Nausea can hit you for a wide variety of reasons, but as soon as that queasy feeling kicks in, there's probably just one thing on your mind: How do you make nausea go away?
It might be from something you ate or a side effect of pregnancy, motion sickness or chemotherapy. Whatever the case, ID'ing what's causing your nausea can help you find the right treatment for it — and help you avoid it in the future, Christopher R. D'Adamo, PhD, Director of Research at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
If you're asking yourself how can I stop feeling sick naturally, you're going to be turning to home remedies for nausea and upset stomach. And there are quite a few non-medication options to try.
Just keep in mind that some of these may work for some people but not others. So it's important to try a variety and keep what works for you. You might also want to combine a few of them so you're getting to your nausea from all different angles, D'Adamo says.
Here are 14 natural ways to stop nausea fast:
Nausea After Eating
1. Go for a Walk
Feeling nauseous after eating? Take a short, gentle walk, D'Adamo recommends.
Physical activity increases peristalsis, which is the movement of intestinal muscles that helps with digestion, he says. And there are likely calming benefits to being out in the fresh air, too.
2. Keep Yourself Upright
Lying down after eating can also stymie the digestive process and contribute to nausea, D'Adamo says. This can be a common problem after dinner, especially if you eat your final meal too close to bedtime.
If you tend to watch TV after dinner, avoid sprawling out on the couch. And try to keep a few hours between dinner and tucking in, which can also decrease the risk of acid reflux that can contribute to nausea.
3. Chew Slowly
Feel yourself shoveling bite after bite? Eating too fast could land you with an upset stomach.
"Not chewing your food thoroughly can contribute to digestive issues that can include nausea," D'Adamo says.
Slow down by putting your utensils down between bites, he suggests.
Nausea From Motion Sickness
4. Look at the Horizon
Motion sickness from riding in a car, train, bus or boat is a common cause of nausea. If getting off at the next stop isn't an option, you can stop nausea fast by looking into the distance.
In other words, stop looking at your phone or reading, which can bring on and exacerbate nausea symptoms when you're in motion, and train your eyes on something still and farther away.
5. Turn Around
Here's how to get rid of nausea on public transportation: If you're sitting backward on a train or bus, turn around to ride forward for quick relief, D'Adamo says.
Nausea From Pregnancy, Illness or Chemotherapy
6. Slow Your Breathing
One of the best home remedies for nausea during pregnancy is practicing diaphragmatic (deep) breathing.
"Inhale slowly for five seconds through your nose and slowly exhale for five seconds through your mouth," D'Adamo says.
Breathing through your mouth can send a panic feeling around your body, which can make nausea worse, while inhaling through the nose quiets those anxiety signals, he explains.
This can also work as a home remedy for nausea and chills. Often, you might treat chills by reaching for a medication like ibuprofen, but D'Adamo points out that these can be tough on an already upset stomach. Try controlled breathing first to calm your whole system.
7. Take Ginger
Research shows that ginger is effective in relieving nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and nausea in pregnancy, according to a January 2017 review in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
In a meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials of more than 1,200 pregnant women, ginger was found to be effective in lessening nausea, as well as both safe and free of side effects, per March 2014 results in Nutrition Journal.
For chemotherapy, it appears that certain compounds in the ginger root, called gingerol and shogaol, interact with certain pathways that, among other things, affect GI function and reduce inflammation.
Depending on how much you like ginger, you can eat it or take a capsule.
What drink is good for nausea? You’ll want to reach for ginger tea, D’Adamo says. Avoid overly sugary or carbonated sources of ginger, like ginger ale, which can make nausea worse, he warns.
8. Use a Pressure Point
Using pressure points for nausea is one of the easiest home remedies to try and comes with zero side effects, D'Adamo says.
You're looking for the P-6 point, which is on your inner arm, near your wrist. To locate it, hold out your arm with the palm up, and measure three finger widths (that's your ring, middle and index finger) below the wrist crease, per Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Place your thumb just below your index finger, between the two large tendons.
Press down on this point with your thumb for 30 seconds to one minute, D'Adamo advises, then switch wrists.
Bonus: For an even bigger benefit, combine this acupressure with deep breathing, he says.
9. Wear an Acupressure Wrist Band
While D'Adamo says he prefers to do acupressure by hand, as it gives you more control over the pressure, there are also numerous acupressure wrist bands out there that target the P-6 area, and they can work for some people.
One randomized controlled study that included just shy of 100 people recovering from gynecologic surgery found that wristband P-6 acupressure was effective in controlling both nausea and vomiting. Results were published December 2018 in the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing.
10. Sniff Some Peppermint
Some people find that aromatherapy — and specifically, smelling peppermint oil — can help with nausea. It can also be stimulating.
"With nausea, especially from pregnancy or chemotherapy, there's often fatigue that comes along with it," D'Adamo says.
Because breathing in the scent can be energizing, it's one of those natural remedies for nausea that's best done during the day and avoided at night.
11. Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique where you slowly activate and release different muscle groups in your body. (For example, start by clenching and releasing your toes, working your way up your legs to your upper body and head.) This is another body-calming technique to keep in your toolbox for help with nausea.
In a randomized controlled trial published June 2016 in PLOS One that included 208 chemotherapy patients, using a combination of guided imagery and PMR reduced a variety of treatment symptoms (including nausea and vomiting) more effectively compared to a control group.
12. Try Cold Foods
So, what can you eat to make nausea go away? Well, when you have diarrhea or vomiting — and the nausea that can come with it — the answer used to be bananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast, aka the BRAT diet, but that's no longer recommended because it generally doesn't provide enough calories or nutrients (especially if you're pregnant).
If you're struggling to eat because the smell of food turns your stomach, try going for cold foods, which have less of an aroma than warm or hot grub.
You can also make smoothies filled with frozen fruit and veggies and a protein-rich base like Greek yogurt.
Being hungry but nauseous makes it tough to know how to act. Eating smaller portions of low-fat foods will be easier on your digestive system, per UCSF Health. Make sure to eat more frequently to get enough calories, especially if you're pregnant.
13. Sip Slowly
When it comes to home remedies for nausea and vomiting, cautiously sipping water can help. The Cleveland Clinic advises sticking to clear or ice-cold drinks and gradually increasing the amount you're drinking if you also have an upset stomach.
14. Ask About Vitamin B6
If you're pregnant and experiencing nausea, your health care provider may suggest taking over-the-counter vitamin B6 to quell morning sickness, notes the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
This supplement is considered safe during pregnancy, but make sure to discuss it first with your ob-gyn.
Is This an Emergency?
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: “Ginger-Mechanism of action in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: A review.”
- Nutrition Journal: “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting.”
- Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing: “The Effect of Neiguan Point (P6) Acupressure With Wristband on Postoperative Nausea, Vomiting, and Comfort Level: A Randomized Controlled Study.”
- PLOS One: “Guided Imagery and Progressive Muscle Relaxation as a Cluster of Symptoms Management Intervention in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy: A Randomized Control Trial.”
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Morning Sickness: Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy.”
- Cleveland Clinic: “Nausea & Vomiting”
- UCSF Health: “Diet Modifications for Nausea and Vomiting.”
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Acupressure for Nausea and Vomiting"