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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Nausea

Nausea is something most people are familiar with. It is never
pleasant and can arise in a variety of situations, including
pregnancy and travel.

Anti-nausea medications are commonly used to help relieve it.
Unfortunately, such medications can have negative side effects
of their own, including drowsiness.

Here are 17 home remedies that help you get rid of nausea
without using medications.

1. Eat Ginger

Husband Comforting His Nauseous Wife

Ginger
is a popular natural remedy commonly used to treat nausea.

The way it works is not yet fully understood. However, experts
believe that compounds in ginger may work in a similar way to
anti-nausea medications (1, 2).

In fact, several studies agree that ginger is effective at
reducing nausea in various situations.

For instance, consuming ginger may be an effective way to
reduce nausea during
pregnancy
(3, 4, 5, 6).

Ginger may also be effective at reducing the nausea people
commonly experience after chemotherapy treatment or an
operation (2, 7, 8, 9).

Some studies even report ginger to be as effective as some
prescription medications, with fewer negative side effects
(10, 11).

There is no consensus regarding the most effective dosage, but
most of the studies above provided participants with 0.5 to 1.5
grams of dried ginger root per day.

Ginger use is safe for most people. However, you may need to
limit your ginger intake if you’re prone to low blood pressure
or low blood sugar, or if you’re taking blood thinners
(1).

Some experts also question the safety of eating dried ginger
during pregnancy (1).

While there are only a small number of studies on ginger, the
ones performed on healthy pregnant women report a low risk of
side effects. Thus, most experts consider ginger to be a safe,
effective remedy during pregnancy (3, 12, 13, 14).

Summary: A daily dose of ginger may be an
effective alternative to anti-nausea medications in a variety
of situations, including during pregnancy and after
chemotherapy or an operation.

2. Peppermint Aromatherapy

Peppermint Oil in a Small Bottle

Peppermint aromatherapy
is another alternative likely to help reduce nausea.

One study assessed its effects in women who had just given
birth by C-section.

Those exposed to a peppermint smell rated their level of nausea
significantly lower than those given anti-nausea medications or
a placebo (15).

In another study, peppermint aromatherapy was effective at
reducing nausea in 57% of cases (16).

In a third study, using an inhaler containing peppermint oil at
the onset of nausea reduced symptoms — within two minutes of
treatment — in 44% of cases (17).

Some propose that sipping on a cup of peppermint tea may have
similar anti-nausea effects. Yet while you have little to lose
by giving peppermint tea a try, there are currently no studies
that confirm its effectiveness.

Peppermint oil taken in pill form has shown mixed results. Some
studies show benefits, while others find no effects (18, 19).

What’s more, little information exists on the safety of
ingesting peppermint oil.

For this reason, more studies on peppermint pills are needed
before strong conclusions can be made. However, smelling
peppermint oil should be perfectly safe and seems to work in
about half of people.

Summary: Smelling peppermint oil at the
onset of nausea may help reduce your symptoms.

3. Try Acupuncture or Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure are two techniques commonly used in
traditional Chinese medicine to treat nausea and vomiting.

During acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into specific
points on the body. Acupressure aims to stimulate the same
points of the body, but uses pressure instead of needles to do
so.

Both techniques stimulate nerve fibers, which transmit signals
to the brain and spinal cord. These signals are thought to have
the ability to decrease nausea (20, 21).

For instance, two recent reviews report that acupuncture and
acupressure reduce the risk of developing nausea after an
operation by 28–75% (22, 23).

What’s more, studies show that both forms are as effective as
anti-nausea medications at reducing symptoms, with virtually no
negative side effects (23).

Similarly, two other reviews report that acupressure lowers the
severity of nausea and the risk of developing it after
chemotherapy (24, 25).

There is also some evidence that acupuncture may reduce nausea
during pregnancy, but more research is needed on this (26).

Most studies that report a benefit stimulated the Neiguan acupuncture point, also known as the P6
(27).

You can stimulate this nerve on your own simply by placing your
thumb 2–3 finger widths down from your inner wrist, between the
two prominent tendons.

Here is a picture showing how you can find this point
yourself.

Once you’ve located it, press down with your thumb for about
one minute before repeating the same procedure on your other
arm. Repeat if needed.

Summary: Acupuncture and acupressure are two
scientifically proven techniques to reduce nausea.

4. Slice a Lemon

Lemon Slice

Citrusy smells, such as those from a freshly sliced lemon, may
help reduce nausea in pregnant women.

In one study, a group of 100 pregnant women were instructed to
inhale either lemon or almond essential oils as soon as they
felt nausea.

At the end of the 4-day study, those in the lemon group rated
their nausea up to 9% lower than those given the almond oil
placebo (28).

Slicing a lemon or simply scratching its peel may work in a
similar way because it helps release its essential oils into
the air. A vial of lemon essential oil may be a practical
alternative to use when you’re away from home.

Summary: Citrusy smells, whether from a
freshly cut lemon or from store-bought essential oils, may
help reduce pregnancy-related nausea.

5. Control Your Breathing

Taking slow, deep breaths can also help reduce nausea.

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In one study, researchers attempted to determine which
aromatherapy scent was most effective at reducing nausea
following surgery.

