Inside: Think you can’t avoid a stomach virus after being exposed? Think again! I did it–and I think you can, too!
Springtime in North Carolina is always full of surprises:
- One day it’s 75 degrees F, and the next day it’s sleeting. You may leave your home in the morning wearing a coat and scarf and are donning a pair of flip flops by the afternoon.
- One day you’re smelling the flowers, and the next day you’re sneezing from pollen coating your windshield.
- It’s also the season when you fool yourself into thinking that you’ve made it all winter without getting sick. You’ve avoided the flu, colds, COVID, and the horrible, no-good stomach virus. Or so you thought.
Irony would have it that less than two weeks after posting about how our family prevents wintertime illnesses, would you believe the stomach bug hit our house?
(Note: I originally wrote this post in 2014, but I updated it in 2021, and I will continue to update it regularly as I find new things that work to help avoid the stomach virus. This method has now worked for us–for the most part–for years!)
It hit the girls first–one-by-one they began throwing up.
Then, in the middle of the night, it overtook my poor husband.
All night long, I listened to the bug biting my family. I cleaned up their messes and soothed them as best I could, and I prayed I wouldn’t get sick as well.
But I knew it was coming. I just knew it! How could I avoid such a highly-contagious illness when every single person in my home was affected by it?
But I did! Oh, I did!
And not only that–but I used natural means to avoid a stomach virus!
My plan of attack was simple: I did not want to get sick! With sheer determination, I scoured my natural medicine arsenal.
Here is what I came up with that helped me avoid a stomach virus after being exposed:
1. A Strong Immune System
I’m a big believer in building up your immune system all winter (or all year!) long, in order to keep sicknesses at bay in the first place!
A few days before the stomach virus hit our house, I had felt the very first signs of a cold (my first in two years!). My first symptom of a cold is usually a scratchy throat. Wanting to stave off the cold before it really started, I began loading up on elderberry, vitamin C, echinacea and garlic.
Without knowing it, I was strengthening my immune system to fight off another bug!
Thankfully, having heard that activated charcoal can work wonders for tummy ailments, I already had this stashed away in our natural medicine cabinet. But because our family hadn’t been ill for two years, I had never really used it!
Hands down, if you do not heed anything else in this post, please, please, please stock your natural medicine cabinet with activated charcoal!
In a nutshell, activated charcoal adsorbs most toxins in your body before they can harm you (source). Some emergency rooms even give activated charcoal to patients with food poisoning!
I was a bit skeptical to take it at first because I assumed this was a stomach virus, and I had heard that activated charcoal only works with stomach problems caused by bacteria.
But then I found this post by my friend Kimberly at The Nourishing Gourmet. (And yes, I actually found it in a Google search in the middle of the night!) In the post, Kimberly recounts how her family beat the stomach virus with the use of activated charcoal as well!
I took Kimberly’s advice, and I am so glad I did. I truly feel that the activated charcoal took care of the virus that was most likely already inside of my body.
I took two capsules with water every few hours. Read Kimberly’s post for more details on dosing.
Keep in mind that the activated charcoal may also adsorb all the good nutrients in your body as well, so do not take it at the same time as your other supplements.
I continued to take 1-2 capsules of activated charcoal for a few days after the stomach virus left our house.
Note: If you child is actively throwing up, it may not be a good idea to give them charcoal unless there is a bucket near by. One of our kids threw up charcoal all over the carpet. Talk about a mess to clean up.
Essential oils are a big part of my family’s natural medicine cabinet. Many bloggers love them so much that they decide to sell them. I love them so much that I will sing their praises without selling them. Ha!
- Plant Therapy is a favorite of ours, and they have a Tummy Aid and a KidSafe Tummy All Better and DigiZen.
- Rocky Mountain Oils has a Tummy Rub blend.
- Doterra has their DigestZen.
- Young Living use DiGize.
I rubbed a couple drops of the oil blend, diluted with a carrier oil, on my stomach every few hours while my household had the stomach virus.
When my family became ill, I did not hesitate to begin rubbing a diluted immune-boosting oil blend on my feet and the feet of my family members. I also added it to a diffuser where my husband, who was the most ill, was sleeping.
- Plant Therapy has their Immune Aid and KidSafe Immune Boom.
- Rocky Mountain Oils has Immune Strength.
- Young Living has ImmuPower and ThievesThieves.
- Doterra has On Guard.
In addition to this oil blend, I also used a little bit of oregano oil on my feet.
This happened to be the only ginger tea I had on hand (and I was completely out of ginger, so I couldn’t make my own!). I drank it the morning after the long night of my family’s illness, and it definitely had a nice calming effect!
6. A Strong Probiotic
I typically give my girls the Garden of Life Raw probiotic. However, I had recently purchased a super probiotic supplement from my girls’ integrative pediatrician–HMF Neuro Powder. I will say this stuff is PRICEY. I had it on hand for such a time as this.
When a stomach virus hits, I believe it’s the time to pull out the best of the best probiotics.
In addition to taking the probiotic powder, I also ate some coconut milk yogurt, which we also happened to have on hand that day.
7. Redmond Clay
Redmond Clay is helpful for an assortment of ailments, including stomach issues.
I did not take much of this, as I felt really confident in the activated charcoal, but I did take a little bit.
It is supposed to adsorb the toxins and flush them out of your system as well. I just didn’t feel like I needed both the activated charcoal and the clay at the same time.
8. Air Purifier
Interestingly enough? The air purifier we use turns red when there are contaminants in the air. It turned the reddest when I put my natural cleaners aside and pulled out the Lysol! Now if that doesn’t tell you something about the toxins in conventional cleaners…
9. Grape Juice
This was a new one to me after I wrote the original post. Someone at church told us about it, and it’s been our go-to ever since. Supposedly, grape juice coats the stomach and helps you avoid the stomach virus!
This is one of the easiest to get on the spur of the moment (although we make sure to always keep the other supplies on hand!). I dissolve activated charcoalin grape juice for my kids. This has helped us so much!
Note: If you child is actively throwing up, I would not recommend giving them grape juice or activated charcoal. Dark purple or black spots do not look good on carpet (ask me how I know.)
Download Your Free Cheat Sheet
This cheat sheet gives you an inventory list to start building your own natural medicine cabinet.
- Download the free cheat sheet. Join my weekly-ish newsletter and as a bonus, you’ll get the printable! Just click here to download and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but cardstock would be ideal.
- Hang your cheat sheet somewhere handy like inside your medicine cabinet.
Here’s a sneak peek of your printable cheat sheet:
What are your tips for how to avoid a stomach virus after being exposed?
Disclaimer: Although I am passionate about nutrition, natural living and alternative health issues, I am not a certified nutritionist, medical doctor, or practitioner of any kind. I am not licensed to counsel anyone in medical matters nor may I be held responsible for any course of action that you choose in regards to your own health or that of your family. Please remember that what I are sharing is the result of my own experiences, but may not necessarily be the right course of action for you. I am an advocate of becoming informed, knowledgeable and responsible for one’s own health, but my desire is not to be an authority on any matters of health for you, nor would I presume to have sufficient knowledge to do so. My hope is that what I share may encourage you and start you on the road to doing your own research, and seeking out the opinions of professionals or others that you trust.