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
is a popular natural remedy commonly used to treat nausea.
In fact, several studies agree that ginger is effective at
reducing nausea in various situations.
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
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
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.
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
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).
There is also some evidence that acupuncture may reduce nausea
during pregnancy, but more research is needed on this (26).
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
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
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
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
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.
In one study, researchers attempted to determine which
aromatherapy scent was most effective at reducing nausea
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Vitamin B6 is increasingly recommended as an alternative
treatment for pregnant women preferring to avoid anti-nausea
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
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
Add protein to your meals: Protein-rich
meals may fight off nausea better than meals high in fat or
Avoid large meals: Opting for smaller, more
frequent meals when you’re feeling nauseated may help reduce
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.
Avoid drinking with meals: Drinking any
with meals may increase feelings of fullness, which may
worsen nausea in some individuals.
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.
Avoid strong smells: These may worsen
nausea, especially during pregnancy.
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).
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
The natural tips above can help reduce nausea without using
That said, if your nausea persists, you should definitely seek
additional advice from your healthcare practitioner.