****This is a post about emesis, so consider this your warning.
I’m going to keep this log short because if I am going to admit that I am in the throes of one of my recurring symptoms :: vomiting. Apparently I am a sucker for “bad” gut bacteria that just won’t quit. I love my steak rare but unfortunately I will pick up any GI-tract wreck inducing bacteria. I’ve tried immunostimulants, eliminating allergens, quitting alcohol, whatever. Right now I’m more focused on “not vomiting” every 45 mins than I am on getting to the core of this acute illness. Unlike the symptoms of other chronic illnesses; ear infection, sore throat, fatigue – this is one that is hard to get into. It rivals the migraine in it’s ability to cause not only pain but also immense stress.
Stress. That is one of the most, if not the most, problems in overcoming acute illness. Cut stress out and the recovery time is shortened. The body needs to be nurtured, nourished, and listened to if anyone wants to “get well soon”. In my own brush with bulimia, purging was my physical release from mental stress and lack of motivation, direction, and talent. In my teenage years, I didn’t take criticism about my eating habits well and took the shame and confusion out on my body by forcing myself to vomit if I felt I overate. I must have been at a critical point in my development because these actions have left a very deep imprint on my muscular and cellular memory. Although I have been in recovery from bulimia for 15 years, my body still has the tendency to eject anything that doesn’t feel right, even if it just enjoying a big meal – without any guilt or negative emotions. If I see or someone puking, I will puke along with them. If I get puked on by someone, I will puke right back on them. The trigger is that sensitive. The actions and reactions of the human body are at times confounding but for some reason the symptom of vomiting has helped me define my own state of wellness.
So…why am I telling you this?
Well I’m out here to tell all my fellow pukers that I totally feel your pain. Honestly. In my stomach, my esophagus, my teeth. The upward flow of bile is generally unnatural for the body and causes much stress on the enamel and mucus linings that protect us from the corrosive digestive acid that we can’t seem to get enough of. There is help and at the root of recovery is self-care.
One of the reasons I became, and still am, so interested in herbalism is for the holistic aspect of it. Growing, making, and consuming a nutritious, local diet is the keystone to living a healthy life. But of course there are exceptions to be made, bumps in the road. Symptoms of disorders consume us in our moments of acute illness, causing us to flee to the closest WebMD for a diagnosis that fits in our mainframe. The pharmacology industry has capitalized on this mindset by providing some odd remedies for symptoms, such as a syrup for “mucus” and the oddest thing about it is that it contains no cayenne pepper.
If you’re like me, you’re glad this article is over so that you can lie down finally and take a look at this list of anti-emetics I’ve been cycling through.
• Mint, especially Peppermint
• Raspberry leaf
• Red Elm (Slippery elm)
Foods that help the body readjust to food intake once acute emesis has passed.
• Miso broth
• Bananas, in small pieces
• Apples, especially apple sauce
• Toast, plain
• Sauerkraut in small amounts
• Yogurt, plain with ground flax seed
Liquids to stay hydrated
• Sweet & Salty water :: water, with 1 tsp salt or tamari and 1 tsp maple syrup
• Carbonated beverages
• Pedialyte (I’ve never tried Pedialyte but anything containing sugar & enzymes will help rehydrate your body)
• Nettle, yarrow, peppermint tea
• Strawberry leaf. sweet gale, plantain tea
Stick to plants that are easy to digest but contain bitters. Herbs that are antiseptic, antispasmodic, or astringent can also be used in fomentations and compresses if unable to keep anything down.