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Burnt Toast & Tea for Vomiting

by
author image Sirah Dubois
Sirah Dubois is currently a PhD student in food science after having completed her master's degree in nutrition at the University of Alberta. She has worked in private practice as a dietitian in Edmonton, Canada and her nutrition-related articles have appeared in The Edmonton Journal newspaper.
Burnt Toast & Tea for Vomiting
Four pieces of burnt toast in a toaster. Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

The urge to vomit is caused by a variety of factors, but it usually represents your body’s attempt to rid itself of something pathogenic or poisonous. Food poisoning is a common cause of vomiting and can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance if not controlled. As such, knowing about some home remedies to limit vomiting is valuable. Consuming burnt toast or tea may help you stop vomiting, but you should contact your doctor or a poison control center for professional advice and guidance.

Causes of Vomiting

Vomiting is usually a safety mechanism of your body to get rid of infectious agents or toxic compounds and should be encouraged within limits, according to the book “Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.” However, sometimes the mechanisms that trigger vomiting are “taken over” by pathogens as an adaptive strategy to spread themselves and the infection. This is why food poisoning often involves excessive vomiting and diarrhea; the microorganism is replicating itself and trying to spread to other hosts. Excessive vomiting needs to be controlled before it leads to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can be fatal within a few days.

Burnt Toast Remedy

Eating burnt toast is a folk remedy for controlling nausea and inhibiting vomiting, and it’s based on sound biochemical principles. The carbon in the charred bread absorbs impurities and toxins, and it acts like a filter to prevent some compounds and microorganisms from passing through the mucus membrane of the gut, according to the book “Human Biochemistry.” However, burnt toast and other charred foods are not charcoal, which is what is used in hospitals for alcohol, drug and food poisoning. Specifically, hospitals use activated charcoal, which is much more powerful and absorptive than regular charcoal. Charred foods contain compounds that may harm your body if taken in large amounts.

Tea Remedy

Black tea is another folk remedy that can reduce vomiting because it contains tannins. Tannins are astringent compounds that can deactivate some toxic and infectious elements in your digestive system, although too much can lead to abdominal cramps and pain, according to the book “Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine.” Green tea doesn’t contain much tannin, but it does display antioxidant and mild antibiotic properties, and it’s far less acidic compared to black teas. Any type of tea is also a good source of hydration, although both black and green teas contain caffeine, which is a strong diuretic.

Cautions

In most cases, vomiting is an ideal antidote, but there are times when it is best to prevent it. If you have swallowed some commercial product that contains strong acids, alkalis or petroleum, then keeping the poison down and waiting for emergency medical help is often advised. If you are unable to keep any toast, tea or water down for more than a day, contact your doctor immediately.

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