RadarOpus blog - Gastroenteritis | Causes, Symptoms & Homoeopathic Remedies
Feb 1, 2022

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines causing pain. There are some homoeopathic remedies that can make you more comfortable.


What is gastroenteritis?

If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of getting sick to your stomach, you might have had gastroenteritis – a condition characterised by inflammation and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Though it's often referred to as "stomach flu," gastroenteritis is not caused by the influenza virus . Rather, it's most commonly caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. It affects 1 in 5 people in the UK every year.


What causes gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is commonly caused by two types of viruses; rotavirus and norovirus. The former typically affects children and infants and is the leading cause of death due to diarrhoea. The latter virus is the most common cause of serious outbreaks of gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis can also be caused by bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, although this is less common, and is referred to as food poisoning.


How long does gastroenteritis last?

Gastroenteritis is a relatively common illness and the length of time it lasts can vary significantly from person to person. Depending on whether it is viral or bacterial, gastroenteritis can affect adults for up to a week, although symptoms should start to ease two days after they develop.


Symptoms of gastroenteritis

When you suffer from gastroenteritis, viruses and bacteria infect the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract, resulting in the main symptom of diarrhoea. If you’ve contracted gastroenteritis, you will start developing symptoms within 24 hours.

Along with diarrhoea, the following symptoms may be present:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea


Is gastroenteritis contagious?

Viral gastroenteritis is contagious, typically in the winter months when people tend to spend more time indoors. It becomes contagious when you’re in contact with someone who is ill and their germs from stool or vomit contaminate surfaces.

If someone has gastroenteritis, it is best to avoid sharing food or drinks and to avoid remaining in close proximity to them.


Homoeopathic remedies for gastroenteritis

Disclaimer - Homeopathy does not work by treating named conditions; that is the domain of Allopathic Medicine. Homeopathy employs natural remedies in potentised doses to encourage your own innate healing response - supporting your overall wellbeing. For the best results in helping your condition, we advise you to visit a professional Homeopath rather than rely on anything mentioned in this article. By consulting with a Homeopath, your individual treatment plan will help you gain a better understanding of yourself and what triggers your emotional or physical disease. When you develop an illness, the way you experience your symptoms is unique to youtherefore your Homeopathic prescription will be based on your subjective symptoms and individual reactions rather than your diagnosis. That being said, there are remedies which do have an elective affinity to certain organ systems, physiological and pathological processes. These are outlined below for Gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, is a common ailment that can be treated with homoeopathic remedies. According to Kaiser Permanente, the most effective remedies for gastroenteritis vary depending on the individual's symptoms, but some of the most commonly used remedies include:

Note: If you would like to use RadarOpus and practise homoeopathy, take a look at our beginner's course.

ars.1Arsenicum album

Douglas Borland says:

  • There are indications for Arsenicum alb. in a variety of pathological conditions; in an acute gastritis, an acute gastroenteritis, a gastric ulcer, or a gastric carcinoma. But no matter what the pathological condition is, unless you get the other Arsenicum indications the drug is not going to help.
  • For instance, an acute gastroenteritis, with vomiting and diarrhoea, as the result of food poisoning, may call for Arsenicum. Not all such cases, however, call for it, and unless the other indications are present, Arsenicum will not do any good.
  • For instance, one essential symptom in these Arsenicum cases is an intense burning pain, whether the lesion be in the stomach or the bowel. These burning pains are relieved by either external heat applied to the abdomen, or by taking mildly warm fluids; and definitely aggravated by cold. In general makeup, the Arsenicum patient is always extremely distressed, very anxious, very worried and very much afraid. Always restless, always thirsty, and craves cold drinks as the mouth is burning hot. Any vomit is again burning hot, and scalds the throat. But if the patient takes a cold drink, it will increase the abdominal pain. The patient himself is always chilly.


George Vithoulkas says:

  • Arsenicum patients have a predisposition for gastroenteritis and food poisoning.
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting may often occur simultaneously (as with Veratrum album ).
  • The food poisoning occurs usually from spoiled or questionable meat or mouldy cheese.
  • During these acute conditions the patient may have an aversion to all food.
  • Many times, in acute conditions there is nausea from the sight, smell or even the thought of food.


verat.2Veratrum album

Didier Grandgeorge says:

  • This is a remedy known for its intense acute states which give the impression of cardiovascular shock: pale skin, cold sweat, pulse weak and fast.
  • This may also be the case in acute gastroenteritis, such as the type which sometimes afflicts world travellers, in which we find abundant diarrhoea with profuse and sudden vomiting.
  • The notable characteristic is that the stool does not smell bad (the opposite of Arsenicum album).
  • The vomiting is followed by intense hiccoughing.



