see also dysentery,
Diarrhea is loose, watery, and frequent stools. The
most common causes of diarrhea are
mild viral infection known as viral gastroenteritis.
This is also known as the stomach flu.
Traveler’s diarrhea or Montezuma’s revenge is described in
more detail below.
Other causes are food poisoning, food allergies,
reactions to medications or medical procedures, and as a
side effect of more serious health concerns such as Crohn’s,
diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.
Traveler’s diarrhea (Montezuma’s
revenge) is a common difficulty of those that travel. This
is usually a bacterial infection but can be from a variety
of viruses and parasites. Diarrhea is the most common
symptom and may be accompanied by abdominal pain, fever,
gas, loss of appetite and vomiting depending on the
infectious agent. The most common bacterial infection for
travelers is E. coli, viral is viral gastroenteritis and
parasitical are giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis. For other
gastric infections also refer to the following related pages
enteritis is the common food poisoning to those
that travel. Meats that have not been handled
properly, unsanitary food preparation areas, dairy or foods
with mayonnaise not properly refrigerated or undercooked
eggs or meat are all possible sources.
occur with in 24 to 72 hours of infection. Sudden
severe diarrhea that may be bloody is the most common
symptoms. Others symptoms may include abdominal pain,
fever, gas and/or loss of appetite. Vomiting is rare.
or also referred to as viral gastroenteritis or stomach flu
is a viral infection and can come from a variety of viruses
including adenovirus, astrovirus, caliciviruses, norovirus
and rotavirus. The latter two being common among children
while caliciviruses is a more common infectious agent among
adults. None of these virus strains are related to those
responsible for the common cold or flu (influenza) that
affect the respiratory system.
rapidly after contacting the infection, usually with 4 to 48
hours. Symptoms usually will include some abdominal
pain, nausea and vomiting then followed with diarrhea. A
low-grade fever and headache may also occur but symptoms
will usually differ from respiratory influenza (the flu)
which typically will include high fever, muscle aches,
fatigue and respiratory congestion.
cryptosporidiosis (Giardia lamblia, and
Cryptosporidium parvum) are each protozoa that infect the
digestive tract and develop a mild form of dysentery
commonly referred to as traveler’s diarrhea (Montezuma’s
giardiasis infection are delayed about 1 to 3 weeks after
exposure. When symptoms appear the include bloating
with foul smelling gas, headaches, low-grade fever, nausea
and vomiting. Cryptosporidiosis infection is typically
milder but may include heavy diarrhea starting 7 to 10 days
after exposure, nausea and vomiting. Usually no fever.
A quick note on the terms associated with digestive tract
Gastroenteritis is the general term for
infection (bacterial, viral, parasitical or toxins)
that leads to inflammation of the mucous membrane of
the digestive tract.
|| Dysentery, a subset of
gastroenteritis, primarily affecting the colon.
Infection is commonly from parasites but can also be
bacterial, viral or toxic. Most common are amoebic,
giardia and cryptosporidium that all come from
protozoans (single cell parasites).
|| Gastritis, a subset of
gastroenteritis, is specifically inflammation of
tissue in the stomach.
is a common symptom of various forms of
gastroenteritis. Some use this term interchangeably
|| Food poisoning can lead to
gastroenteritis and primarily describes what and how
the infectious agents come into the body.
|| Stomach flu
(viral gastroenteritis) is a subset of
gastroenteritis caused by a viral infection from a
number of viruses (but unrelated to those that cause
the common cold and flu).
|| Traveler’s diarrhea
(Montezuma’s revenge) is the lay term used for
gastroenteritis (bacterial or viral) common to folks
traveling to new areas and exposed to new infectious
[search helps: diahrrea, diarrhea, runs]
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
DigestZenC, FennelC, GingerEC,
Essential oils based
GX Assist, PB Assist
CinnamonEC, CypressEC, EucalyptusEC,
GeraniumEC, Roman ChamomileEC
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
DigestZen may be taken internally or topically.
Internally add 3 - 4 drops to a swallow of water or juice.
Topically apply 3 - 4 drops to the lower stomach area.
For children and babies apply topically and dilute with a
carrier oil. For
infants the oils will be effective when applied to the
bottoms of the feet.
Ginger and Peppermint are also good to settle upset
Cinnamon or cassia applied topically to the lower stomach
area with a carrier oil
are specifically helpful for diarrhea.
Bacterial, Viral or Parasite?
If the type of infection is known consider augmenting
with an oil effective for that infection if it is not
included in the protocol above.
