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Norovirus - personally tested a potential remedy for stomach flu!  RSS feed

 
Amedean Messan
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Background:
The flu season hit hard over here. My entire family was bombarded by norovirus infection this week which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. My two children, wife, mother-in-law all experienced vomiting and excessive diarrhea. Naturally, I suspect my children brought this extremely contagious strain into our home from school. A pediatric doctor gave prognoses of norovirus in our two children but admitted there was little that could be done other than ensure ready supplementation of liquids and juices along with typical antipyretics such as acetaminophen to reduce symptoms.

To The Point:
I had some fresh rosemary lying around and also was passively aware of its anti-microbial (specifically antiviral) properties so I put one and one together because it is safe to ingest and norovirus was gastrointestinal. I brewed a weak rosemary tea because I was starting to come down with symptoms of lethargy and muscle cramps. This opportunity motivated me to volunteer myself guinea pig. Mind you, my entire household is vomiting and hovering over toilets so I have little to no doubt in my mind in between kissing my sick children and living in close proximity that I had contacted the highly contagious norovirus as well. I proceeded to ingested roughly a half filled coffee mug of sweetened (helps with taste) rosemary tea before evening and again before bed a few hours later.

Results:
In the following morning I was clearly sick. My wife warned me that by this time (the following day in comparison) she was experiencing stomach pains followed by frequent nausea and diarrhea spanning a period of nearly 3 days. Despite the evidence of cause and effect, I had experienced almost no gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Counter-intuitively, I had actually later experienced constipation but I believe this was due to dramatic decrease in food consumption effecting my metabolism hense a natural funtioning response and not out of ordinary. I still suffered from loss of appetite including general weakness, muscle aches, fever and lethargy but my symptoms appeared to be less severe in comparison to my family members. Also, to further test the effectiveness of rosemary tea I challenged my theory by eating breakfast in the same morning. My meal included two bowls of cereal at a minimum to provoke agitation. Through then to present (3 days later) I have not had any nausea. Today my eating habits are normal and I am functioning per usual.

Summary:
Assuming correct prognosis of norovirus, rosemary tea was not a cure but proved very effective at reducing its corresponding gastrointestinal symptoms and possibly reduced overall recovery time by inhibiting viral proliferation in my body. By reducing vomiting and diarrhea, it also serves to reduce proliferation of infection to other hosts. My theory is that unspecified chemical compounds found in rosemary can potentially create an environment that is inhospitable to viruses within the digestive track further reducing immune system burden. Because rosemary is relatively safe to consume, there is perceived minimal risk. Rosemary supplementation should not be taken continuously by women with menstrual difficulties and by those who are pregnant because it may stimulate the uterus.

Reference:
Rosemary risk factors:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/425066-what-is-rosemary-tea-good-for/#ixzz2NU4VL4XI
 
tel jetson
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nice. not definitive by any means, because there are so many uncontrolled variables, but it's compelling enough to me that I'll probably try it if I end up in a similar situation.
 
Nick Kitchener
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Interesting. Normally, anything that will kill norovirus will kill everything else in your gut, especially when you consider that by the time you feel symptoms, the norovirus load is pretty high.

I wonder what tee tree oil would do, or something with more of an anti-viral, as opposed to anti-bacterial action.
 
Amedean Messan
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Nick Kitchener wrote:.....anything that will kill norovirus will kill everything else in your gut.....


I would not make this assumption. Pathology is an expansive field of science and new classes of anti pathogenic compounds continue to be discovered. Not all compounds kill, for example it is known that bacteria communicate with each other with chemicals in a process known as "quorum sensing" and disrupting this communication can effectively disrupt the colonies activity. Its very, very difficult to make accurate predictions regarding the mechanics of chemical compounds in a complex microbial environment. Then you got your gram positive and gram negative bacterial species in which not all antibiotics are created equally.



For the tea tree oil, I am curious of the proper levels for ingestion. Rosemary has the advantage of being a palatable culinary herb that has additional health benefits such as improved memory due to the choline metabolism in the brain among others.
 
Michael Devine
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OT
I am very interested in the comments toward the use of tea tree oil. I understand it's benefits but have never read anywhere to ingest it or at any amount. I have been inhaling it for over 3 years on a regular basis with great success.

