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Home Ailments & Treatments Salmonella Infection
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Salmonella Infection

Infections caused by the rod shaped bacteria salmonella are among this nation's most common types of food poisoning. Contamination usually occurs in summer because the pathogens multiply faster during warm weather. Eating infected animal based foods, such as eggs, poultry, meat and shellfish, is a common cause of infection. A toxin that the bacteria produce and excrete in the intestine is responsible for the symptoms associated with infection. Severe attacks of abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and high fever with chills occur 12-24 hrs after infection. The symptoms usually abate after 2-3 days, but dehydration can sometimes cause circulatory collapse. You can prevent salmonella infections with strict hygiene: disinfect counters and cutting boards that are used to cut meat, and promptly refrigerate all protein foods.

Note: Salmonella infections must be reported to your local health department because of the risk contamination.

Potato bag for abdominal cramps
Stomach cramps can be alleviated by applying heat. A natural alternative to a heating pad is making a potato bag: Boil unpeeled potatoes, put them in a linen bag and crush them. Wrap the bag with 2 clothes and place it on your stomach. Leave the bag in place for about 1 hr. Rest in bed for 30 min.

What you can do?
Conscientious kitchen hygiene is the most important way to prevent a salmonella infection. However, if you are infected, you can relieve milder symptoms with natural methods. For instance, avoid foods as long as symptoms are acute, to "starve out" the bacteria and to prevent them from multiplying further. Drink plenty of tea or noncarbonated water to replace lost fluids. Also, applying warmth, with a potato bag, heating pad or mint oil compress, has an antispasmodic effect. Consult a doctor if you have bloody diarrhea or a high fever.

If you have diarrhea, you should fast for one to three days (unless you are hypoglycemic), drinking sips of unsweetened herb tea, such as peppermint, chamomile, caraway or fennel. On the fourth day, an apple regimen is recommended. Eat up to 3 pounds of raw, grated red apples (about nine apples) in five meals over the course of a day. After the fifth daym, switch to cream of oats or rice cereal. When acute symptoms have abated, begin eating a mild diet (no spicy, salted, greasy or gassy foods) of many small meals, rather than a few rich meals. Try to eat plenty of steamed vegetables and avoid animal products.

Mint oil compress for abdominal cramps
A mint oil compress has an antispasmodic effect on the body and, therefore, will relieve abdominal cramps. Rub 5-10 drops of essential oil of mint on the abdomen and cover with a warm linen cloth. Rest in bed, leaving the compress in place for several hours.

Foods for health

After acute symptoms of an infection have ceased, follow diet of mineral rich foods and sparkling mineral water in order to replace lost minerals. High mineral foods include seaweeds, miso soup and herbal teas, such as oat straw, horsetail, nettles and alfalfa. Vegetable juices, carrots and celery sticks are also well tolerated.

Protection against salmonella

  • Keep foods that spoil easily at temperature under 40 deg F
  • Ensure that water from thawing frozen poultry does not come into contact with other foods.
  • Cook poultry, meat and fish thoroughly. To kill salmonella completely, the food must be heated to 150-175 deg F for at least 10 min.
  • Don't consume products containing raw eggs.
  • Use cooked ground meat on the same day it is prepared.
  • Wash your hands often when you're preparing protein foods. Thoroughly rinse in hot water any utensils you have used.
  • Cut or handle foods only on surfaces that can be thoroughly washed; plastic cutting boards are recommended.

Homeopathic Remedies

Arsenicum album, 6C
Take for severe, burning abdominal pain with prolonged diarrhea, ice cold body and extremities, extreme thirst and outbreaks of sweating.

Veratrum album 6C
Take for crampy abdominal pains with nausea and vomiting or diarrhea

Depending on your symptoms, take 5 tablets of the above homeopathic remedies every half hour until symptoms improve.

Medicinal Tea

This herb mixture makes a tea that inhibits inflammation and has a disinfectant effect.

1 oz. chamomile
1 oz. thyme
5 oz. yarrow (milfoil)
1 ½ oz. shredded licorice root
1 oz. shredded astragalus root

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tbsp. of the tea mixture. Steep for about 10 min. drink 3 cups every day.