Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD(Ayu)
Apart from medicines and home remedies, there are a few effective natural techniques to prevent vomiting or at least to reduce the number of bouts.
Go to Fresh air – Being in packed and tight spaces, or stuffy situations can increase nausea and initiate vomiting. Therefore, try getting out of the room for few minutes and enjoy the fresh air. Breathe in several bouts of fresh air and your nausea will come down. Alternatively, you can open the window or windows of your room ad try getting fresh air.
Relax – Sit quietly for some time and relax for few minutes, moving around sometimes makes nausea worse. If you have taken any food recently, it is better that you sit and relax rather than lying down.
Rest – either in sitting or propped lying position (activity often worsens nausea and leads to vomiting). Bed rest is the best option. The more you rest, the more energy your body will have to devote to fighting the invader.
Eat small meals throughout the day, instead of 3 large servings of meals. Eat at least 6 small servings of meals each day instead of traditional ‘3 large meals’
- Eat slowly
- Avoid heavy foods (hard to digest foods)
- Take foods that are cold or room temperature if you nauseated by the smell of hot or warm foods
- Avoid dairy products for 24 hours after vomiting
- Consume watermelons and muskmelons because they contain a lot of water
- Find something which you can suck or chew. Hard candies, like peppermints, or lemon drops or something like peppermint gum can help your stomach to settle down, by bringing down the nausea
- Eat bland – Try some plain foods like toast, crackers, cereals, rice or fruit. Avoid greasy, spicy and fatty foods. Make sure that the food is cool before eating.
- Don’t lie down immediately after eating, nor sleep, Rest with your head elevated about 12 inches above your feet, while sleeping after eating food
- Drink liquids between meals rather than during meals
- Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day
- Try to feel when you feel less nausea or when the nausea has subsided
- Drink some liquid – Water is always a good choice. In stomach upsets, the stomach probably doesn’t need additional burden of digesting food. Stick to fluids until you feel better and until vomiting stops. Clear, room temperature liquids, such as water or diluted non-citrus fruit juices are easier to digest. They also prevent dehydration.
- Drink small quantities of clear, sweetened liquids like soda or fruit juices (avoid orange and grapefruit juices, they being too acidic), this avoids vomiting
- Suck an ice cube – If you can’t find anything else, sucking on an ice cube can give you water and help control the nausea.
- If your child is motion sick while travelling, seat him or her facing the front windshield (if the child watches fast movement out the side windows, the nausea can worsen). Avoid kids playing video games or reading in the car, they can cause motion sickness.
- Never allow your kids to eat and play at the same time
- If you have nausea when you wake up in the morning, eat some lean meat or cheese before going to bed, the previous night or keep plain crackers by your bed side and eat a few before getting up
- Avoid strong odours such as perfumes or cooking smells
- Do not brush your teeth right after eating as it may induce vomiting
- Have a popsicle or a similar sweetened ice treat
- Ginger – it reduces nausea from motion sickness, use ginger in any form like snap cookies, ginger bread, ale soda or green tea or ginger topping in salad or food. Give with caution in children below 2 years of age and pregnant women.
- Acupressure – is based on traditional Chinese practices and uses the body’s natural pressure points. Its basics lie in the ‘Marma Vignana’ explained by Ayurveda. These pressure points work as remote controls. Each point is said to govern a tissue or organ. Constant pressure for few minutes on that particular point is said to relax the organ in pain or discomfort.
The acupressure point for controlling nausea and vomiting lay in the wrist. The point is 3 finger lengths below the wrists over the tendons under the thumb. Apply pressure to the point using circular motion while pushing down on the point. Apply pressure without hurting for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the same on the other wrist.
Relaxation techniques – Relax by diverting your attention from the discomfort you have and by focussing or thinking about something else. The useful techniques which help relieve your nausea and vomiting are –
Autogenic relaxation – This involves finding something else to set your mind on, to keep your mind off the nausea. Example, repeat a word or phrase to yourself, try thinking something peaceful or relaxing, as you repeat this idea, deepen your breathing and relax your muscles
Visualization – Imagine or picture in your mind a peaceful or calming setting around you. Feel yourself in it by closing your eyes. Think about how your senses would experience this place, things you might feel, hear or smell and also what you would see.
Deep breathing – Find a quiet place where you can sit without being disturbed. Take a normal breath, then a deep breath to follow up. Breathe in slowly through your nose and let the air fill your lungs and abdomen. Exhale slowly, through your mouth. If you are not comfortable, you can exhale through your nose as well.
- Anti-nausea medication – can be taken, avoid medications like ibuprofen etc.
- CDC recommendations (to prevent viral gastroenteritis and associated vomiting –
Wash your hands frequently, especially after changing diapers or using the bathroom
If soap and water are not available, try using alcohol based hand cleansers
Follow hygienic practices when storing, preparing, cooking and serving food
- Avoid – alcohol, fatty foods, highly seasoned foods, beverages containing caffeine and cigarettes which may irritate and upset the stomach further
- Let go – The worst thing you can do for vomiting is to fight and stop it. Vomiting is your body’s way of getting rid of something that is causing harm in your stomach or to your body. Trying to hold back or suppress the urge can actually cause tears in the food pipe (oesophagus).
- Cold Compress – A cold compress on your head can be very comforting in vomiting. It will help you feel better though it doesn’t stop the bouts.
- Maintain electrolyte balance – by taking salt, sugar and water or sports drinks like Gatorade or electrolyte solutions.
- Manage anxiety – Stop thinking and concentrating on nausea in areas and circumstances which are known to cause nausea in you. Acknowledge the thought and let it go. This masters the fear causing the nausea. Breathe easily and sip water.
- Stretch – Upper back and neck pain can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting. Try doing some simple neck and back stretches to release the tension causing the queasiness.
- Cool compress – Place a cool compress on the back of your neck when you have episode of nausea. Get a cool compress – an ice pack that’s been sitting out for a few minutes, a washcloth dunked in cool water, or a compress you have made all by yourself, will help. If lying down, place the compress under your neck. If sitting, drape it across the back of your neck.
Read related: Chardi Roga Chikitsa: Ayurvedic Treatment For Vomiting, Limitations
Kick your heels up or sit down – Improper circulation can make you feel dizzy or faint. Dizziness is often accompanied by nausea. To help reduce the feeling, try the following positions to pump blood to where it is needed or to stop it from rushing. They will also help your brain maintain a sense of balance or stability by changing up blood flow.
Read related: 25 Easy, Effective Home Remedies for Vomiting And Nausea
Find a place to lie down. A bed in a dark, quiet room is preferable. Make sure that your head lies flat, with no pillows or use a thin pillow. Bend your knees and make sure you are breathing and not shorting yourself oxygen.
Sit down with your back up against a wall, put your knees up and put your head between them. Breathe.
- Suck Frozen Fruit – Keep few slices of lime or lemon in a plastic baggy in the freezer. Use them when you feel nausea. Smell of the lemon can make you feel better. Similarly the flavour of a straight wedge of lemon or lime may make you feel better immediately. Lie down and suck a slice when you feel nausea. Frozen is better, fresh is optional. Read related: 25 Easy, Effective Home Remedies for Vomiting And Nausea
BRAT diet – If your nausea has been caused by stomach flu or food poisoning, follow BRAT diet to keep it under control. It is comprised of:
Apple sauce (without sugar)
It becomes BRATPP diet when you add the below mentioned to the above list –
Pasta (lightly buttered or with a little oil) and
Potatoes (avoid the steak or gravy)
Click to consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD(Ayu) – email / skype