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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Salmonella: Causes, Prevention and Potent Home Remedies

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Salmonella is a group of common bacteria responsible for food-borne infections in the world. These bacteria are microscopic, and you can’t taste it neither can you smell it.

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Salmonella causes salmonellosis, an infection characterized by fever, stomach upset, pain, and diarrhea. It causes severe cramping in the belly. A lot of people get better on their own within 4 days to 1 week at home.

When you hear of food poisoning, salmonella is the cause. Millions of cases of salmonella poisoning are reported yearly worldwide. It is a mild condition, but in severe cases, one might need hospitalization.

It is rare for salmonella to be life-threatening. Salmonella infections are also more common in summer than in winter seasons. These bacteria grow on foods that are not refrigerated and grow quickly under higher temperatures.

Causes of Salmonella Poisoning

There are many causes of salmonella poisoning. But the main cause of this infection is compromised gut flora and a weak immune system. If your gut (internal terrain) is uncompromised and free of toxins, salmonella cannot cause problems if they invade your body.

But if your gut is filled with mucus, toxins, and undigested food, the healthy bacteria in your gut will act on all these, and fermentation and purification will occur.

This is what makes your gut a conducive environment and thriving ground for salmonella. If your internal terrain is clean, salmonella cannot affect you.

Things that compromise your gut and make it a breeding ground for salmonella and other pathogens are:

  • Excess intake of processed foods
  • Excess intake of animal proteins
  • Intake of refined sugar and other artificial sweeteners
  • Intake of milk (for people with lactose intolerance, this can cause purification and accumulation of mucus)
  • Intake of unnatural chemicals added to canned foods as preservatives, colorings, taste enhancers, etc.

Eliminate all these from your diet and your gut and immune system will be strong enough to handle salmonella and other pathogens if they invade your body.

If your gut microbiome is compromised, you will have high risks of infection than people with a clean terrain. Signs of a compromised gut and weak immune system are frequent catarrh and cough, abdominal cramps and pains, frequent fever and infections.

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If you are at risks of a compromised terrain, you will have an increased risk of salmonella when you eat:

  • Processed foods
  • Undercooked or raw eggs
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Other dairy products like yogurt, ice cream, and soft cheese
  • Unwashed raw fruits and vegetables
  • Undercooked or raw meats
  • Poor hygiene like poor washing of hands after using the toilet or changing your tampon/pad or a baby’s diaper
  • Being so close to your pets like cats, dogs, birds, etc.

Symptoms of Salmonellosis

Common signs and symptoms of salmonella are:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea after eating
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • High temperature
  • Stomach cramps
  • Cold and chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in poop

These symptoms start surfacing 8 hours to 3 days after infection. These symptoms don’t last more than 7 days and the infection can easily be handled at home.

But it might take up to several months for your bowel movement to be regular. Make sure you see a doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Increasing temperature and constant fever
  • Bloody poop
  • When you lost so much fluid. You can know this by the quantity of your urine, having sunken eyes, and a dry mouth.

A blood test or a stool test is used to diagnose salmonella poisoning. They might even do a test to know the exact strain of salmonella you have.

Risk Factors Of Salmonella

Some factors put you at high risks of having this infection and some of them are:

  • A weak immune system
  • A compromised gut
  • International travels, especially to places with poor sanitation
  • Having inflammatory bowel disease and other poor gut conditions that damage the lining of your intestines. This will make it easier for salmonella to thrive.
  • Taking certain medications like antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in your gut making you susceptible to salmonella infection. They also weaken your immune system.

Potent Home Remedies for Salmonella

Salmonella

There are lots of highly effective natural remedies for salmonella infections. I will be listing the common ones and let you know how to use them.

Garlic

This is one of the most effective and the most common home remedy for salmonella infections and other types of infections. It has a strong antibiotic and antimicrobial properties.

This herb is so smart that it kills only bad microbes while leaving the healthy ones alone. One active compound in garlic called Allicin can kill all kinds of microbes. Raw garlic will ease the symptoms of salmonellosis and empower your immune system to fight off the infection.

Cut three cloves of garlic into tiny pieces and expose to air for a few seconds. Swallow these pieces with a warm glass of water. Do this three times daily. You can also take a cup of garlic infusion three times daily.

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Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are wonderful in treating food poisoning. It has antibacterial properties. It also offers almost instant relief to vomiting and abdominal pains.

Boil a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and drink it. You can chew the seeds or swallow it with warm water if you cannot handle the taste. Do this every 3-4 hours until the symptoms go.

Ginger

Ginger roots either fresh or the root powder is a powerful immune booster. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Several warm cups of ginger tea daily will help you.

It soothes stomach woes and digestive problems. It stops the symptoms of food poisoning especially nausea and vomiting.

Bananas

This is another sweet home remedy for food poisoning. You might not even think of a banana when experiencing food poisoning symptoms but they sure do work.

Bananas are easy to digest and have a soothing effect on the stomach. Bananas are also rich sources of potassium, they help to restore depleted electrolytes.

Slowly eat bananas until you feel your symptoms relax. Continue this until all your symptoms go.

Oil of oregano

This essential oil has a fast healing effect and it is highly potent. It has powerful antifungal, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. There are also powerful compounds in this oil like thymol, carvacrol, and phenols.

These compounds destroy a variety of microbes including salmonella species. Oregano oil is available in most health shops. You can also make use of the powdered form, take it as a decoction.

Consult with a naturopath or a doctor before using this especially if you are on medications.

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Peppermint tea

This is one of the most soothing home remedies for salmonellosis. It calms spasms in the stomach caused by vomiting. It also helps you keep food down.

Boil a handful of peppermint tea or steep the powder in hot water for some minutes and strain. Drink this three to four times daily.

Ginger and lemon juice with a pinch of black pepper

Pour three tablespoons of ginger powder in a cup, add the juice of three lemons, and a pinch of black pepper. Pour hot water over it and leave it for at least 10 minutes.

This will kill the bad bacteria and relieve the symptoms of food poisoning, especially nausea and vomiting. Take this mixture three to four times daily.

Cumin

This common kitchen spice is in the list of potent home remedies for salmonellosis. It eases inflammation and discomfort. It also helps your stomach digest food faster.

You will be able to keep down solid foods also when you take cumin. Boil a teaspoon of cumin seeds in a cup of water and drink this several times daily.

You can also chew or swallow a teaspoon of cumin seeds several times daily until you recover.

Increase your hydration

When you are having an infection, you have to increase your intake of warm water. This will help your body expel toxins and recover fast. Water is one of the most potent natural cures we have and it supplies your cells with oxygen which is needed for a strong immune response and defense.

This will also help to replace fluid lost through diarrhea and vomiting. It also helps replace lost electrolytes especially if you take in a lot of plant beverages, fruit juices, and smoothies.

Increasing your intake of water at this time will prevent the clinical symptoms of dehydration. Take short and frequent sips of warm water. This should be done at short intervals.

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To replace lost electrolytes, go for plant beverages like coconut, tiger nut, dates, etc, or a mixture of salt and water and drink. You can also opt for Oral Rehydration Therapy Salt (ORT). Take according to prescriptions. Avoid sports drinks or sugary drinks, they dehydrate you further.

The added sugar, preservatives, and other unnatural chemicals will affect the healing response of your body.

Chamomile

This herbal tea is relaxing, it relieves symptoms and helps you sleep better at night. It relieves bloating, pains, inflammation, indigestion, gas, and other symptoms of digestive problems.

Drink several cups of chamomile tea daily you can use either the fresh or the dry flowers. For the best result, drink a cup every 3 – 4 hours.

Apple cider vinegar

This is among the top home remedies for food poisoning. Its alkaline effect soothes an upset stomach. It also has a strong antiseptic that can kill any bacteria.

Add two tablespoons of CAV into a cup of warm water and drink. For a faster effect, drink three tablespoons of undiluted ACV.

Bentonite clay

Its action is similar to that of activated charcoal. It prevents the stomach from absorbing toxins and this will help you recover quickly. This is a great remedy for food poisoning.

Pour water in an 8 oz. glass and add half teaspoon of calcium bentonite clay. Don’t use sodium bentonite clay. Drink this solution two to three times daily.

Take Proper Rest

When you have an infection or a toxicity crisis, your body tries to save you and goes into a healing crisis. In this process, the body draws energy from all systems of the body to focus on empowering your immune system.

This is why you feel weak and you don’t even feel like eating. Even when you eat, your digestive system throws it out. Your body wants to channel all energy into your immune system.

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So help this process by resting. Avoid eating at this time so that your energy won’t be divided. Eating will slow down this healing process. Also, avoid watching TV or using gadgets, they overstimulate you and also dehydrate you.

Just lie down, close your eyes, and sleep in a comfortable room free from noise and distractions. Also, don’t indulge in strenuous physical activities.

