Whether you’re dealing with morning sickness, motion sickness or are sensitive to strong smells, nausea is a common sensation many of us have experienced. Nausea leads to uneasiness and discomfort in the stomach and can be accompanied by vomiting or the urge to vomit. The best way to calm nausea is to stop it in its tracks as soon as you feel a bout coming on. We’ve rounded up 10 natural nausea remedies to help you get relief faster.
10 Common Causes of Nausea
1. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
3. Food poisoning
4. Morning sickness
5. Car sickness or other types of motion sickness
6. Severe pain or hunger
7. Being exposed to chemical toxins
8. Emotional stress, such as fear
9. Particular smells or odours
10. Chemotherapy treatment
When to See a Doctor
Although nausea typically isn’t serious, you should contact your doctor if your nausea lasts for more than a week (unless you’re pregnant and dealing with morning sickness). Call your doctor if vomiting occurs with your nausea for more than two days or if you have bouts of nausea that last for longer than one month. Seek prompt medical attention if nausea and vomiting are accompanied by chest pain, headaches, severe abdominal pain or cramping, blurred vision, high fever, rectal bleeding or fecal material or odour in the vomit.
8 Things That Make Nausea Worse
1. Eating sweet, fatty, fried or spicy foods
2. Drinking milk, coffee or caffeinated tea
3. Drinking alcohol or smoking
4. Not eating anything at all
5. Not staying hydrated
6. Sitting in the backseat of a vehicle
7. Lying down flat on your back
8. Strong smells and odours
10 Natural Nausea Remedies
1. Bland Foods
When you’re nauseous, the last thing you want to do is experiment with rich, flavourful foods. Stick to bland foods like toasted white bread, mashed potatoes, crackers, bananas, white rice, plain white pasta or pretzels. A blander diet can relieve nausea and decrease the likelihood of an upset stomach.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can make nausea worse. Sip small amounts of fluid throughout the day and try to drink about 8 cups of fluid per day. Drink cold, clear, carbonated beverages like ginger ale, lemonade and water. If your nausea is accompanied by vomiting, replace lost fluids with electrolyte-rich drinks like sports drinks or coconut water.
Ginger is one of the most popular natural nausea remedies. It’s thought to get its medicinal properties from gingerol, the main component in fresh ginger, and has anti-inflammatory properties that may improve digestion and help calm your body and reduce nausea. Ginger has been found to be effective at reducing nausea in various situations, such as morning sickness and chemotherapy. You can eat the root fresh, sip on ginger tea, use ginger supplements or try crystallized ginger (just note it comes with quite a bit of added sugar).
Peppermint is another well known nausea remedy. It has a calming and numbing effect and is used to soothe upset stomachs and aid in digestion. When you feel a bout of nausea coming on, sip some peppermint tea or chew on peppermint gum. Peppermint oil also has a soothing effect and may relax the gastric muscles to keep them from cramping up or over-contracting.
5. Deep Breathing
Slow, deep breathing can help reduce nausea, especially if nausea is caused by nervous tension. Breath work leads to feelings of calm, control and relaxation, helping you cope with some of the physical implications of nausea. Try the following breathing pattern: Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold your breath for 3 seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat.
6. Handful of Nuts
A lack of protein can make nausea feel worse, so make sure your meals are made up of protein-rich foods, rather than carbohydrates. High protein foods that are easy to digest, such as nuts, will quickly replenish your depleted energy and keep your nausea at bay. The protein and healthy fats found in nuts work particularly well for nausea from excessive hunger, low blood pressure or pregnancy.
7. Chicken Broth
Low fat chicken broth is another great way to soothe your symptoms when you’re nauseated. It’s a good source of nutrients that’s easy to digest, and if you’re experiencing vomiting along with nausea, the sodium in the broth helps promote hydration.
Lemon contains neutralizing acids, which create bicarbonate acids in your stomach, helping to soothe an upset tummy. Lemon, along with peppermint and ginger are known to calm the stomach because of how the flavours distract from the brain. Lemon also helps cure your body of toxins. Toss some lemon slices into water or inhale the scent of a fresh lemon to help with nausea.
9. Liquorice Root Tea
Liquorice root tea has been found to help treat nausea due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some of these properties can help protect against the formation of ulcers that can lead to nausea. Liquorice root extract is often used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, soothe the stomach and alleviate nausea.
Chamomile tea can relax your digestive muscles to help relieve nausea and vomiting. Chamomile is associated with relaxation due to its high concentration of apigenin and is known to be one of the most soothing teas out there. If you’re pregnant, consult your healthcare provider before drinking chamomile tea.
If you’ve been dealing with nausea, try out these natural remedies to feel better faster!