Frans Vermeulen says:

  • Burning/ pressure; feeling of a load on one spot, alternating with burning, crampy pain and pyrosis.
  • Pain from stomach extending to spine. Inexpressible, in stomach; must bend backwards.
  • Abdominal muscles are spasmodically contracted; the pain is so violent as to induce fainting. There may be vomiting, convulsive gagging and pain.



Scientific information from Frans Vermeulen’s Source and Substance:

  • Scientific name: Salmonella serotype Enteritidis [SE].
    • Synonyms: Salmonella enteritidis [Gaertner] Castellani and Chalmers. Bacillus Gaertner.
    • Family: Enterobacteriaceae.
    • Order: Enterobacteriales. Class: Gammaproteobacteria. Phylum: Proteobacteria.
    • This species of Salmonella was first isolated as Bacillus enteritidis in 1888 by the German bacteriologist A. Gaertner from the flesh of an emergency-slaughtered cow and from the spleen of a man poisoned by eating meat obtained from it.
    • Part of the genus Salmonella, which are rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria.
    • One of the most common serotypes of Salmonella bacteria reported worldwide.


A case of coeliac disease with a high grade of malnutrition cured with a new non-lactose fermenting nosode of the bowel (by W. B Griggs) in The Homeopathic Recorder, 1939

