Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Tea (Camellia sinensis), psyllium and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).
Tea: beverage. Psyllium: powdered seed (Metamucil, Fiberall). Goldenseal: tincture.
How it Works:
Tea contains tannins, which are binding. Psyllium absorbs fluid in the gut and adds bulk to stool. Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic that helps treat infectious diarrhea.
Tea: several cups a day of black, green or oolong. Psyllium: follow package directions. Goldenseal: 1 to 2 teaspoons three times daily in water or juice.
Take psyllium with plenty of fluid to avoid intestinal obstruction.
Drink plenty of fluids—diarrhea is dehydrating. But avoid coffee, which has a laxative effect. Eat the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, all of which are binding. Diarrhea reduces populations of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. To replenish them, eat yogurt with live Lactobacillus acidophilus or L. bulgaricus culture.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit