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Food Poisoning

If you are unlucky enough to get food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea, these remedies can usually speed your recovery:

  • Arsenicum album: Is effective for treating food poisoning caused by consumption of contaminated fruits (particularly melon), fish, meat, ice cream or canned foods; and it works for most food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea.Those needing it are usually restless and anxious. They often cannot stand the sight or smell of food. They are often thirsty, frequently for sips of ice cold water (which may be vomited shortly after drinking). Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea may occur, although Arsenicum might be indicated in patients with only one or the other. The stool is often foul and burning while the patient is chilly and desires warmth. These patients sometimes develop a fastidious quality, which may be manifest by something as simple as wanting a bedside basin or other sickroom implement placed "just so."
  • Carbo vegetabilis: Patients needing this remedy often have the characteristic "air hunger"—that is, they want air blowing in their face. They may not be short of breath and they are often chilly, but the cool air fanned on their face feels good. Like those needing China, they tend to be flatulent and may have a colic that is better from bending double. The stool is usually foul with a decomposed quality.

  • China (Cinchona): Patients needing China are often bloated and flatulent. The diarrhea tends to be dark, foul, and watery, and there is often undigested food present. They may have a colicky pain in the abdomen that is better by bending double (also consider Colocynthis if this symptom is present). In patients who need China, debility is marked; they are weak and oversensitive from their exhausting discharges. 

  • Colocynthis: The leading characteristic of Colocynthis is severe abdominal colic that compels the patient to bend double and/or to press into the abdomen. The stools are often frothy or watery. The symptoms are often brought on by anger and the patient is easily vexed. 

  • Ipecac: Homeopathic Ipecac is called for in those whose nausea is severe and relentless, not relieved by vomiting. There may be a griping or drawing pain about the navel, and the stool may be frothy or slimy.

  • Nux vomica: Ineffectual urging with a bowel movement is typical for those needing Nux vomica. They feel they need to go (and they can't), or they go and feel they need to go more. Typically they are chilly and irritable, sometimes downright ugly in their behavior.

  • Podophyllum: Patients needing this remedy generally have a gushing, painless, foul-smelling stool. The episodes are often preceded by a gurgling in the abdomen and may be relieved at times by lying on the abdomen. Podophyllum is a common remedy in cases with gushing profuse stools. 

  • Pulsatilla: Often the rememdy needed after bad fish. Like the Carbo veg patients, those needing Pulsatilla often want cool, fresh air. They often feel "too warm," but have little thirst. Emotionally, they may be whiney and easily offended, but they usually feel "wimpy" (emotional, tearful) and they desire sympathy. The stomach often feels heavy, as if weighted by a stone. The diarrhea can be changeable. 
  • Lycopodium: after bad shellfish (especially oysters).
  • Urtica urens: This remedy, homeopathic stinging nettles, is more commonly used for cases where hives are associated with food poisoning, as is often the case after eating bad fish.

  • Veratrum album: good for vomiting and diarrhea (if Arsenicum album doesn’t help). The skin will be especially pale and feel clammy to the touch. There is also a thirst for cold water, which tends to be vomited up very soon after it has been drunk. Moving around intensifies the nausea.

  • Belladona: allergic reaction to MSG.

Learn how much to take and how often to take a remedy.