The queasy feeling that precedes vomiting has a number of causes. It may be the first alert of a gastrointestinal infection or a reaction to medication. The nausea that accompanies pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, is notorious, and pregnant women are cautioned against taking medications. So it is helpful to have a couple home remedies to try.
I read with great interest the comments from readers who have had good results using acupressure bands as a sleep aid. I too have had great results from acupressure bands, but as a cure for nausea. When I was pregnant I suffered from nausea 24 hours a day. (I’ll never figure out why they call it morning sickness because I was nauseated morning, noon, and night.) I had to travel with plastic bags in my car because I never knew when I would need to vomit. A friend finally sent me these new antinausea bands that are worn around the wrist and provide constant pressure on something called the Nei-kuan acupressure point. I felt so much better that I wore them for the duration of my pregnancy. The bands are adjustable for any size wrist. You can control the amount of pressure you apply, which makes them comfortable. I am no longer pregnant, but I wear them on long car trips and when I travel by air. I hope this is helpful.
Thank you for sharing your story. Others have also reported success with wrist acupressure for nausea or insomnia. Those who are curious can search the Web for Psi Bands, Sea-Bands, or AcuBands.
Is there any nondrug solution to extreme nausea during pregnancy? I am four months pregnant and nauseated all the time. Nothing my doctor has suggested has worked more than a week. I am desperate.
Morning sickness is a misnomer for many women, since the nausea and vomiting can occur anytime. For some, the condition is so severe that they may lose weight and become dehydrated, putting the baby at risk. One device that may help is called PrimaBella. It looks a lot like a wristwatch, but it delivers a mild pulse of electricity to an acupressure point on the inner wrist. This electronic tool is available by prescription for morning sickness, chemotherapy, and postoperative nausea, and without a prescription for motion sickness. You can learn more from the website: www.primabellarx.com. A meta-analysis has also indicated that stimulation of the P6 acupuncture point was about as effective as antiemetic drugs for treating postoperative nausea.1
It makes me mad when people won’t try home remedies. I guess it sounds too easy. Ginger tea works great for nausea.
A recent study showed that ginger pills can alleviate morning sickness. Ginger tea should also help.
For all of his 65 years, my partner has gotten seasick on a boat. This was true even for two years serving on a ship in the navy. We just took an Alaska cruise on which I served as a guide. He felt just fine, even though some others did not. Why? Because we read your column about ginger capsules, available in health food stores. He took the capsules with meals three times a day. He got great benefit and had no side effects. I am telling everyone I know!
People have used ginger root to prevent motion sickness for thousands of years. Placebo-controlled studies confirm its effectiveness.
Can you tell me about ginger for nausea, especially during pregnancy?
People in China have used ginger root to combat nausea for centuries. Several studies suggest it may also fight morning sickness. One reader reports, “I taught childbirth preparation classes for a number of years and suggested candied ginger to my students. It has a long shelf life, especially when refrigerated. Candied ginger is inexpensive, readily available, and often helpful.”
THE PEOPLE’S PHARMACY
Favorite Food #22: Ginger
Ginger comes from the rhizome (or underground stem that is commonly referred to as a root) of the Southeast Asian plant Zingiber officinale. The flavor is spicy, almost hot, though in a completely different way from hot peppers. In addition to proving useful as a flavor in spice cookies or curries, ginger has been widely used to calm the digestive tract, to ease symptoms of colds, and to provide pain relief.
Chinese sailors used to rely on ginger to prevent motion sickness, and some research suggests they may have been on to something.1 Although some investigators have not found ginger to be effective against motion sickness,2 most of the evidence indicates that it can be helpful to combat morning sickness.3
Scientists are also investigating ginger for its ability to quell the debilitating nausea associated with chemotherapy.4 In a study of more than 600 patients undergoing chemotherapy, participants were given a standard antivomiting medication. They also took either ginger or placebo capsules for six days, starting three days before chemotherapy.
They rated the severity of nausea four times daily during treatment. The patients who took ginger had 45 percent less nausea than they had experienced in a previous round of chemotherapy with only standard medication. Those who took the placebo did not have a significant difference in their ratings.
Other readers have found that ginger has additional uses as well. It can ease the symptoms of a cold or cough, restore a hoarse voice, or help alleviate a headache. Though little research demonstrates that ginger is truly effective for colds and headaches, one reader reported on ginger’s effectiveness for a persistent cough: “I tried antibiotics, gargles, and anesthetic lozenges, but none of them worked. Then my father suggested that I chop up some raw ginger root, chew the pieces like candy, and suck the juice out of them. I tried his suggestion, and the following day, my cough was completely gone.”
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic