Food Poisoning: What it is and How to Recover

May 30, 2022

Food poisoning is inevitable. Most of us have experienced it at least once in our life or have been near someone who has.

It is brought on by contaminated food by bacteria, virus, parasite or other toxins. Symptoms can occur quickly, within 6-24 hours, or even up to six days depending on the culprit. 

Over many centuries, our digestive system has become familiar with the variety of pathogens causing food poisoning. This familiarity has taught our digestive system to work towards safety and prevention. This means, in order for the body to remove the foreign pathogen quickly without greater effect on the entirety of the digestive system, regurgitation or vomiting must occur.

Chinese medicine & Food poisoning

In Chinese medicine, we learn that purging is normal and necessary. We can induce downward purging to the bowels or through urination with herbs and acupuncture.

Upward purging is considered rebellious Stomach Qi. The Stomach Qi naturally descends, as it does in western physiology. When the Stomach Qi rebels, the flow is reversed and such symptoms as acid regurgitation, burping, hiccuping, and vomiting occur.

Rebellious Stomach Qi can be corrected with acupuncture or acupressure, food and herbal therapy. However, often times in the case of intense rebellious Stomach Qi, we must allow the body to rebel and expel, while focusing our efforts on repair.

My most recent experience with food poisoning inspired this post. Below I share what I did to repair my body after the trauma of intense rebellious Stomach Qi.

My food poisoning experience

Well, that wasn’t fun, over 24 hours of purging food poisoning. Besides the obvious, it also caused nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, intestinal cramping, headaches, hot flashes, and heart palpitations.

At first notice of nausea, I took Chinese digestive herbs. I was hoping the herbs would be enough.

After 10-15 minutes, some of the nausea dissipated, but something still wasn’t right. I could feel a large bulge accumulating near my sternum. That’s when I knew the body needed to purge, nothing was going to get in its way.

Then, the storm hit and I had to let my organs and channel systems do their thing. It hurt. I was pale, sweaty, and in disbelief.

Sleep. More sleep and more purging. It all seemed to end about 24 hours later.

Severely dehydrated and needing food, I had to ease my way back in.


Room temp water: one glass with water only, and one glass of lemon water

Naps. The body heals when we sleep

Toast with ghee and salt

Vegetable capsules, iodine

Bone broth with 1/8 cup chicken and 1/8 cup rice

Defrosted frozen blueberries. Any berry will do. More on the healing benefits of blueberries below.

Coconut water

Evening: gentle stretching


Morning: water, stretch routine, vegetable capsules, iodine

Acupressure then received an acupuncture treatment

Bone broth again with 1/4 cup chicken and 1/8 cup rice

More frozen blueberries

More coconut water and more naps

Dinner: steamed potatoes with well-cooked lentils

Evening snack: more coconut water and blueberries

Bedtime: magnesium glycinate, iodine

Day 3

Mostly back to normal

Morning: water, stretch routine, probiotic, vegetable capsules, iodine

Able to tolerate a variety of steamed vegetables like cauliflower and potatoes. Ate a small portion of lean beef.

Continued with coconut water

Snack: bone broth and rice

Slow paced 1-mile walk

Dinner: chicken with steamed vegetables (cauliflower and green beans) and potatoes

Evening: magnesium glycinate, iodine

In these types of situations, warm cooked bland foods help us heal.

As they reduce stress on the digestive system from having to break down food completely from its raw form.


  • Raw cold foods and drinks like ice cold water, smoothies and green juices
  • Processed foods
  • High sodium foods and drinks
  • Nuts  and other high fats
  • Creamy foods such as dairy, yogurt, oatmeal, milks (including nut milks) and cheese
  • Sugary drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks

Healing benefits of blueberries & potatoes


  • For hydration, cleansing, and detoxifying

  • Excellent source of glucose and gentle fiber

  • Cooling, clears heat from the body

  • Nourish yin, vital fluids, and essential moisture, especially for Kidney yin

  • Aids in rebuilding tissue and stabilizing the body system after trauma


  • Decreases all inflammation

  • Neutralizes the body’s acids

  • Tonifies/ strengthens Qi/energy of the whole body, especially the Spleen and Stomach.

  • Harmonizes Stomach and lubricates intestines

  • Supportive, nourishing, and nurturing to our Earth element (Spleen, Stomach, Pancreas)

  • High in potassium to balance salt and acid in the body

  • High Vitamin C to reestablish immunity

  • Eat the skin as it high in vitamins and minerals

Acupressure points

*Put the point name into Google Image search for the location on the body

  • Spleen 9
  • Spleen 6
  • Stomach 36
  • Pericardium 6
  • Gallbladder 41
  • Conception vessel 12
  • Governing vessel 20
Food poisoning is trauma to the body, particularly the digestive system. When there is trauma, we want to nurture, support, and reintroduce food, beverages, spices, herbs, and lifestyle activities slowly.
Take your time. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s ready for more variety and substance.

Suffering is temporary, but repair must be slow and steady. like any wound, it heals in stages.

Click here for more on food poisoning from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

I hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a reply down below.

As always, stay curious!


Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.