sticking it into a vent, or you can use an actual diffuser if you have one. I diffused peppermint oil in our car on the ride home (when I was feeling kinda seasick) and it helped tremendously. I never did throw up, and I only had vague nausea throughout the course of the bug.
- Dilute peppermint oil and massage it into the stomach.
- Take a sniff straight from the bottle!
- This one is a little bit of a delicate matter. Ahem. So…. if you’ve got it coming out both ends, you know what happens: when you sit down to do the one, the… um…. odor… can be a little overwhelming and often provokes an eruption of another kind, right? Yeah. Hate it when that happens. Know what helps? Keep a wet washrag on the sink and put a drop or two of peppermint oil on it. Hold it over your nose whenever you sit down to do your business, and… problem solved. Ahem. Moving on…
2. Essential Oil Blend for Diarrhea
My sister did a quick google search and found this great page full of advice for diarrhea and other tummy ailments. We used a variation of the recommended oil blend for diarrhea:
- Tea Tree Oil
Put a drop or two of each oil in your hand, and then add about a teaspoon of carrier oil. Rub the mixture together between your palms and then massage your tummy with a circular motion.
My DH and I both applied this blend and neither one of us ever had any diarrhea (TMI, sorry), so it seemed to help. Two of my sisters also applied the blend, and the one never really got sick, but the other one did, so your mileage might vary. (I will mention, at the case of overloading on the TMI here, that most of the patients were suffering diarrhea on a lengthy road trip, but we had to make very few pit stops, and there were no accidents. *shew* I’m guessing this is due at least in part to the oils being spread around all the different tummies.)
Note: I highly recommend Young Living Essential Oils brand! They’re pricey, but anyone can purchase them at the wholesale price by becoming a distributor. You can become a YL distributor simply by purchasing one of their starter kits, which are as low as $40 (although, if you can swing it, the premium kit for $150 is a fantastic deal – it’s the one I started with, and it’s even better now because it comes with a diffuser!). To maintain distributor status, all you have to do is make a $50 purchase within the year. No obligation to sell or recruit or any of that stuff, just access to the 25% off wholesale price. You can sign up here on my Young Living site if you are interested.
3. Grape Juice
My sister swears by this prevention tip: whenever someone in your family comes down with a tummy bug, start chugging grape juice. Get the purest, best juice you can find/afford, and drink away at it for as long as you can stand it. No idea why it works, but it really does seem to help (unfortunately, we didn’t have ready access to grape juice over Christmas, so we couldn’t fully test it this time around, but I’ve seen/heard it work in other situations).
My DH is one of very few people who was not even remotely touched by the illness (yet. I suppose there’s still time for that.) and I can’t help but think that it’s because he takes a very high dose of probiotics for his colitis. If your stomach can tolerate some good yogurt, that’s a great way to get probiotics in, but if you’re well into the throes of nauseous agony, it’s better to go with a probiotic of some sort. My two pregnant SIL’s both found that taking probiotics was what finally helped them to give this bug the boot, since it seemed to want to stick around them a little longer.
5. Crackers & Ginger Ale
I’m talkin’ Saltines and Canada Dry here, people. I know, I know, it’s hardly whole foods, and it’s hardly nourishing, but it’s what I grew up on and it helps. It really does! I sipped ginger ale throughout my first trimester of both pregnancies, and it was one of very few things that helped keep the constant nausea at bay (that and peppermint candy). It also helps whenever I’m feeling a wee bit queasy from a stomach bug. When I’m recovering from a bout of stomach nastiness, crackers are a comforting food that manages to stay down, so I always reach for them first.
How do you fight the tummy bug?