They instructed participants to breathe in slowly through the
nose and exhale through the mouth three times, while exposed to
various scents (29).

All participants, including those in the placebo group,
reported a decrease in nausea. This made the researchers
suspect that the controlled breathing may have provided the
relief (29).

In a second study, researchers confirmed that aromatherapy and
controlled breathing both independently relieve nausea. In this
study, the controlled breathing reduced it in 62% of cases
(16).

The breathing pattern used in this last study required
participants to inhale through their nose to a count of three,
hold their breath to a count of three, then exhale to a count
of three (16).

Summary: Specific controlled breathing
techniques are a free and effective home remedy for nausea.

6. Use Certain Spices

Several spices
are popular home remedies often recommended to combat nausea.

Most of these spices are supported solely by anecdotal
evidence. However, the nausea-fighting power of these three
spices is backed by some scientific evidence:

  • Fennel powder: May reduce menstrual
    symptoms, including nausea, and help women experience shorter
    periods (30).
  • Cinnamon: May reduce the severity of nausea
    that women experience during menstruation (31).
  • Cumin extract: May help improve symptoms
    such as abdominal pain, nausea, constipation and diarrhea in
    individuals suffering from IBS (32).

Although these three spices may help relieve nausea in certain
individuals, very few studies exist and more are needed before
strong conclusions can be drawn.

It’s also worth noting that the studies above used doses
ranging from 180–420 mg per day. These mega-doses are difficult
to achieve through normal, everyday use of these spices.

Summary: Certain spices may successfully
reduce the frequency or severity of nausea. However, large
doses may be required and more studies are needed to confirm
these effects.

7. Try Relaxing Your Muscles

Relaxing your muscles may help relieve nausea.

One technique people have used to achieve this effect is known
as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). It
requires individuals to tense and relax their muscles in a
continuous sequence as a way to achieve physical and mental
relaxation (33).

One recent review found that PMR is an effective way to reduce
the severity of nausea resulting from chemotherapy (34).

Another way to relieve muscle tension is through massage.

In one study, a group of chemotherapy patients were given a
20-minute lower arm or lower leg massage during their
treatment.

Compared to those given no massage, the massaged participants
were about 24% less likely to get nauseous afterward (35).

Summary: Relaxing your muscles, whether
through massage or PMR techniques, may help relieve nausea.

8. Take a Vitamin B6 Supplement

Brown Pills in a Brown Bottle

Vitamin B6 is increasingly recommended as an alternative
treatment for pregnant women preferring to avoid anti-nausea
medications.

Several studies report that supplements of vitamin B6, also
known as pyridoxine, successfully reduce nausea
during pregnancy (36, 37, 38, 39).

For this reason, several experts suggest taking vitamin B6
supplements during pregnancy as a first-line treatment against
mild nausea (40, 41).

Vitamin B6 doses up to 200 mg per day are generally considered
safe during pregnancy and produce virtually no side effects.
Therefore, this alternative therapy may be worth a try
(41, 42).

Nevertheless, there haven’t been very many studies on this
topic, and some report no effects (12, 43).

Summary: For pregnant women who are
experiencing nausea, vitamin B6 is a safe and potentially
effective alternative to anti-nausea medications.

9–17. Additional Tips to Reduce Nausea

In addition to the tips above, a few other recommendations may
decrease the likelihood of nausea or help relieve its symptoms.
The most common include (44, 45):

  1. Avoid spicy or fatty foods: A blander diet
    made up of foods such as
    bananas
    , rice, applesauce, crackers or baked potatoes may
    relieve nausea and decrease the likelihood of an upset
    stomach.
  2. Add protein to your meals: Protein-rich
    meals may fight off nausea better than meals high in fat or
    carbs (46).
  3. Avoid large meals: Opting for smaller, more
    frequent meals when you’re feeling nauseated may help reduce
    your symptoms.
  4. Stay upright after you eat: Some people are
    more likely to experience reflux or become nauseous if they
    lie down within 30 to 60 minutes following a meal.
  5. Avoid drinking with meals: Drinking any
    liquids
    with meals
    may increase feelings of fullness, which may
    worsen nausea in some individuals.
  6. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can worsen
    nausea. If your nausea is accompanied by vomiting, replace
    your lost fluids with electrolyte-rich fluids such as flat
    mineral water, vegetable broth or a sports drink.
  7. Avoid strong smells: These may worsen
    nausea, especially during pregnancy.
  8. Avoid iron supplements: Pregnant women with
    normal iron levels should avoid taking iron supplements
    during the first trimester because they may worsen feelings
    of nausea (47).
  9. Exercise: Aerobic exercise and yoga may be
    particularly helpful ways to reduce nausea in some
    individuals (48, 49).

It’s worth noting that most of these last tips are only
supported by anecdotal evidence. That said, they pose little
risk and may be worthy trying.

Summary: The tips above may prevent or
relieve nausea, according to anecdotal evidence. Most of
these treatments haven’t been studied.

The Bottom Line

Nausea can happen in many situations and often makes you feel
terrible.

The natural tips above can help reduce nausea without using
medications.

That said, if your nausea persists, you should definitely seek
additional advice from your healthcare practitioner.

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