Salmonella are a group of bacteria that cause a wide spectrum of diseases. They are capable of causing significant morbidity, and in some cases, mortality, in both humans and animals. It can cause foodborne infections. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, headache, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. Symptoms can occur from 6 to 72 hours after being infected.

Figures such as: 36,000,000 pounds of Salmonella-contaminated ground turkey in the United States; a deadly new strain of E. coli in Europe that killed 49 people; the massive recall of salmonella-tainted peanut butter in 2009; All of that and more, with an industrialized food system that can potentially spread pathogens to all corners of the world, you never know when you will be exposed to toxic bacteria in food. However, there are ways you can help protect against salmonella and E. coli naturally.

How Salmonella Contamination Happens

Salmonella infection usually occurs when a person eats food contaminated with the feces of animals or humans that have the bacteria. Salmonella outbreaks are commonly associated with eggs, meat, and poultry, but these bacteria can also contaminate other foods such as fruits and vegetables. Foods most likely to contain Salmonella include raw or undercooked eggs, raw milk, contaminated water, and raw or undercooked meats.

Salmonella is generally divided into two categories. Nontyphoidal Salmonella is the most common form, and it is carried by humans and animals. Most Salmonella serotypes, such as Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella javiana, cause nontyphoidal Salmonella. Typhoid Salmonella, which causes typhoid fever, is rare, and is caused by Salmonella Typhi, which is made only by humans.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection

The symptoms of Salmonella infection, or salmonellosis, vary widely, and are sometimes absent altogether. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

Typical symptoms of Salmonella infection appear 6 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food and last 3 to 7 days without treatment.

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever from 38 ° C to 39 ° C

Additional symptoms:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Body pain

Typhoid fever symptoms appear 8 to 14 days after eating contaminated food and last 3 to 60 days. They include a fever of 40 ° C, weakness, lethargy, abdominal pain, cough, nosebleeds, delirium, and enlarged organs. Typhoid fever is a serious illness that can lead to death.

Complications of Salmonella

Complications of salmonella poisoning are more likely to occur among young children and people over 65 years of age. Possible complications include:

Reactive arthritis: Reactive arthritis is believed to occur in 2 to 15 percent of Salmonella patients. Symptoms include inflammation of the joints, eyes, or reproductive or urinary organs. On average, symptoms appear 18 days after infection.

Focal infection : A focal infection occurs when Salmonella bacteria take root in body tissues and cause diseases such as arthritis or endocarditis. It is caused by a unique Salmonella typhi.

Treatment for Salmonella

Infections with this bacteria generally last 3 to 7 days, and often do not require treatment. People who are severely dehydrated may need rehydration through an IV.

Antibiotics are recommended for people at risk for invasive disease, including infants less than three months old. Typhoid fever is treated with a 14-day course of antibiotics.

Unfortunately, the treatment of Salmonella has become more difficult as it has become more resistant to antibiotics. Finding the right antibiotic for a case of Salmonella is crucial to treating this bacterial infection.

Introduce probiotics before you get sick

Although probiotics can be consumed during illness, maximum resistance to foodborne illness results from continued consumption of directly grown foods. In fact, some studies have shown that introducing certain probiotics after the body has been infected with salmonella improves healing. You can consult the 10 things you did not know about beneficial bacteria for the body , consult the importance of intestinal flora in our health, and how probiotics are a solution in celiac disease.


  1. Probiotics reduce the levels of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella by producing metabolic end products that inhibit or antagonize them. These compounds include hydrogen peroxide, lactic and acetic acids. **
  2. Inhibit levels of microbial pathogens: L. acidophilus can inhibit pathogens by lowering the pH in the intestines. The production of organic acids effectively lowers intestinal pH to a level that is beneficial to good bacteria and destructive to pathogens.
  3. They protect the immune system. Some research shows that L. bulgaricus and L. Casei are truly effective strains for this function.
  4. They prevent the creation of harmful fungi and parasites: L. acidophilus and B. bifidus, aggressively adhere to the walls of the colon. In this way, they can inhibit Candida albicans, bacteria and the parasite Giardia lamblia.
  5. Reduce levels of toxic byproducts: Harmful bacteria can produce toxins, such as indole, skatole, and methane because of their metabolic reaction to certain foods. Reducing their numbers can decrease toxin levels in the colon.
  6. The meat industry is beginning to take notice of this, and introducing probiotics to chickens and pigs to reduce the incidence of salmonella.

