Diarrhea while traveling can go a long way toward ruining your vacation. With foods you’re not used to, stomach upsetting spices, or street stall food that might not be that clean, many tourists get diarrhea and end up desperate for a quick natural remedy to cure it. As a travel writer who currently lives in Thailand and travels all over Asia, I’ve had a couple of ‘dodgy tummies’ that required a natural remedy for diarrhea. Luckily, coming from a family full of alternative medicine ideas and folk lore, I always have a couple of natural remedies all ready for the next time I’m rushing to the bathroom clenching my buttocks and hoping I make it.
Bananas – Surprising to some, eating bananas are an excellent way to stop diarrhea and a cheap natural remedy, particularly if you’re in a tropical country. At the first signs of loose stools or diarrhea, eat a banana. Keep eating 2-3 bananas a day until the diarrhea has gone. I find it only takes 2-3 bananas at most, and any diarrhea I have completely stops. Other people report it taking a few more bananas and a bit more time, so experiment the next time you get diarrhea to find what works for you.
Surprising too, bananas are great for constipation (yep, both diarrhea and constipation) as they normalize the colon so, if diarrhea isn’t your problem, but being able to poop is, that wonderful banana will work for that too.
White Rice – Asians often recommend eating simple plain boiled white rice when you have diarrhea while traveling. Due to its consistency and fiber, it thickens your stool, often causing diarrhea to dissipate in just a few hours. My mother used the white rice remedy the one and only time she had stomach problems on a vacation in Thailand on the recommendation of our Thai tour guide and, nowadays, swears by it as being one of the best natural diarrhea treatments around.
Eat a small bowl of white rice at every meal, making sure you don’t add anything spicy or that might upset your stomach (if you can stand it, just white rice and no toppings is the best diarrhea remedy) and, by the end of the day, you’ll feel almost back to normal.
Toast – Another wonderful, easy and cheap natural remedy for diarrhea is plain toast. Toast some white or wholewheat bread and nibble on it. If you can stand it dry, eat it dry, although even with diarrhea I’ve eaten toast with fresh butter and it hasn’t upset my stomach. Toast adds fiber to your diet and bulks up your stool, causing your diarrhea to disappear quickly.
Turmeric – An old Indian remedy for diarrhea I learned from my Indian roommate in university years ago is turmeric. A classic Indian spice, used all over Asia, turmeric is a wonderful natural remedy for many things but particularly for diarrhea. Simply add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot water and add some honey. Mix until as much of the turmeric has dissolved as possible (there will always be undissolvable grains at the bottom of the cup) and sip slowly.
Turmeric has antiseptic properties that are incredibly fast working for diarrhea while traveling. I only ever have to drink one cup of the turmeric and honey mix and, within a couple of hours, I’m as right as rain.
The next time you’re traveling and get the trots, try one or more of these natural diarrhea remedies. You might be surprised how quickly you start to feel better and how soon you are able to get back to enjoying your vacation.