Nausea remedies: What are the options?

By Jenilee Matz, MPH Apr 03, 2023 • 4 min

Nausea is a queasy sensation in your stomach where you feel like you're going to vomit. It can occur for a variety of reasons. Common causes include infections like gastroenteritis (stomach viruses), food allergies, gastric reflux, migraines, motion sickness, morning sickness (nausea due to pregnancy), certain medications and more. The specific treatment that can help ease your upset stomach depends on the cause. Still, there are some tried-and-true remedies that can help manage nausea in general.

Home remedies for nausea

Relief for mild nausea often starts with tweaking your diet and habits. Try the following natural remedies for nausea:

  • Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
  • Stick to bland foods, like crackers or toast. If those foods feel OK on your stomach, try rice, fruit or foods that are salty or high in protein or carbohydrates.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger nausea, such as spicy or fatty foods. Eating foods that are intended to be served cold or at room temperature may help you avoid becoming nauseated from the smell of warm or hot food.
  • Sip on cold, clear liquids. If you have vomiting with nausea, taking in small amounts of liquids can help keep you hydrated.
  • Steer clear of strong scents that can trigger nausea. Food, perfume and smoke can set off nausea.
  • Avoid other triggers. Flickering lights, heat and humidity, stuffy rooms and driving can cause nausea in some people.
  • Get plenty of rest. Being too active and not getting enough rest can make nausea worse.
  • Try ginger. Foods and beverages that contain ginger, such as ginger ale, ginger tea or ginger gum, may help improve mild nausea due to pregnancy. Ginger may also help reduce nausea due to chemotherapy (medication used to treat cancer) when taken in combination with certain medicines.
  • Consider acupressure. Pressing firmly down on the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of your wrist using a technique called acupressure can sometimes improve mild nausea and morning sickness. Special wristbands that may help relieve nausea by pressing on these pressure points are sold over the counter.

When to see your healthcare provider

Nausea and vomiting can sometimes lead to complications or be a sign of a more serious problem. See your healthcare provider if you are nauseated and have:

  • Had bouts of nausea and vomiting for the past month
  • Vomiting that has lasted for longer than 2 days (or longer than 24 hours for children under 2 years of age or 12 hours for infants)
  • Not been able to keep fluids down for longer than 12 hours
  • Not urinated in eight hours or more
  • A headache or stiff neck
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Vomited three or more times in one day
  • Unexplained weight loss

Seek emergency medical care right away if you:

  • Have nausea and vomiting with a severe headache, especially if you've never had that type of headache before
  • Are vomiting and think it's due to poisoning
  • Have vomit that is green or looks like it contains blood or coffee grounds
  • Have signs of dehydration, such as intense thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine, infrequent urination, weakness or dizziness when you stand up

If home remedies don't help alleviate your nausea, contact your healthcare provider. They can determine the cause of your upset stomach and prescribe a treatment plan. In some cases, they may recommend anti-nausea medications.

Clinically reviewed and updated April 2023.

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