Bacillus Gaertner (Bach) for Gastroenteritis coeliac disease

  • I wish to report an unusual case of celiac disease with a high grade of malnutrition which has been of unusual interest to me, because of the most thorough scientific examination this child received before I saw it and which demonstrated that careful scientific feeding and hygiene can go just so far but cannot remove or change the character of the soil upon which the child has been made.
  • The patient, a male and only child, three and a half years old, who came from very intellectual parents about forty years of age when the child was born. They are both living but physically frail. The birth was normal. The child has been artificially fed since birth. Dentition began at the eighth month and was particularly difficult; during the eruption of the canine teeth he developed what was diagnosed as a very severe case of gastroenteritis from which has never fully recovered. Although always below weight, he has never seemed to gain or if he did he would lose it with every acute upset. There is not history of any of the other acute illnesses of early childhood.
  • Physical examination May 1, 1936: John S. age 3 years, 7 months. Weight 27 lbs. 2 oz. Sallow complexion. A very thin anaemic child; somewhat flabby tissue with loss of turgor and tonus of tissue and poor musculature. Skin wrinkled and dehydrated. Head well developed, good shape. Mentally quite bright. Abdomen distended. Tongue coated; breath offensive; the hands and feet were cold. Head was sweating. No evidence of rickets in osseous system. Temperature subnormal.
  • The stool examined was a soft fecal mass, offensive; consistency of soft salve with little mucus, acid reaction, with fat curds and calcium soaps. For the past month have been only three times daily, sometimes one when the child seemed to be improved but constantly relapses. Mother says child is restless at night. The mother had several laboratory reports of blood and urine. The blood picture showed a mild secondary anaemia and the blood calcium was reduced.
  • Blood Wassermann and Kahn were negative.
  • Mantoux tuberculin test was negative.
  • This case, as you can see by the history, was nearly two years old and had been correctly diagnosed by one of our ablest paediatricians as celiac disease or chronic intestinal indigestion. As this was the first time the mother consulted a physician for homoeopathic treatment, I asked her to go home and carefully recall what genuine symptoms the child complained of and what she had observed for several months back, if possible.
  • On the general symptoms given, namely, an emaciated child with an unhealthy skin, redness of the mucocutaneous borders, the catnap sleep, sudden spells of hot skin, the changeable stools with the characteristic offensive odor which clung to the child, and also to bring out suppressed or new symptoms, I prescribed Sulphur 500 four doses and continued the same diet and general regime but no other medication of any kind.
  • May 14, 1936. Mother reports child has slept better; no other changes.
  • May 28. About the same; no worse. Sac. Lac.
  • June 10. Child no better and stools much more frequent. Diet adjusted. Sulphur 10M.
  • June 20. Reports stool better, less offensive. Sleep is better. No loss of weight. Sac. lac.
  • July 2. Stools have lost their bad odor; the best in a year. Child had gained seventeen ounces. Enjoys playing outside. Sac. lac.
  • September 1. Mother has reported several times. Stools are better. Child has made a progressive gain in weight; has gained one and one-half pounds, which is most significant.
  • September 15. Mother reports babys condition changed. No gain in weight for the past two weeks. Profuse sweating on the head. Sour odor. Feet cold and damp. Bowels frequent. Chemical examination of stool shows calcium soap and fatty acids. Abdomen quite distended. Calcarea carb. 200.
  • October 15. Began to gain weight. Stools normal, two daily. Sleeps well. Sweat less, feet warm and dry. Sac. lac.
  • December 1. Again another slump. No gain in weight for the last ten days; lost three ounces. Increase in sweating of the head. Stool more frequent with increase of flatulence. Calcarea carb. 10M.
  • January 2, 1937. Mother reports this month the baby gained two pounds. No sweating for the past two weeks. Sour odor has left stools and also child. Stools are soft, smooth and well digested. Now for the first time she believes the child is on the straight road to recovery. Sac. lac.
  • March 16. Mother reported to the office with child; they live about 150 miles away from Philadelphia. The report is that the child went bad about four days ago; began to get restless; refused diet, or seemed filled up and pushed it away after taking a few mouthfuls. Has lost two pounds in last four days. Seems to show most loss of weight, if not all, in the face, neck and shoulders. The face is a pale yellow, sallow or gray color. Abdomen is distended with noisy gas and the bowels have become loose -- five to six stools per day. Most of the stools occur in the early evening from about 5 to 8 p. m. His nights are restless. Awakens irritable and frightened and is quite angry. After a careful study I prescribed Lycopodium 500, six doses. There was no response for two days. Then he began to sleep quite soundly and the flatulence decreased and in the course of seven days bowels were reduced to two stools daily, and were quite normal. The weight was stationary for the last four days. His mother took him back home, of course with plenty of Sac. lac.
  • March 26. Five days after leaving me she reported child was holding his own; no more digestive upsets; sleeps well, stools normal; but no gain in weight.
  • April 2. Mother reports child has been quite well until last night, when he awoke cross and crying. Stools normal. Sac. lac.
  • April 9. Mother reports child has been losing some ground for the last three days; his nights are restless. Flatulence worse, much rolling of gas in intestines. Stools very loose. Lycopodium 10M., one dose.
  • April 16. Mother reports slow improvement; nights quiet, flatulence gone; stools better, only three daily.
  • April 23. Report indicates patient is generally improving; looks better, sleeping well; bowels practically normal. Made the first gain in weight since March 16. Sac. lac.
  • April 30. Mother writes: "I feel relieved, for I believe the child is improving in every way." Sac. lac.
  • May 7. Mother writes the child is doing well in every way; gained twenty ounces in the last two weeks; keeping strict diet regulations. Sac. lac.
  • May 12. Received an urgent message to come to a local hotel to see the patient. When I came, the mother scolded me and accused me of sending a medicine four days ago which almost killed her child. That prescription which I sent was Sac. lac. Furthermore she told me she would not leave the city until I had made some definite improvement in her child. The patient had relapsed with a complicated mess of symptoms. A profuse painless diarrhoea with much exhaustion, etc., for which I prescribed China off. 30.
  • I could see no reason why the apparently well selected remedies did not help or cure. The mother had thought on several occasions that the child was cured. I recalled the advice of the late Dr. H. C. Allen, who told me nearly forty years ago at one of our meetings, "When the well selected remedy does not improve or cure, dont forget to consult your nosode;" and having had an almost marvelous result in my new field of research, namely, the non-lactose intestinal bacillus nosode (for which I must thank Dr. John Paterson of Glasgow, Scotland, whose yeoman work in this field, along with his valuable letters, has helped me so much) I began to study the four prominent nosodes which I have used, and decided on Gaertner Co.
  • It was prescribed because of the poorly developed musculature of the body and limbs; his hyperesthesia to all impressions, both psychical and physical; the attacks occurring at various points of time; his inability to absorb fats and his pathological diagnosis, celiac disease or intestinal infantilism.
  • I prescribed Gaertner Co. with hopes, and watched this patient daily as his condition was almost as bad as when I took the case. His whole reaction was different to this nosode -- somewhat slow but it held, and after two weeks on Gaertner Co. he was taken home May 25, 1937. On this date he was hungry and eating well his prescribed diet. The bowels were returning to normal. In regular cycles of a month or two there were some minor upsets. Then the remedy was repeated either in the same or higher potency. He was brought to see me on New Years Day, 1938, and has gained nineteen pounds. He looked the picture of health, and was eating practically everything. On this visit he received his last dose of medicine, and he is now in wonderful physical condition and is active and apparently healthy as any child can be or need be. The parents say he has been made over -- thanks to Gaertner Co. 30,200 and 1000.