Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning Oils & Blends:  Fennel, Ginger, Peppermint, Sandalwood

Also consider: Cinnamon, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Oregano

Suggested protocols:


Ginger and Peppermint are also good to settle upset stomachs.

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, Protective Blend, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Wild Orange

ANTIVIRAL: Basil, Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Melissa, Myrrh, Protective Blend, Oregano, Thyme

PARASITES: Cinnamon, Digestive Blend, Lemon, Melaleuca, Mountain Savory, Protective Blend, Oregano, Roman Chamomile, Thyme

Note: Research at Loyola in India with interesting data is included under the Scientific & Research tab.  It includes data below showing the effectiveness of 21 essential oils against 6 common bacterial infections (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus).  The results are compared with Streptomycin (a very strong pharmaceutical) and also includes very interesting information on the effectiveness vs. concentation of the oils.  A quick summary of these results showing the three most effective oils is:

Staphylococcus aureus: Cinnamon, Lemon, Clove

Bacillus subtilis: Cinnamon, Lime, Geranium

Klebsiella pneumoniae: Cinnamon, Lemon, Clove

Proteus vulgaris: Cinnamon, Orange, Lemon

Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Cinnamon, Lime, Lemongrass

Escherichia coli: Cinnamon, Orange, Lime

Food poisoning is the result of ingesting food or water that contains harmful bacteria, parasites, toxins or viruses. Some common symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, watery diarrhea, nausea, fever, fatigue and/or vomiting.

Symptoms and how quickly they occur differ for the various types of harmful intruders and are described in more detail below for some of the more common types of food poisoning.

E. coli 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.

Symptoms usually 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.

Staphylococcus aureus is another common source of food poisoning since this bacterium may be found on the skin and noses of healthy people and animals. The bacterium is responsible for making a variety of toxins that then, in turn, when ingested causes the food poisoning.

Symptoms can develop very fast, usually within one to six hours. Symptoms typically are mild and include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.

Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) This bacteria commonly occurs in improperly prepared or preserved foods but may also enter the body through open wounds or sores.

Symptoms usually develop within 8 to 36 hours. Symptoms in adults include the common symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting but also may include difficulty in breathing, swallowing or speaking, double vision, dry mouth and/or weakness with paralysis.  There is no fever with botulism.

Symptoms in infants may demonstrate themselves as constipation, poor feeding with weak sucking, respiratory problems, weakness and/or a weak cry.

Salmonella enterocolitis is another common type of bacterial infection that occurs in the lining of the small intestine.  Salmonella contamination can occur in improperly prepared foods especially chicken, eggs or turkey or can be passed from an infected person.  Even some reptile pets are carriers of salmonella.

Symptoms develop in the 8 to 48 hour period after exposure.  With a weakened immume system symptoms will be more acute. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, chills, diarrhea, fever, muscle pain, nausea and/or vomiting.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial organism that is common in our everyday environment and is found is some types of foods such as meats and cheeses.

Symptoms develop in 3 to 70 days after the infection, but usually after 21 days.  Symptoms include diarrhea in some cases, fever, muscle aches and/or nausea. The infection can spread to the central nervous system with more severe complications.

Shigella is another group of bacteria that can cause an acute bacterial infection of the lining of the intestines.  These bacteria can be released in the stools of an infected person and passed to others. Areas at risk are areas of poor sanitation or those that may travel to such areas and be exposed to poor sanitation practices.

Symptoms develop in 1 to 7 days after being in contact with the bacterium. Symptoms include acute and sudden abdominal pain and fever plus stools that may range from those with blood, mucus or pus to watery diarrhea.  Additionally nausea, rectal pain (tenesmus) and vomiting may occur.

Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and is also considered as a form of food poisoning.  The bacterium releases a toxin that causes increased release of water in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea.  Again, poor sanitation with food and water typically in poorer parts of the world lead to this infection.

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, low energy, nausea and/or vomiting.  Plus a number of symptoms related to dehydration including dry mouth, dry skin, lack of tears and low urine output.  It may also include a rapid heart rate and sunken eyes.

Campylobacter enteritis is another bacterial infection of the small intestine again coming from contaminated food or water.  Raw poultry, fresh produce, or unpasteurized milk are some of the sources cited.

Symptoms start 2 to 4 days after being infected and include abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and fever.

Fish poisoning come from fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) and is a parasite that humans can acquire from eating raw or undercooked freshwater fish that contain the tapeworm cyst.

After eating the infected fish the larva of the tapeworm grows in the human intestine and are fully active in 3 to 6 weeks. There may be no symptoms or may include some abdominal pain, and diarrhea.  Eventually weight loss and weakness may be experienced along with a deficiency in vitamin B12.

Note * – The information on this website is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has not been reviewed by those that have used essential oils and has not been reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious Medical Concerns consult your doctor. Please treat this website for reference purpose only.