Has anyone else ever inhailed it? For what reason and what was your success?

 
Nick Kitchener
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I contracted a chronic sinus infection from swim training in pools and tried everything but no success. After 3 or 4 years of treatments, I started doing nightly tee tree oil inhalations and it cleared up within a month. Awesome stuff.

It is highly antibacterial. Like oregano oil, it will kill your gut bacteria. You can ingest it, but not for a week straight.
 
Johnny Niamert
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I got a diffusion of tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, lemon, clove, and cinnamon oil going now. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral.

Great for clearing the air, especially when a roommate works at the sick factory (hospital). . . . . O_o

I've also heard to never ingest tea tree oil. I don't even really use it on my skin anymore. Very harsh and drying.
 
Amedean Messan
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Johnny Niamert wrote:I got a diffusion of tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, lemon, clove, and cinnamon oil going now. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral.

Great for clearing the air, especially when a roommate works at the sick factory (hospital). . . . . O_o

I've also heard to never ingest tea tree oil. I don't even really use it on my skin anymore. Very harsh and drying.


I have heard of the aboriginals ingesting tea tree leaf liquid by chewing but I forgot what condition they claimed to treat using it.
 
Johnny Niamert
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Amedean Messan wrote:

I have heard of the aboriginals ingesting tea tree leaf liquid by chewing but I forgot what condition they claimed to treat using it.


I wouldn't consider this the same as ingesting purified distilled oils.
 
Amedean Messan
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Yes, my guess is that the main difference is the potency.
 
Matu Collins
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I really really hope I don't have occasion to try the rosemary remedy but if norovirus comes back to town I will. The year before last we all got it and it was really terrible. "The family bed" idea is lovely in theory but in practice family bed plus norovirus is a real fiasco. I won't elaborate further.

As I understand it, therapeutic grade tea tree oil can be taken internally. I only use it topically and in household cleaners. There are so many useful essential oils, I'd prefer to take culinary herb essential oils internally.
 
Amedean Messan
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So I got a stomach bug again. Belly was cramping all day with the runs oh lord!!! Made some fresh rosemary tea again and my stomach pains have gradually subsided. Obviously I am still sick, there is still a temperature but they must have done something right back in Medieval days unless this is a placebo remedy. Atleast the digestive tract feels much better, but not 100%.
 
Dee Ann Reed
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How much rosemary did you use for your tea?
 
Amedean Messan
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I didn't really measure it honestly, but it was a generous portion which is a handful (approximately 4 sprigs) of fresh rosemary.
 
Angela Kantola
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I don't know who you are, Amedean, but I am most grateful for your post (and that this forum is open to Google searches!). My DH came down with norovirus early this morning. I felt under the weather, but didn't yet have any serious gastrointestinal symptoms other than mild stomach discomfort. I began taking water (~1 cup) in which I'd steeped fresh rosemary and added ~1/8 cup organic apple cider vinegar, 1t-1T raw honey, and ~1/4t of jarred ginger. Like you did, I feel achy and generally under the weather, but have had no gastrointestinal crises. For the achiness, I made a headache oil of 2T olive oil, 20 drops lavender oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, and 2 opened Vitamin E capsules. I rubbed it on my temples and inhaled the aroma and it seems to be somewhat helpful.

After my DH's gastrointestinal crises (which spanned a total of ~5 hours), I begin giving him an oral hydration solution of water, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and a bit of salt (recipe widely available on the internet). I also gave him some peppermint-only tea with ~1/4 t of jarred ginger and ~1T honey. DH and I have both gradually added a bit of banana, homemade unsweetened yogurt, and a few bites of homemade whole wheat toast with ~2T homemade applesauce with raw honey this evening. So far, no issues.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, THANK YOU!
 
