Cola and pretzel sticks? What really helps against stomach and intestinal ailments

Proven home remedies for gastrointestinal problems

Gastrointestinal infections are among the most common infectious diseases. Patients suffer from discomfort such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In this country, some victims resort to salt sticks and coke. Does this combination really help? And what other home remedies are available for stomach and intestinal ailments?

Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting

"Gastrointestinal infections – also known as gastroenteritis – are by far among the most prevalent infectious diseases in the world," writes the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on its portal "Infektionsschutz. of". The most common complaints of the disease are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Some patients quickly grab sticks of cola and pretzel. Health experts explain whether this combination really makes sense and what home remedies can help with diarrhea and vomiting.

Almost every person suffers from a gastrointestinal infection at least once in their life. Health experts explain what home remedies can help patients – and those who are rather discouraged. (Image: nikodash /

In children, the disease can be difficult

As the BZgA explains, diarrhea associated with gastrointestinal infections can be watery, bloody or slimy and accompany severe flatulence. The patient feels soft – sometimes fever is added.

Loss of fluid may cause dizziness or a pronounced feeling of weakness.

Complaints are usually resolved completely after a few days.

"For the elderly or people with compromised immune defense, vomiting can be difficult, and this applies to infants and young children as well," says BZgA.

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has information on home remedies that help fight gastrointestinal problems in children.

To drink a lot

Children can – depending on the severity of vomiting and / or diarrhea – lose a lot of fluids and important salts (electrolytes).

Therefore, for young and old, the top priority is to drink a lot.

Although the pharmacy offers ready-made solutions to offset the loss of electrolyte, a simple recipe also offers the World Health Organization (WHO) to mix six teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a liter of water.

According to the TK, children should instead give up the old home remedy "coke and pretzel sticks" as they are more susceptible to fluid loss than adults.

According to the health insurance company, the extremely high sugar content of cola-based beverages favors the already greater amount of water released by the body into the intestine in cases of diarrhea, so that more of water is lost.

In addition, other experts point out that cola usually contains even such a high amount of sugar that diarrhea is exacerbated.

The TK recommends recording the frequency of vomiting and diarrhea, as well as any symptoms associated with it, such as fever and the amount of drink the child drank, to better estimate the loss of fluid .

If necessary, consult a doctor

In case of vomiting or refusal to drink, the liquid should be offered to the child with a spoon or swallow.

The little ones must drink, otherwise a doctor must be consulted immediately.

Even in case of severe symptoms or in the absence of improvement, a visit to the doctor is necessary.

A food break can help

In many cases, a meal break helps – no break to drink! – from six to ten o'clock. As soon as the child has the appetite again, he can also try light meals earlier.

The diet can be started with binder foods such as carrots, grated apples, bananas, rice and potatoes.

Since fat stimulates digestion, it should only be used sparingly. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the child consumes enough calories.

With abdominal pain and vomiting can also help warm and moist envelopes.

To do this, immerse a cloth in warm water, wring it out well and place it on the belly. Then put a towel on it and cover the child. Again, the offspring should feel comfortable.

Home Remedies not only for pediatric patients

The TC also summarized other measures that may help – and not just children – patients:

As a home remedy for diarrhea, it is advisable to grind an apple (with a bowl). The pectin that it contains binds the liquid.

To compensate for the loss of salt, help among other things a strong broth or electrolyte solutions from the pharmacy.

In addition, rice pudding – distributed in small portions throughout the day – is recommended. Cook the mucus only with water (never milk) and lightly salt, do not sweeten.

A mashed banana contains many lost minerals and is especially recommended for replenishing potassium storage.

Once the symptoms disappear, tea and rusks are suitable.

An old Italian homemade remedy is the dry risotto (rice) with grated parmesan cheese. (Ad)


  • Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA): Gastrointestinal Infections, (recovery: 08.07.2019),
  • Techniker Krankenkasse (TK): home remedies for gastrointestinal disorders in children, (available: 08.07.2019), Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)