Food Poisoning occurs when you swallow food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins made by these germs. Food poisoning can affect one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food. It more commonly occurs after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions or restaurants.
Germs may get into the food you eat (called contamination) in different ways:
• Meat or poultry can come into contact with bacteria from the intestines of an animal that is being processed
• Water that is used during growing or shipping can contain animal or human waste
• During food handling or preparation in grocery stores, restaurants, or homes
Food poisoning often occurs from eating or drinking the following:
• Any food prepared by someone who does not wash their hands properly
• Any food prepared using cooking utensils, cutting boards, and other tools that are not fully cleaned
• Dairy products or food containing mayonnaise (such as coleslaw or potato salad) that have been out of the refrigerator too long
• Frozen or refrigerated foods that are not stored at the proper temperature or are not reheated properly
• Raw fish or oysters
• Raw fruits or vegetables that have not been washed thoroughly
• Raw vegetables or fruit juices and dairy products
• Undercooked meats or eggs
• Water from a well or stream or city or town water that has not been treated
The incubation period (the time between eating contaminated food and the onset of symptoms) can be as short as a few hours or as long as several weeks. The symptoms include: feeling sick; vomiting; diarrhea; stomach cramps; abdominal pain; loss of appetite; a high temperature; chills. Some toxins can cause food poisoning within a much shorter time. In these cases, vomiting is the main symptom.
Health Warning: Most cases of food poisoning do not require medical treatment. However, you should seek medical advice if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:
Herbal Remedies for Food Poisoning
Basil – Food Poisoning
vomiting that lasts more than two days
you are unable to keep liquids down for more than a day
diarrhoea that lasts for more than three days
blood in your vomit
blood in your stools
changes in your mental state, such as confusion
signs of severe dehydration, such as a dry mouth, sunken eyes and an inability to pass urine, or passing small amounts of dark, strong-smelling urine
: Prepare a mixture by adding 2-3 tablespoons of basil leaf extract in half cup of buttermilk. Add a little salt and ground black pepper. Taking this mixture 3-4 times a day reduces the symptoms of food poisoning.
Mint, Chamomile, Raspberry, Blackberry – Food Poisoning
: Herbal tea prepared from chamomile, mint, raspberry and blackberry are useful in treating food poisoning.
Goldenseal Root – Poisoning, Food:
Start with 1 or 2 capsules. After an hour take 3 capsules. Always drink with sufficient water.
Mint and Chamomile Tea – Poisoning, Food:
Drink as much mint and chamomile tea as possible both are available in teabags.
Tulsi - Indian Holy Basil – Poisoning, Food:
Crush some Tulsi leaves and add to half a cup of buttermilk. Drink twice a day. You can also substitute basil leaves for tulsi.