Amedean Messan
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Angela Kantola wrote:I don't know who you are, Amedean, but I am most grateful for your post (and that this forum is open to Google searches!). My DH came down with norovirus early this morning. I felt under the weather, but didn't yet have any serious gastrointestinal symptoms other than mild stomach discomfort. I began taking water (~1 cup) in which I'd steeped fresh rosemary and added ~1/8 cup organic apple cider vinegar, 1t-1T raw honey, and ~1/4t of jarred ginger. Like you did, I feel achy and generally under the weather, but have had no gastrointestinal crises. For the achiness, I made a headache oil of 2T olive oil, 20 drops lavender oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, and 2 opened Vitamin E capsules. I rubbed it on my temples and inhaled the aroma and it seems to be somewhat helpful.

After my DH's gastrointestinal crises (which spanned a total of ~5 hours), I begin giving him an oral hydration solution of water, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and a bit of salt (recipe widely available on the internet). I also gave him some peppermint-only tea with ~1/4 t of jarred ginger and ~1T honey. DH and I have both gradually added a bit of banana, homemade unsweetened yogurt, and a few bites of homemade whole wheat toast with ~2T homemade applesauce with raw honey this evening. So far, no issues.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, THANK YOU!


Hey there, welcome to Permies!!! I am grateful you made the effort to share your experiences. It is just astounding how much we have forgotten in medicine from our ancestors! Rosemary tea since my experimentation has become a staple in my home remedies whenever I get a stomach virus which I get from my little disease infested children from school, lol!
 
Angela Kantola
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Update: I was fully recovered by mid-Friday and now swear by Amedean's rosemary tea (to which I also added apple cider vinegar, honey, and ginger). It was no fun feeling like I'd been run over by a truck for 12+ hours, but much better than that plus vomiting and diarrhea any day!
 
Matu Collins
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I have a big rosemary in a pot I'm the house right now standing by in case the stomach bug comes to town.
 
Galadriel Freden
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My small son and I tried this out when he had a day of throwing up. I don't know if it helped him much, but I took it too, and didn't get it at all. I made it with some mint to make it a little more palatable; luckily my son is old enough now to drink "medicine" even if it tastes medicinal. It was a very antiseptic taste; with the mint, we thought it tasted a bit like minty soap We thought it tasted best when at room temperature or cooler.

I wonder if it would taste better steeped in some broth intead of water--something I may try next time.
 
Logan Sanders
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Well, I've been having the same problem for a while, and the only thing that's really helped is the essential oils blends/ I did try to use usual, conventional remedies. but that never hepled,, really.  You can see some of the blends I use in here natadviser.com  , hope it helps!
 
Todd Parr
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The one thing that works for me without fail for any virus issue is Sambucol.  I haven't tried simply just juicing elderberries to see if it has the same effect.  I'm very skeptical of "alternative" cures because I've tried so many with little to no effect.  Tea tree oil for instance does absolutely nothing that I can detect when I use it.  Sambucol on the other hand, always works.  The sooner you can start taking it after noticing any symptoms, the better.  I work in a hospital and so am exposed to every bug imaginable.  Many of the patients here have mental issues, and their hygiene is not good.  Last week I began to have flu-like symptoms and started to feel feverish.  I took Sambucol and went to bed early.  By 10 o'clock, my temp was a full 4 points about normal and I had the full blown head-too-hot-and-body-freezing thing going on.  I took Sambucol every couple hours.  By midnight, my fever broke and by morning I was completely back to normal.  I took a single dose for the next couple days to be sure it was gone and the symptoms didn't come back and I was fine.
 
Joshua Parke
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Elderberries work great, and it's pretty simple to make elderberry syrup. There are some good recipes online. Plus the syrup will last a little while in the fridge. Another benefit is that it tastes good.

One other that I've seen have quick results is Nigella sativa -aka- black seed.

Might as well as add another one to the mix. This one can last indefinitely on the shelf. Google master tonic, I don't have personal experience with this one, but I have family members that credit it's effectiveness.
 
Joy Oasis
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Thank you, I added it to my Stomach flu remedies page. Sage tea works well as well. Another thing is raw onion juice. Not very tasty, but can be mixed with raw honey, which is also great, especially if honey was made from variety of wild flowers. This same onion juice and honey works well for coughs as well.
As far as essential oils go I do not feel comfortable using them internally although I do use clove or oregano oil on the teeth, but then I try to swallow as little as possible, spitting out my saliva at first. however we can use essential oils from stomach flu by rubbing them into the feet or stomach area.
 
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