Nausea can be caused by many factors, including stomach flu, viral infections of the inner ear (labyrinthitis), motion sickness, pregnancy , and chemotherapy . If you are continually nauseous, it can be more disabling than chronic pain. Successful treatment can make an enormous difference in your quality of life.
The sensation of nausea can originate in either the nervous system or the digestive tract itself. Most conventional treatments for nausea, such as Dramamine and Compazine, act on the nervous system, but products like Pepto-Bismol soothe the digestive tract directly.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
The herb ginger has become a widely accepted treatment for nausea of various types. Vitamin B 6 may be helpful for the nausea of pregnancy.
For information on treatments to reduce nausea during chemotherapy, read the article Cancer Treatment Support .
Note : Ginger has not been proven safe for pregnant women.
Put all together, these studies paint a picture of a treatment that is somewhat effective for motion sickness but cannot overcome severe nausea.
Warning : Do not use ginger either before or immediately after surgery or labor and delivery without a physician's approval. Not only is it important to have an empty stomach before undergoing anesthesia, there are theoretical concerns that ginger may affect bleeding.
For more information, including additional dosage and safety issues, see the full Ginger article.
A single acupuncture point—P6—has traditionally been thought to be helpful for relief of various forms of nausea and vomiting. This point is located on the inside of the forearm, about 2 inches above the wrist crease. Most studies have investigated the effects of pressure on this point (acupressure) rather than needling. The most common methods involve a wristband with a pearl-sized bead in it situated over P6. The band exerts pressure on the bead while it is worn, and the user can press on the bead for extra stimulation.
Although the research record is mixed, on balance it appears that P6 stimulation offers benefits for various types of nausea. This approach has been studied in anesthesia-induced nausea, the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, and other forms of nausea.
General anesthetics and other medications used for surgery frequently cause nausea.
Several controlled studies have evaluated the benefits of acupressure or acupuncture for morning sickness . The results for acupressure have generally been more positive than for acupuncture.
For more information, including safety issues, see the full Acupuncture article.
Vitamin B 6
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -