Sadly, we all must deal with nausea at some point in our lives, but often those with chronic health and pain conditions will experience it more frequently than others.
Whilst anti-nausea medications are available, they can result in side effects such as drowsiness, potentially disrupting your daily life.
However, there are many natural remedies for combatting nausea that have medical backing and can provide a more homeopathic approach to your nausea.
Ginger has long been used to combat nausea, with experts believing that the compounds that can be found in ginger are the same as those found in anti-nausea medications. Ginger can be used in liquid form as tea, as a drop, or used in food.
Ginger is safe for most people to use and won’t interfere with other medication you may be on, however you may need to limit your ginger intake if you’re prone to low blood pressure, low blood sugar or are currently on blood thinners.
Peppermint can aid in reducing nausea due to mint’s muscle relaxing effects, which may help to calm your digestive system as well as relieving gas pain, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint tea is especially effective after a laparoscopy procedure as the peppermint helps with bloating and gas pains.
Peppermint is most effective for naturally reducing nausea if taken as a liquid or by using aromatherapy. In one medical study aromatherapy was effective at reducing nausea in 57% of cases.
Chamomile works in a very similar way to peppermint and can help relieve gas, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting. It’s best ingested in a tea and further studies have shown it can also aid in improving your sleep quality and reduce anxiety symptoms, which many chronic pain patients suffer from.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure are very commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat nausea. In acupuncture thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body, which are then stimulated by the needles.
Alternatively, you can try acupressure which only involves pressure instead of needles. This can be done at home by placing your thumb 2-3 widths down from your inner wrist, between the two prominent tendons. Then, apply pressure with your thumb for around for one minute before repeating on your other arm and repeat as needed.
Both acupuncture and acupressure work by stimulating nerve fibres, which transmit signals to the brain and spinal cord, which in turn aids in decreasing nausea.
Progressive muscle relaxation technique has been shown to effectively reduce symptoms of nausea and anxiety.
To practice this technique, tighten and relax the muscles in your feet in quick succession. Slowly work your way up the body, focusing on the different muscle groups whilst practicing deep breathing in between the muscle groups.
It’s believed that this technique applies the same principle as acupressure wherein the nerves are triggered by the muscle relaxation technique.
The application of a cold compress to the neck or forehead lowers body temperature which can ease symptoms of nausea. Applying a cold weight in these locations can also thought to soothe anxiety and nerves reducing the feelings of nausea.
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