Nausea is a queasy sensation often accompanied by feeling like you need to vomit. It can be very unpleasant and can have many different causes that trigger it. Thankfully many herbal remedies can help to relieve the feeling of nausea. In this article, we'll discuss the best herbs for nausea.
What Is Nausea?
Nausea is that queasy sensation that we all experience from time to time. It is often characterized by feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or like you need to vomit. In some cases, it is also accompanied by stomach upset.
The causes of nausea are numerous. Some of the most common include:
- Motion sickness
- Stress and anxiety
- Food poisoning
- Gastrointestinal issues
Not all nausea is the same. For example, the feeling of being sea sick is a very different physiological response than morning sickness. Still, the symptoms may be very similar. This is because all forms of nausea have in common. After all, they trigger the release of neurotransmitters that act on receptors in the brain's fourth ventricle, located near the brainstem. When the receptors in this area of the brain are activated, it results in nausea.
How Do You Get Rid of Nausea?
There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for nausea. Since nausea has so many different causes, the treatment for nausea will also vary depending on what is causing it. However, several tips can help to alleviate nausea. Herbs are among the best remedies for nausea, but before we discuss the best herbs for nausea, let's cover a few other tips that might help to alleviate your nausea:
- Sit or lay down
- Take several slow and deep breaths
- Drink water
- Drink beverages slowly
- Keep activity to a minimum after eating
- Eat slowly and avoid overeating
- Avoid fried foods and processed foods
- Eat light and simple foods
- Supplement with a B Vitamin complex (link product)
What Herbs Are Good for Nausea?
Herbs have many unique qualities. Certain herbs help settle the stomach, calm the mind, improve digestion and circulation, and help stabilize neurotransmitters in the brain. All of these effects may help to alleviate the feeling of nausea. Below, we'll discuss some of the top herbs good for nausea.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an amazing herb with many medicinal uses. The rhizome of the plant is the part that is used medicinally and is also a common culinary spice.
Ginger is one of the best herbs for nausea and upset stomach. So, if you're nausea is accompanied by that queasy sensation in the stomach, ginger might be a good remedy for you. Ginger is also one of the best herbs for dizziness and nausea caused by motion sickness, as well as nausea caused by altitude sickness. In addition, ginger helps oxygenate the blood. It stimulates blood flow, giving all your organs and tissues better access to nutrients.
Perhaps the main reason that ginger is so good for nausea is that it helps to regulate digestion and keeps blood pressure stable. Both of these actions can play a significant role in reducing nausea.
Ginger contains an active compound called gingerol. Research on gingerol has shown that it can increase the digestive system's response and help speed up the rate at which food leaves the stomach. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help release hormones that regulate blood pressure and calm the body. All these actions work together to make ginger one of the best natural remedies for nausea.
Ginger is also one of the best herbs for pregnancy nausea. Research on ginger's effect on morning sickness has proven it more effective than a placebo. For reducing nausea, ginger is best consumed as a tea or syrup. However, when freshly grated or added to a meal, it can also have nausea-reducing benefits.
Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita) is another excellent herb for nausea. Peppermint is a hybrid mint that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It is native to Europe and the Middle East, though it is now cultivated worldwide.
Peppermint has a calming effect that helps relax muscles in the stomach. It can also have a relaxing impact on the mind that can help to soothe any anxiety associated with your nausea. Like ginger, peppermint also supports digestion and helps food move empty more quickly from the stomach. Since nausea is often related to digestion, herbs like peppermint and ginger that enhance digestion can greatly reduce nausea. Peppermint also helps to relieve gas, which may be a possible cause of nausea.
Perhaps the most common way to consume peppermint is as a tea, though capsules and powders are also available. Avoid using peppermint oil internally, as it may be too strong and cause a burning sensation in the gut. However, peppermint oil used in an essential oil diffuser may help relieve nausea.
Some people also find nausea relief from smoking herbs. For this use, peppermint is one of the best herbs to smoke for nausea because of its cooling and calming properties.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. Fennel leaves and fennel seeds are often used as culinary spices, but they also have some excellent medicinal properties. For example, fennel seeds are beneficial for nausea.
Fennel seeds stimulate digestion and have a very calming effect on the body. These properties help to soothe the digestive system and keep nausea under control. Fennel also contains a phytoestrogen compound called anethole that prevents acidity, gas, bloating, and nausea.
For nausea relief, chew a teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal or try drinking some fennel seed tea.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is an amazing herb well-known for its calming effects and ability to soothe the stomach and support digestion. Because chamomile helps calm the nerves and helps relax the digestive muscles, it can also help relieve nausea and vomiting. Chamomile is also an excellent herb to consume for motion sickness, as it is very soothing to the nervous system.
Most commonly, chamomile is consumed as a warm tea, which is the best way to take it for nausea relief. Like peppermint, chamomile is also one of the best herbs to smoke for nausea.
5. Licorice Root
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) root is considered one of the world's oldest herbal medicines. It is Native to Western Asia and Southern Europe and has a long history of use for many ailments. Among its long list of uses, licorice root may also be a remedy for nausea.
Research on licorice root found that taking 75 mg of licorice root extract twice daily reduced nausea, vomiting, bloating, and stomach pain symptoms. Licorice root is commonly consumed as tea or as powders or capsules. However, most studies on licorice root for nausea have been done on licorice root extracts. Therefore, while licorice root tea is commonly used for nausea, there is not enough research on licorice root tea for this use.
Deep Breathing for Nausea Relief
While an herbal tea of ginger, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, or licorice root could be all you need to reduce nausea, it's always good to have extra tools in your self-care toolbox. For example, as simple as it may seem, deep breathing has many incredible benefits. Not only does it deeply oxygenate your whole body and calm your mind, but it can also help to provide relief from nausea.
The great thing about using your breath as a remedy for nausea is that it always has it with you! To use your breath for nausea relief:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight, and body relaxed (if nausea makes it uncomfortable to sit, you can also do this by laying down. However, some people have the reverse situation where laying down makes nausea worse. So, whichever posture feels more comfortable in the moment is the one for you).
- Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breathing.
- Take a slow, deep, and relaxing breath through your nose, focusing all your attention on your breath.
- Exhale slowly and effortlessly out of your mouth.
- Repeat at least ten times.
Deep breathing can influence your heart rate and blood pressure, calm your mind and reduce anxiety. It helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which supports the relaxation of all the body's nerves, organs, and tissues. So, simply by breathing deeply, you might be able to calm your body and mind and relieve yourself of the uncomfortable symptoms of nausea.
Nausea is an uncomfortable symptom that we all experience from time to time. While the symptom of nausea may be singular, it has many diverse causes. Therefore, to know how to relieve your nausea symptoms best, it is best to find out what is causing them—as with any ailment, removing the cause is the primary way to heal.
That being said, many other tips can help you find nausea relief. Herbs, in particular, can be beneficial for nausea. So if you are experiencing nausea, try drinking some ginger, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, or licorice root tea. The great thing about these herbs is that they are available and may already be in your kitchen cabinet.