11+ Proven Home Remedies for Stomach Flu & How to Use Them

Contrary to what some people think, stomach flu is not a type of flu [1].

It is scientifically known as viral gastroenteritis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the parts of the gastrointestinal tract such as the intestines and stomach [2].

Unlike flu, it is not caused by influenza virus but by rotavirus and norovirus [3].

There are also a few cases in which stomach flu is triggered by bacterial infection [3].

This condition causes many unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and stomach ache [4].

Don’t wait for the condition to worsen before you do something about it.

Consider these simple home remedies that have been proven safe and effective in combating stomach flu and its symptoms.

1. Ginger

One of the easiest ways to treat stomach flu is with ginger.

After all, it’s the “most appreciated herb” when it comes to resolving gastrointestinal problems [5].

Ginger works by combating pathogens that cause gastroenteritis [6].

Results from an Indian research reveal that ginger disrupts the metabolism of the bacteria and host cells [6].

At the same time, it alleviates symptoms of pain, vomiting and loose bowel with its analgesic, antiemetic and anti-diarrheal actions [6, 7, 8].

It doesn’t only relieve the symptoms of stomach flu, it also helps control the source of infection to shorten its duration and promote quick recovery.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil ginger in water.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let it steep for 10 minutes.
  • Drink tea several times a day for up to one week.

2. Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is often recommended as a healthy alternative to ice cream for people trying to beat their sugar addiction.

Apart from being a tasty treat, yogurt has a plethora of benefits for the health.

It can help put an end to many ailments particularly those related to the digestive system such as viral gastroenteritis.

Various studies confirm that the probiotics in yogurt can reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea associated with rotavirus infection [9, 10, 11, 12].

In 2010, a team of Bolivian scientists performed clinical trials on children admitted in the hospital due to acute rotavirus diarrhea [11].

The children ages one to 23 months received oral rehydration therapy, and oral rehydration solution with probiotics [11].

Conclusion was reached that those who received probiotic treatment along with oral rehydration therapy had much shorter duration of diarrhea [11].

Probiotic agents such as Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii are particularly effective in combating diarrhea especially in children [12].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of yogurt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cup of ice

Recommended Directions:

  • Put all ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend until consistency is smooth.
  • Drink twice a day for one to two weeks.

3. Peppermint

Apparently, there’s more to peppermint than simply being a breath freshener.

It has a multitude of pharmacological effects that people can take advantage of.

These include antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic and carminative effects, among many others [13].

Those complaining of stomach flu can get relief from symptoms using this potent herb.

The essential oil of peppermint has been found to effectively reduce nausea and vomiting with its antiemetic properties, reports a 2013 study [14].

Patients who used peppermint had fewer incidences of vomiting [14].

Moreover, peppermint’s active compound menthol is a “natural analgesic” that can soothe the pain and discomfort in the abdominal area [15].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint leaves
  • 1 cup of boiled water

Recommended Directions:

  • Steep peppermint leaves in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Strain the leaves.
  • Drink the tea five times a day for three days.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile is often relied upon as a “digestive aid” to ameliorate gastrointestinal ailments including bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting [16].

In cases of stomach flu, this herb is used to relieve abdominal cramping and reduce diarrhea [17].

Its anti-diarrheal mode of action has been proven in several studies [18, 19, 20].

In one of these studies, it was shown that treatment with chamomile fluid extract for three days significantly decreased diarrhea in children [20].

A parallel trial involving 255 children with acute diarrhea stated that the combination of apple pectin and chamomile worked more effectively than the placebo in decreasing the frequency of bowel movements [20].

It was also noted that the treatment was well-tolerated by the patients, and did not have any adverse effects [20].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Steep chamomile flowers in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the tea
  • Drink tea four times a day for three days.

5. Banana

Banana works well for most types of diarrhea, even those that are caused by rotavirus infection.

This fruit, which is one of oldest cultivated in the world, is traditionally used for treating both diarrhea and constipation [21].

Evidence from several studies suggests that it is a viable way of managing persistent diarrhea [22, 23, 24].

A study conducted in Bangladesh shows that children infected with rotavirus recovered more quickly when treated with banana or pectin [23].

Researchers noted a significant reduction in the amount of stool and in the frequency of vomiting [23].

In a different study, 57 boys suffering from chronic diarrhea was given a weeklong treatment consisting of rice, rice and banana, and rice and pectin [24].

Findings reveal that bananas help improve permeability in the small intestine and prevent fluid loss [24].

Those who received rice and banana diet recovered more easily than those from the other groups [24].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 to 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 bowl of cooked rice

Recommended Directions:

  • Mash banana.
  • Combine with rice.
  • Eat mashed banana and rice twice a day until condition improves.

6. Oral Rehydration Solution

Dehydration is one of the most dangerous effects of diarrhea [25].

To avoid this, oral rehydration therapy is often recommended for patients with gastroenteritis and diarrhea [26, 27, 28].

The use of oral rehydration solution contributed to a great decline in diarrhea-related mortality [28].

From the recorded five million deaths in 1982, the figure was down to three million after a 10-year period [28].

