Herb Basics: Natural Nausea Remedies

| March/April 2002

Whether it stems from overindulging, motion sickness or morning sickness, nausea affects almost everyone occasionally. Try one of the following natural tricks to rid your body of that queasy feeling.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Ginger is the favorite herb of nearly every herbalist to relieve nausea and vomiting—and clinical studies prove its effectiveness. Ginger is available in many forms, but herbalist James Duke, Ph.D., in his book The Green Pharmacy (Rodale, 1997), says that nothing seems to do the trick quite like ginger ale. Just be sure to buy ginger ale with real ginger—artificially flavored versions won’t do the trick.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum). Cinnamon tea may help settle an upset stomach—according to Duke, cinnamon contains catechins, chemicals that help relieve nausea. To make cinnamon tea, boil 1 teaspoon of cinnamon bark in a cup of water for about 10 minutes; strain and drink. Don’t use cinnamon tea during pregnancy.

Peppermint (Mentha ¥piperita). Duke writes that peppermint tea is a powerful antispasmodic—it stops muscle spasms in the digestive tract, including those involved in vomiting. To make peppermint tea, steep 1 teaspoon of the dried leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes; strain and drink. Don’t use excessive amounts of peppermint if you’re pregnant.

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