Just resting will help you recover quickly.

Mashed potatoes

Yeah, this sweet food is a great home remedy for poisoning. Just like bananas, it is easy to digest and it is soothing to the stomach. Potatoes are loaded with vitamin B6, potassium, and other important minerals that help replace lost electrolytes from the body.

You can make your own mash potatoes from scratch. Mash boiled potatoes, add garlic, basil, and use chicken broth in place of water if you are not a vegetarian. Vegetarians can use vegetable broth.

Mix all these to get your more effective mashed potatoes. Eat these slowly and frequently until you start regaining your energy.

Basil leaves

The list of home remedies for food poisoning cannot be complete without mentioning basil leaves. It soothes abdominal pains and discomforts and also has powerful antimicrobial properties.

Add a handful of basil leaves to a cup of boiling water and leave it to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain it and drink. Do this several times daily until you are okay.

You can also make use of essential basil oil. Add several drops to four cups of warm water. Sip this solution throughout the day to relieve the symptoms of food poisoning.

Cold compress

Salmonellosis can cause a high temperature for days. A cold compress will help you manage this until your immune system has handled the bacteria.

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Deep a clean cloth in cold water, squeeze lightly and place it on your forehead, hands, feet, and even armpits. This water should not be too cold and you repeatedly deep the cloth in cold water to get the best result.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is highly beneficial in cases of food poisoning and other types of infections. It absorbs poisons, toxins, and many dangerous substances released by pathogens like salmonella.

If used early when you start noticing the signs, it prevents full-blown infections. It stops continuous diarrhea and prevents the complication of dehydration and loss of electrolytes.

Lemon juice

This is the simplest of all remedies yet highly effective. The acids in lemons kill all kinds of pathogens. The anti-inflammatory properties also reduce the discomforts in your digestive system.

Mix equal part lemon juice and water and sip throughout the day. You can add a little honey to improve the taste. Children less than one year should not be given honey.

Another way to take lemon juice is by taking a tablespoon of lemon juice every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day.

Goldenseal

Many herbalists use the roots and rhizomes of this herb to make herbal tonics for treating food poisoning. It is also used to treat constipation, cough, diarrhea, fevers, and cold.

Goldenseal tincture is rich in alkaloids, hydrastine, canadine, berberine, and many others. It also has a potent antimicrobial agent which has been well studied and shown to fight two species of salmonella.

They are Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Paratyphi. Pregnant women should check with their doctor or naturopath before using this herb. You should also follow the prescription.

Honey

This is the sweetest home remedy for food poisoning. It settles issues concerning the production of stomach acids and it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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Take a tablespoon of raw honey every 3 to 4 hours until you recover.

Complications Caused by Salmonellosis

Severe salmonellosis can make you dehydrated if you don’t replace fluids lost through diarrhea and vomiting. If this lost fluid is not replaced, you will experience body draught or severe dehydration which can be life-threatening.

Loss of electrolytes experienced during vomiting can also pose serious health problems if they are not replaced. An oral rehydration therapy (ORT) can help you replace the lost electrolytes.

Few people with salmonella infection also experience joint pains. This is called Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis. It can last for months and this infection also causes sore eyes, stinging, itchiness, and painful urination.

If the infection affects your blood, it can spread to other parts of your body and cause problems. These include:

  • The lining of your blood vessels
  • Your bones and even your bone marrow
  • Your heart valves or the lining of your heart
  • The tissues around your spinal cord
  • The tissues around your brain

How to Prevent Salmonellosis

There are preventive measures you can take to put salmonellosis at bay:

  • Wash your hands properly with soap and water before eating, after using the toilet, touching animals, public objects, toys, and beddings.
  • Cook meats properly, use the correct minimum temperature. A thermometer will help you to be sure.
  • Don’t mix cooked and raw foods together. Don’t use the same utensils in preparing them. Don’t use the same knife to cut raw chicken and slice mushrooms. Also use different plates and cutting boards.
  • Clean your kitchen surfaces before preparing food on them
  • Wash your hands properly before and after handling foods
  • Refrigerate your food before cooking it and refrigerate the remaining one
  • If you are vomiting or you have diarrhea, don’t cook foods for people
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables properly under running water before using or consuming them. If you are not sure of the skins, you can peel them away.
  • Don’t eat raw egg or meat
  • Your meat and eggs should be well cooked

Sources;

  1. Salmonella CDC
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Ebiojo David
I am a Biochemist and Naturopath, I love writing and educating people on health and wellness matters.

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