Infections caused by the rod-shaped bacteria salmonella are among the 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 salmonella symptoms. You can expect severe attacks of abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and high fever with chills that occur 12-24 hours after infection. The symptoms usually abate after two to three 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.
There seems to be a salmonella outbreak in the United States every summer. The surprising facts are that most of these outbreaks haven't been from the typical animal based foods, instead the salmonella outbreaks are coming from fresh vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, peppers and even popular seasonal fruits like cantaloupe and watermelon.
Note: If you experience a salmonella infection it must be reported to your local health department because the risk of contamination can cause a salmonella outbreak that could become fatal in people with a weak immune system like the very young or elderly.
Natural Home Remedies to Relieve Salmonella Poisoning
The most important way to prevent salmonella poisoning is to practice conscientious kitchen hygiene. 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.
It's extremely important: to drink plenty of liquids, like tea and noncarbonated water to replace lost fluids. Also, applying warmth with a hot water bottle and a mint-oil-compress has an antispasmodic effect.
Consult a doctor if you have bloody diarrhea, high fever or unable to keep liquids down!
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, and apple regiment 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 day, 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 or flannel cloth. Rest in bed, leaving the compress in place for several hours. To really enhance the oil compress place a hot water bottle on top of the mint-oil compress.
Replace Lost Minerals with Diet
After acute symptoms of an infection have ceased, follow a 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.
Medicinal Tea Recipe
This herb mixture makes a tea that inhibits inflammation and has a disinfectant effect.
1 ounce chamomile
1 ounce thyme
5 ounces yarrow (milfoil)
1 ½ ounces shredded licorice root
1 ounce shredded astragalus root
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of the tea mixture. Steep for about 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups every day.
Protection Against Salmonella
Keep foods that spoil easily at temperatures under 40 degrees 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 degrees F. for at least 10 minutes.
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.
The statement's made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.