What do I do if I am already sick with Salmonella?

The most important way to prevent salmonella poisoning is to practice hygiene in the kitchen. However, if you are already infected, you can alleviate milder symptoms with natural methods. For example, one of them is to avoid food, as long as the symptoms are very acute, with this you will be “starving” the bacteria and prevent them from multiplying even more.

It is extremely important: drink plenty of fluids such as tea and water to replace lost fluids. In addition, the application of heat with a hot water bottle and a peppermint oil compress has an antispasmodic effect.

See a doctor if you have bloody diarrhea, high fever or are unable to keep fluids down, you may need special antibiotics.

Natural methods to treat Salmonella

Take herbal teas

If you know you are dealing with a bacterial illness, the Herbal Antibiotics book recommends the following if you want to put a natural, holistic spin on treatment:

  • Herbs for the treatment of E. Coli – Goldenseal, garlic, eucalyptus, cryptolepsis, juniper, acacia, sage, grapefruit seed extract and ginger.
  • Herbs for the treatment of Salmonella – Garlic, eucalyptus, wormwood, juniper, goldenseal, sage, ginger, acacia, grapefruit seed extract, Terminalia spp, Punica spp.


If you have diarrhea, you should fast for one to three days (unless you are hypoglycemic). Take only sips of unsweetened herbal tea, such as those mentioned above. On the fourth day, it is recommended to eat apple. Eat no more than 1.5 kilograms of organic grated red apples (about nine apples) in five meals over the course of a day. After the fifth day, switch to an oatmeal atole or rice cereal.

When acute symptoms have subsided, start eating a bland diet (not salty, spicy, greasy, or carbonated foods) of many small meals, rather than a few rich meals. Try to eat plenty of steamed vegetables and avoid animal products.

Peppermint oil compress for abdominal cramps

A compress with peppermint oil has an antispasmodic effect on the body and therefore relieves abdominal cramps. Rub 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil on the abdomen and cover with warm clothing or a flannel cloth. Rest in bed, leaving the compress in place for several hours. For further improvement, place a hot water bottle on top of the compress.

Replace lost minerals with diet

After the acute symptoms of the infection have subsided, follow a diet of mineral-rich foods and sparkling mineral water in order to replenish the lost minerals. Mineral-rich foods include seaweed, miso soup, and herbal teas, such as oatmeal, horsetail, nettle, and alfalfa. Vegetable juices of carrots and celery are also well tolerated.

Medicinal tea recipe for salmonella

This herbal blend makes a tea that inhibits inflammation and has a disinfecting effect.

  • 30 grams of camomile
  • 30 grams thyme
  • 150 grs. yarrow (yarrow)
  • 40 grams grated licorice root
  • 30 grams grated astragalus root

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day.

Honey from bees as a natural antibiotic

Researchers attending the First World Wound Healing Congress in Melbourne, Australia, learned that honey (in its pure form) has outperformed conventional antibiotics in treating burns and incisions from infected cesarean sections.

Honey can eradicate Salmonella, E. Coli, and Helicobacter Pylori and even kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria , including the superbug MRSA, from hospitals.

Not all types of honey work well. The most effective are Manuka honey from New Zealand and bush jelly honey from Australia. These varieties are believed to release hydrogen peroxide, which is deadly to microbes.

Dr Peter Molan of the University of Waikato in New Zealand has found that taking a teaspoon of Manuka honey on an empty stomach could be a natural aid in eradicating the H. pylori bacteria, which cause most stomach ulcers.

How to avoid Salmonella gives the following USDA recommendations for avoiding salmonella:

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, dishes, etc., with hot soapy water before handling food.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, and fish from other foods in your refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate promptly
  • Wooden cutting boards instead of plastic ones, as they are naturally antibacterial.
  • Wash your hands before preparing food and after handling raw meats.
  • Cook meat and eggs until they reach an internal temperature of 160 F (71 C).
  • Do not eat foods that contain eggs or raw milk, such as undercooked French toast.
  • Avoid cooking raw meat in the microwave, as it cannot reach an internal temperature high enough to kill Salmonella bacteria and can be cooked unevenly.
  • Avoid bringing raw meat into contact with food that will not be cooked (ie salad).
  • Wash hands with soap after handling reptiles or animal feces.
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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