Vomiting and nausea are not illnesses — they are really just common complaints that can go along with many diseases and conditions. The problems caused by nausea and vomiting, however, can sometimes be serious. Nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, flu, or cancer therapy can result in loss of water and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration.
The good news is that the unmistakable, unpleasant, queasy feeling in your throat or stomach that may result in vomiting is actually a message sent by your brain. It tells you that something isn’t right. Sometimes this is beneficial, like when you have food poisoning. Sometimes nausea can just be a big pain in the stomach with no useful purpose — and that’s when an alternative remedy can come to the rescue.
In one clinical trial, researchers wanted to find out which alternative remedy could be considered an optimal treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. They stressed that optimal treatment should begin with non-pharmacological approaches. After analyzing various treatments, the research team found that the use of ginger, acupressure, vitamin B6, and dietary adjustments were most beneficial. They also recommended these treatments because they were noninvasive, inexpensive, and safe.
Top Natural Treatments for Nausea
- Maintain adequate hydration and electrolyte levels, drinking at least two liters of water a day.
- Avoid an empty stomach at all times, with small frequent meals every one to two hours, consisting of bland foods throughout the day.
- Avoid a “too-full” stomach (e.g. don’t mix solids with liquid and avoid large meals and very fatty food).
- Avoid strong-tasting, odorous foods (e.g. spicy, metallic tastes)
- Snack on nuts and high-protein foods between meals.
- Consume ice chips, popsicles, and very cold beverages to help reduce the metallic taste in your mouth.
- Eat simple, dry carbohydrates (e.g., crackers, biscuits) prior to getting out of bed in the morning.
Other recommendations from the study include shortening food preparation time, allowing food to digest before lying down, eating more of the foods that are appealing to you, eating in a place that is comfortable, avoiding warm, odorous places, drinking half an hour before or after but not during meals, drinking a cup of herbal tea with honey (e.g., peppermint or chamomile), and wearing comfortable clothes. They also found that brushing your teeth after a meal, drinking peppermint tea, or sucking on peppermint candy could relieve nausea.
One more bit of health advice: use acupressure or ginger the next time you feel nauseous. The research team found that acupressure was a safe, inexpensive, and noninvasive way to help reduce symptoms of nausea. Likewise, ginger was found to be an effective and inexpensive natural remedy for nausea and should be considered as a first-line treatment.