Proven natural treatments against the Norovirus


Friday 1st March 2013 

  • Discover how you can combat the debilitating effects of gastric upset
  • Hereís the natural remedies that worked for me
  • Find out why a good Thai curry should be on everyoneís menu

     

Itís really unusual for me not to enjoy a meal, and thatís how I knew I was sickening for something.  Could I finally have succumbed to the Norovirus?

Strangely I didnít feel ill to begin with, just lost my appetite and interest.

A few hours later I had a proper headache, sending me scuttling to my darkened bedroom.

Then, finally, around midnight the full force of the infection made itself known.

At first I thought I had succumbed to food poisoning and was mentally listing all of the potential causes (in the current media storm you donít have to look far!)

I had been the victim of bacterial infection from food before and this felt similar, but was far worse.

The searing pains in my stomach were worsened by the dry heaving after I had emptied my dinner Ė it was not pretty and I spent a very uncomfortable few hours in the toilet.

By the time morning came I began searching for a remedy to help me deal with a dose of the newly activated Norovirus.

This little nasty has been identified as the cause of 90% of gastrointestinal infections, and the rates of recorded incidences have been steadily rising since it was first identified in the 1990ís.

According to epidemiological data for laboratory reports recorded by the Health Protection Agency(1), there has been a rise from 1,922 cases in 2000 to a staggering 10,845 in 2012.

Bear in mind however that these are of samples sent for analysis, which account for only about ten to fifteen per cent of the actual cases of infection.

Chances are if you havenít had it yet, you will!

So, let me tell you about the remedies and symptom soothing tips that worked for me.

Natural cures that actually worked

Right from childhood days I knew that any stomach upset responds well to ginger, and that is my first tip for you.

If you can stand it, cut a sliver of fresh ginger root to suck and chew on. Its pungent and refreshing taste will help clean your mouth and also provide near instant relief to your spasming stomach muscles.

For those who canít stand the intense flavour of fresh ginger root, try grating a little and pouring over warm water. Leave it for ten minutes and strain.

Sip the resulting fluid in small mouthfuls. Youíll get the same effect as from the raw root, but over a longer time frame, the other benefit being that you are also replacing vital fluid.

Finally, if all of that is too much for the palate, get a bottle of organic non sweetened ginger ale and sip that. The fizz will also help your stomach.

Next up, to try to control the production of stomach gases use peppermint tea, either hot or cooled.

Once again peppermint has long been used to help control stomach problems and helps provide a gentle and soothing remedy to an aggravated and inflamed stomach and oesophagus.

After a few hours of the above I then grabbed the chance for a boost of energy and further healing with a tablespoon of Manuka honey in warm water.

In many ways this is probably the finest remedy as the anti bacterial and anti viral properties are just what you need to dampen down the Norovirus infection and prevent any cheeky bacteria from joining the party too.

It took me a good 24 hours to wean myself back onto solids after the infection and I felt as weak as a kitten, but I can heartily recommend this three stage approach if you become a victim.

Other natural cures you might like to try

Hunting around I also came across a couple of other ways to help yourself in a gastrointestinal crisis like this;

- Oregano oil is widely covered in American natural health resources as a sure-fire way to defeat stomach upsets.

- Garlic needs no introduction to regular readers of the Good Life Letter, as you know how highly I prize this member of the onion family for its taste and potency Ė needless to say it is a fantastic home remedy for any form of gastric imbalance.

- Apple cider vinegar has many virtues in health (a few months back I did a letter about how the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes kept arthritis at bay with a mix of ACV and Manuka honey - I wish him all the best after being stricken by frostbite on his latest adventure).

Sipping this acidic brew makes life very difficult for any viral or bacterial invaders as it radically changes the chemical environment in our gut Ė making it much less inviting for their wicked ways.

- Fresh coconut water is reputed to boost the body's defence against stomach bugs, and if you can cope with it chew a little of the fresh flesh as well.

Although coconut isnít a native crop to the UK they are widely available (even if only from a travelling fairground!) and can be bought for relatively low cost.

- Fresh lime juice features in many other remedies and, although not something I have tried, could be a little easier than trying to sip ACV as it is much sweeter.

- Coriander in fresh form is also a long held remedy for stomach maladies Ė and I love chewing on a few leaves from the pot on our window sill.

Of course, you might be looking at the list above and thinking the same as me...

...honey, ginger, coconut, lime and coriander Ė thatís the basis of a great Thai curry recipe.

And that, dear reader, is how I saw off the last vestiges of the Norovirus this week.

I made the most delightful Thai chicken curry, with plenty of freshly chopped chillies thrown in for good measure.

Yours, as always


Ray

PS If you want to know how to make stunning Thai dishes, simply take advantage of a 40% discount on Season to Taste in our Mother's Day special offers section.

References

(1)HPA (2013); Laboratory reports of Norovirus infections in England & Wales 2000-2012. www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Norovirus/EpidemiologicalData/noroDataEw/ accessed 26/2/13

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