ANTIBACTERIAL: basil, cassia, cinnamon,
clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, Lavender, Lemon,
Lime, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Myrrh, On Guard, Oregano, Peppermint,
Rosemary, Thyme, Wild Orange
ANTIVIRAL: basil, cassia, cinnamon,
clove, eucalyptus, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram,
Melaleuca, Melissa, Myrrh, On Guard, Oregano, Thyme
PARASITES: cinnamon, DigestZen, Lemon, Melaleuca, Mountain Savory,
On Guard, Oregano, Roman Chamomile, Thyme
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Samara - My 14
month old has been sick all night with a fever. He's
been vomiting and has diarrhea. What would you suggest?
Pat - Peppermint will control the fever
and the stomach. Because he is so young you might want to
use a carrier oil when you put it on his skin. The forehead
and back of the neck for the fever and the tummy and a drop
in a cup of water for the upset tummy. Cassia or cinnamon
will help with the diarrhea but you will absolutely need a
carrier oil, and you would rub it on the bottom of his
tummy. If you have doTerra oils, DigestZen will be good and
is not so hot as the other oils.
Samara - I tried the DigestZen and wow!
I rubbed it on his belly and within 20 minutes he wanted to
eat! A little later I gave him a drop in some water. He
let go of a lot of gas and then he really felt like eating.
His diarrhea is almost gone.
JoAnn - I need
help. I have had diarrhea for over two months and the
doctors can't figure out why. I had a colonoscopy and
it was clear. So here I am asking for suggestions as
to what oils and how to use them.
Pat - Check out your diet and see if you
are doing anything different. Then go with DigestZen
internally (3-4 drops in swallow of water) and externally.
Rub the DigestZen on the bowel area just below the stomach.
This should really work for you but you may need to do it
aggressively and consistently.
Lisa - Also, I would suggest the PB
assist. Diarrhea is a sign that you are not digesting
something properly. PB Assist should help with that. Do you
eat dairy products? Diarrhea is on of the signs that someone
has become partly or fully lactose intolerant. Changing to
raw dairy products which have the enzymes for digestion
(destroyed in pasturization) can help take care of this
problem if that is the cause.
Ann - My daughter
has had diarrhea off and on since Monday. I have been
using DigestZen and Peppermint topically on her feet and
tummy, and was wondering if DigestZen would be ok to give
her internally, she is 15. Would that help?
Brooke – Yes - If she can stand it - We
had the flu bug last week, and I used a couple of drops of
DigestZen under their tongue three times a day, and then had
them drink water with Peppermint in it. But I also rubbed
Lemongrass and ginger on their abdomen - and it helped a
ton! It is a really nasty flu bug going around!
Maree - I would also try clove....
internally. That really helped my family’s issues a
few weeks ago.
Cami - My 2 year
old has been sick for the last 5 days. She is either
throwing up or has diarrhea. Monday she was throwing up.
Tuesday she threw up once but had diarrhea all day.
Wednesday diarrhea all day. Thursday she threw up a little.
Then today she has thrown up twice. Can't really keep
anything down again and has had diarrhea. She will drink and
she acts like herself when she isn't throwing up. I am just
wondering if there is something I can give her that will
help her stomach calm down and just help get rid of this bug
that we can't seem to get rid of!
Leah - Sounds like my baby this past
week, except the throwing up hasn't been that intense.
Definitely has the diarrhea. He's mostly breastfed. The oils
I've been using on him (he's 10 months old) are Balance on
the bottom of his feet, basil around his ears - as he seems
to have an irritation or infection, Frankincense on his head
or neck, and DigestZen on his belly button. I think the
DigestZen plays the biggest part in not throwing up.
Sandi - Sounds like my daughter last
week (5 years old). Ginger worked best for her. Stopped
things (both ends) right in their tracks. Couple drops of
ginger in FCO and rubbed on her lower abdomen. Then she
liked to smell the Peppermint because it masked the smell of
the ginger, which she doesn't like. It usually worked for
about 12 hours before she's start feeling nauseous and then
What Science & Research are saying
Herbal remedies for dyspepsia:
Peppermint seems effective.
Prescrire Int. 2008 Jun;17(95):121-3. [No authors listed]
(1) Functional dyspepsia is extremely common, yet few if
any treatments have been shown to be effective. This review
examines the potential benefits and risks of using herbal
products in treating symptoms of dyspepsia. (2) About forty
plants have been approved in France in the composition of
products traditionally used for dyspepsia. (3) The clinical
efficacy of most of these plants has not been assessed. Some
essential oils can cause severe adverse effects, including
seizures. Herbal teas appear to be safe when used
appropriately. (4) A few randomised controlled clinical
trials suggest that Peppermint essential oil is
effective in reducing abdominal pain, flatulence and
diarrhea in patients with "irritable bowel syndrome".
Peppermint tea, containing essential oil, has no known
adverse effects. (5) There is no sound reason to discourage
patients from using herbal teas made from plants
such as Lemon balm, German Chamomile or star anise.