This treatment method comes in two stages: the rehydration phase to replace lost fluids and the maintenance phase to supply the body with necessary fluids and electrolytes [28].

Anyone who suffers from diarrhea should definitely make use of this natural remedy to prevent dehydration.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 liter of boiled and cooled water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add sugar and salt to water.
  • Drink three to five cups a day.

7. Cranberry Juice

For decades, cranberry juice has been the go-to solution for urinary tract infection (UTI), a bacterial infection that commonly affects women [29].

Did you know that this delicious juice can also work wonders for those with stomach flu?

A study that can be found in the Phytomedicine Journal states that cranberry juice has inhibitory effects on rotavirus, inactivating it and preventing it from replicating [30].

These results were derived after exposing the virus to cranberry and grapefruit juices [30].

Cranberry may not have the necessary properties to relieve the symptoms of stomach flu but it certainly gets the job done by killing the source of infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • Cranberry juice

Recommended Directions:

  • Drink two to three glasses of cranberry juice a day until symptoms subside.

8. Guava Leaves

Typically found in tropical countries, guava is a medicinal crop known for its numerous clinical purposes [31].

Most of its biological activities are attributable to its phenols, flavonoids and terpenoid [31].

It’s not just the fruit itself that’s beneficial to one’s health but also the other parts of the guava tree, such as the leaves.

In a review conducted by Brazilian scientists, guava leaves were included among the herbal remedies that have anti-rotavirus mechanisms [32].

The active compounds in guava leaves prevent rotaviruses from inflicting severe damage in the small intestine [32].

Guava can also provide relief from abdominal pain caused by acute diarrhea, according to a 2002 study [33].

This remedy has been found to exhibit analgesic and antispasmodic properties, after it was given to 50 patients with diarrhea every eight hours for three days [33].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of guava leaves
  • 4 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil guava leaves in water.
  • Drink one cup of the concoction once a day.
  • Chill the remaining in the refrigerator to use the next day.

9. Black Tea

Drinking tea is a social activity in some countries, while a part of cultural ceremonies and traditions in others.

Apart from being a cultural norm, and a way of socializing, tea also has beneficial effects for the body that one should take advantage of.

Tea leaves contain active compounds that can prevent viruses, bacteria and fungi from harming the health [34].

A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Science and Biology reports that tea extract fights rotaviruses by weakening their activity and interfering adsorption [35].

Contributing to this mode of action is a chemical called theaflavin digallate, which has been found to have strong virucidal effects [35].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of black tea leaves
  • 1 cup of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Let black tea leaves steep in hot water.
  • Strain the leaves.
  • Drink the tea twice a day for one week.

10. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented product that contains essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates [36].

Apart from being a good source of nutrients, it can also help treat various health problems including bacterial infection, digestive ailments and high cholesterol [36].

Consumption of kefir can also be useful for those suffering from viral gastroenteritis.

According to several studies, kefir has anti-viral activities that work against rotaviruses, the primary cause of this infection [37, 38].

Polysaccharides in kefir such as lactic acid bacteria and yeasts demonstrated inhibitory effects on rotavirus and other strains of viruses [37].

In fact, a polysaccharide has a 97 percent inhibition rate against rotavirus infection [38].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 tablespoon of kefir grains

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil water.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let it cool.
  • Dissolve sugar in water.
  • Add kefir grains.
  • Drink mixture twice a day for one week.

11. Cinnamon

Ayurvedic healers have long used cinnamon as a stimulant, anti-emetic and anti-diarrheal remedy [39].

How does it work?

Cinnamon contains active constituents such as cinnamaldehyde, which according to Chinese research, can inhibit the growth of various bacterial strains, including those that cause diarrhea such as E. coli [40].

Apart from killing bacteria, it also inhibits the activities of other harmful pathogens such as fungi and dermatophytes [40].

On top of all these, drinking warm cinnamon can also help alleviate chills and aches caused by diarrhea, and bring you the comfort that you’re looking for.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add cinnamon powder.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove pot from the stove.
  • Strain mixture with a cheese cloth.
  • Stir in honey.
  • Mix well.
  • Drink while still warm.
  • Take this solution three to four times a day for two to three days.

12. Garlic

Scientists have long acknowledged garlic as a strong antimicrobial.

In fact, it is recommended for treating various types of bacterial infections.

If you’d like to get rid of your stomach flu, you can also use this simple but effective natural treatment method.

A Nigerian study validates the antibacterial powers of garlic, stating that it can efficiently suppress the growth and spread of E. coli and other pathogens that cause diarrhea [41].

Allicin, which gives garlic its pungent smell, is what’s also responsible for its antimicrobial actions [41].

This chemical is obtained by crushing or cutting cloves of garlic [41].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Peel garlic cloves and crush each one.
  • Chop into fine pieces.
  • Mix in honey.
  • Eat the mixture right away.
  • Consume this three times a day for two days.

Get relief from stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and other terrible symptoms of stomach flu using these tried and tested home remedies.

These are simple yet highly effective ways of combating this annoying medical condition.