Tips to Avoiding a Thanksgiving Cluster Pluck

By Karen Sullivan HOM, DHMS

It is almost time to send out the invitations and pre-order your bird/tofurkey. 

Tips to Avoiding a Thanksgiving Cluster Pluck

School has resumed, the leaves are beginning to amber and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Every good host(ess) knows that great food is key to creating a memorable event. Here are some important tips to help you avoid a party fowl:

1.     Food Storage should always be considered.  Often the refrigerator is jam packed with ingredients and it is very important that there is enough space to properly refrigerate your entrée. Fresh turkey must be refrigerated right up until cook-time!

2.     Avoid purchasing pre-stuffed turkeys. If food handling safety has not been followed, bacteria may be in the stuffing that will reproduce quickly and infect your guests, leaving you as culprit of the ultimate of party fowl! If you do choose a pre-stuffed turkey, food safety guidelines suggest cooking it from a frozen state to avoid this risk.

3.     Sanitize your cooking area, tools, and hands before preparing food. 

4.     The recommended internal food safety temperature for a turkey is 165 F and the stuffing should also read this same temperature. Always check the thickest part of the bird with your cooking thermometer.  

5.     If you are sending guests home with leftovers remind them that this same 165 F temperature should be reached when they are reheating your masterpiece.

Food left at undesirable temperatures or improperly prepared can leave your guests at risk of ingesting bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, or Campylobacter.  Do you know the signs to look out for?

Food poisoning signs differ dependant on bacteria type however a general list includes:

·      Vomiting

·      Diarrhea

·      Abdominal cramping

·      Headache

·      Low-grade fever

·      Fatigue

·      Loss of appetite


Gastroenteritis typically lasts 24-48 hours. It is important to know that food poisoning can become fatal. If the patient has a high fever, blood in urine/feces, dehydration, vomiting, or diarrhea lasting longer than three days, steps should be taken to have them immediately admitted to an emergency room for treatment. All caretakers must be on-top of sanitization, frequently washing their hands to avoid spreading bacteria. 

A handful of Homeopathic remedies to contemplate are:

Arsenicum album is a remedy to consider especially if the contaminated food was fish, meat, or melon. Patients who benefit from arsenicum can feel cold but at the same time experience burning diarrhea and/or burning stomach pains. They are thirsty for small sips of water. There is often diarrhea and vomiting.

Pulsatilla is a remedy to consider if fish was the felon. The pulsatilla patient desires fresh air and is worse in warm stuffy rooms. They are known to display needy behaviour and will feel better when given attention from their caregiver.

Lycopodium may be just what the doctor ordered if the gastroenteritis can be traced back to shellfish or oysters.

Colocynthis patients are often doubled-over in pain from severe abdominal cramping.  Pains are cutting, colicky and these patients find some relief through applying external pressure.

China officinalis is a go-to for traveller’s diarrhea. It is known to help in cases caused by unsanitary water, or from consuming bacteria via meat/fruit. Patients needing this remedy will be exhausted from episodes of diarrhea but will not be in any pain.

When using homeopathic remedies for first aid conditions it is often appropriate to begin treatment with a 30CH potency. Water dosing is an efficient way to administer the indicated remedy because patients are already frequently sipping water to rehydrate. Vivienne Rawnsley and Judith Scott created a poster that can act as a quick reference entitled First Aid Homeopathy. 

What patient wouldn’t want a gastroenteritis episode to be over quickly? You can support healing by adding natrum muraticum tissue salt to your treatment plan. This water distributing tissue salt is useful in assisting patients through the rehydration phase. Tissue salts work at the cellular level and can be taken along with fluids, or electrolytes to increase the individuals overall fluid absorption. 

Natural homeopathic options support the immune system and help to expedite recovery for many first aid conditions. Medicines should be taken under the guidance of a registered homeopath. Always remember patients need to remain hydrated throughout any at home treatment. If you are not able to achieve oral hydration in-time, they will require a visit to the emergency room. Continually be on alert for signs of dehydration since it is a life-threatening condition and can not go untreated.

Signs to look for are:


·      dark urine

·      little to no urine

·      dry mouth

·      thirsty

·      fainting

·      fatigue

·      fever

·      headache

·      crying without tear production.

If the patient is experiencing these symptoms or has had diarrhea for more than three days, they must be taken to the emergency room or you may call 911 for emergency assistance. We hope you never have to use any of these remedies, but they are truly a blessing when used appropriately and kept on hand.

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