Soothing an Upset Stomach Naturally: The Perfect Drink
Daniel (3) climbed into my bed the other night. He didn’t feel good and ended up puking about every 30-45 minutes. By morning, he was feeling less nauseated and wanted to drink. I turned to my tried and true remedy: lemon-ginger water kefir.
Probiotics, in general, improve gut health. There are many studies about this and even more years of wisdom from our ancestors. Because of the great effect probiotics have on stopping diarrhea and helping other digestive problems, I try to get probiotics into my kids as quickly as I can when they are ill. (In addition to having them daily when well.)
At the store, you can find dairy kefir, water kefir, and coconut water kefir. Each one has great health benefits and slightly different strains of prebiotics and probiotics. When I was focused on healing the gut, we consumed all the above.
Lemon-Ginger Water Kefir
Lemon-ginger water kefir has been a perfect tummy-soothing drink for my family.
In the ER, I always recommend to my patients (or my patient’s parents) to start out with clear liquids after vomiting. Water kefir is a perfect choice. I save some ginger in the freezer especially for these times so I can take advantage of the beneficial digestive enzymes and the nausea-soothing properties. This has been a perfect recovery drink for my kids.
When Daniel started to ask for something to drink, we headed to the kitchen where I made a batch of lemon-ginger water kefir. I grated some frozen ginger and pressed out the juice with my garlic press. I didn’t have any lemons*, but my husband had some lemonade, so that went into the kefir (just enough for flavor.)
*Ideally, I would have also had organic lemons on hand. They contain great digestive enzymes for a healthy gut.
Side-note: there are fabulous health benefits to squeezing half a lemon into a big glass of water first thing in the morning.
Start with Small Amounts, Frequently
I am always cautious about that first drink after someone has been puking. Even though they may be SO thirsty, you cannot start out too fast. Too much volume and the stomach is like, “nope, I’m not ready for that, out you go!”
For my pediatric “patient,” I told him he could have one sip every two minutes.
Not 100% sure he would follow my instructions, I only poured a couple tablespoons in his cup. He sipped and I set the timer. He could have one sip every 2 minutes.
After 10-15 minutes of frequent small sips, he had no complaints of tummy pain nor nausea. He was perking up, thanks to the hydration, and I felt comfortable graduating him to small amounts (1/4-1/2 of his child-size cup) of kefir at will. By afternoon he was almost back to normal, and by supper time he ate more than some of his brothers.
An Easy DIY
If you want to make your lemon-ginger water kefir, you will need to either find a friend with water kefir grains (not a real grain, but rather a mix of bacteria, yeast, and sugar) or buy them from a store like Cultures for Health. If you want my recipe/process, let me know below and I’ll send you a PDF.