Herbal Teas for Diarrhea

Varieties of herbal tea for diarrhea may include blueberry and raspberry. Black tea may also be helpful.

Kinds of herbal tea for diarrhea includes blueberry and raspberry. (Image: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages)

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Kinds of herbal tea for diarrhea include blueberry and raspberry.

Tea for Diarrhea

Black tea might have a possible anti-diarrhea effect. A January 2017 randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine tested the effects of black tea on pediatric patients with nonbacterial diarrhea. The authors observed that black tea ingestion resulted in fewer bowel movements.

The Columbia University Medical Center says that certain herbal teas may help manage diarrhea. These include raspberry and blueberry. Some animal studies, such as a March 2014 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, suggest that chamomile tea benefits include alleviation of diarrhea.

Sometimes herbs, including herbal teas, can have side effects, so exercise caution. The U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that some herbal teas contain natural laxatives like senna, so avoid any with this ingredient.

To make blueberry tea, simmer 3 tablespoons of dried blueberries in 8 ounces of water for five to 10 minutes, instructs Columbia University Medical Center. Strain out the berries and drink at room temperature.

For raspberry tea, allow 1 or 2 teaspoons of the berries to steep in 8 ounces of water for five minutes. Remove the berries.

What to Do for Diarrhea?

When you have diarrhea, your doctor will advise you to replace the fluid and salts that have been lost, notes the Mayo Clinic. Water will replenish fluids, but it doesn't contain minerals like sodium and potassium, which your body needs to maintain its electrolyte balance. It's beneficial to eat soups for sodium and drink fruit juices for potassium. Apple juice may make the diarrhea worse.

Diarrhea normally goes away without drug treatment, states the Mayo Clinic. Continue drinking clear liquids until the symptoms subside. Avoid alcohol. Gradually add low-fiber and semisolid foods when your condition improves. Try eating toast, soda crackers, rice, eggs or chicken.

For a few days, avoid spicy foods, dairy products and fatty foods. Consider eating probiotic foods like yogurt or taking probiotic supplements to increase the levels of good, or "friendly," bacteria in the gut.

Aside from all of the above measures, try tea with honey for diarrhea, suggests the Cleveland Clinic. Honey might relieve symptoms associated with gastroenteritis, says the Mayo Clinic.

If your symptoms are more severe, ask your doctor if you should take an anti-diarrhea medication such as bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide. The drugs aren't a good solution for everyone because they can make it harder for your body to get rid of the bacteria or parasite causing the diarrhea. In addition, they aren't always safe for children, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Avoid Dietary Triggers of Diarrhea

Harvard Health states that although diarrhea has other causes, it's often triggered or worsened by certain foods. Sugar stimulates actions that loosen bowel movements, so eating foods high in this ingredient can lead to diarrhea. The fructose in fruit can also provoke extra bowel movements. Artificial sweeteners, such as those in sugar-free candy, may cause diarrhea as well.

People who have a hard time digesting lactose can get diarrhea from dairy products like ice cream, cheese and milk, and these types of sensitivities might not manifest until later in life. Individuals with a gluten sensitivity can experience diarrhea when they eat wheat, barley or rye, along with many foods containing gluten such as salad dressing.

Other food causes of diarrhea include fried or fatty foods. A group of poorly digested foods known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) may also trigger the condition, says Harvard Health.

Colors of Bowel Movements

Different colors of stools can signify different conditions, notes the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Healthy bowel movements are brown, but black stools may indicate that bleeding is occurring higher in the intestinal tract, particularly if it's tarry. Black stools may also be due to a harmless cause such as eating blueberries or dark food.

Red stools suggest that bleeding may be happening in the lower part of the intestinal tract. Possible causes include hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and colon cancer. The red color may also stem from eating tomato-based sauces or beets.

Bright-yellow diarrhea is a sign of an infection called giardiasis, an intestinal parasite often contracted through drinking contaminated water or through contact with an infected person. A pale yellow or grey stool signifies a gallbladder or liver disorder. Stools can also appear orange, green or blue from eating foods in these colors, the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research concludes.

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