The sensation is sickening. It starts deep in the stomach then leads up into the throat, causing excessive salivation and repeated swallowing in hopes to not vomit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but either way, the experience is not pleasant.
Whether nausea and/or vomiting is due to pregnancy, motion sickness, chemotherapy or the flu, here are some natural options to consider.
1) Acupuncture and acupressure
Many swear by the wrist bands and ear seeds that push on points known to reduce nausea. These options are incredibly helpful during air/boat/car travel and during chemotherapy, and pregnancy. (If you're pregnant make sure to let the practitioner know!)
Wrist bands and ear seeds do not require the nauseated person to have to swallow a pill, which is a helpful trait especially during vomiting.
Think the spice in the kitchen! Safe during pregnancy, ginger has been shown to be helpful with all forms of nausea. It comes in capsules, teas, sucker pops, candies and lozenges in order to help the sufferer overcome their symptoms quickly.
The typical dose is 250 mg up to 4 times per day (1000 mg/day). Ginger tea can be sipped on throughout the day and might be helpful first thing in the morning for morning sickness.
3) Vitamin B6
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 has long been used for nausea and vomiting. It has also been combined with a medication (doxylamine) that has long been approved medically for the symptoms of morning sickness. This particular treatment uses 20 mg of B6 at night and then an additional 10 mg in the morning and/or mid-afternoon if necessary. It has been shown to be safe in pregnancy.
Some practitioners who do vitamin injections choose to do a B-complex or B6 injection if the act of swallowing a pill induces vomiting in an overly-nauseated person. Be careful not to exceed 150 mg of B6 per day as it may over time cause nerve damage.
4) Vitamin B12
Also known as methyl- or cyano-cobalamin, vitamin B12 has been used in the form of sublingual tabs, liquid drops or injections to prevent vomiting. It is safe to use in pregnancy. Typical doses are even found in a prenatal vitamin of 500-1000 mcg daily.
However the act of swallowing the whole prenatal vitamin may induce the symptoms you're trying to avoid. A dissolvable tab or liquid drop of B12 may help avoid this situation.
Balancing blood sugar is critical to avoiding nausea and vomiting in any situation, be it pregnancy, travel or chemotherapy. Everyone has experienced a vomiting episode on an empty stomach and it's no fun. Make sure to have snacks and plan ahead if nausea, morning sickness or motion sickness is a known problem.
With travel, consider where you are going and whether or not there will be food served. For instance, if you're going to be on an airplane they may not even offer complimentary peanuts anymore. One bump in the air with an empty stomach may cause a “vomit bag” emergency.
Naturally, if nausea and vomiting cannot be explained or these tips do not work, please talk to your health care provider as soon as possible because dehydration and other serious complications could arise.
Lie, V. Nausea and Vomiting: What CAM Options are Available? Web. 19 January, 2014. Retrieved at
Harrison, L. Doxylamine-Pyridoxine Combo Prevents Nausea in Pregnancy. Web. 19 January, 2014. Retrieved at
Badell, M.D. Martina L. et al. Treatment Options for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy. Pharmacotherapy. 2006;26(9):1273-1287. Medscape.com. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2014.
Reviewed January 20, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith