By: Dr. Tatyana Gurvich
Pharmacologist and Consultant
Nausea associated with pregnancy is a very common phenomenon occurring in up to 90% of pregnancies. It generally appears by the 4th to 8th week of pregnancy and usually disappears by the 16th week which is the beginning of the 2nd trimester. Unfortunately, some women have morning sickness that persists for a longer time period. Morning sickness is somewhat of a misnomer since it can last all day. A small percentage of women have nausea and vomiting that is so severe that it is harmful for the baby and the mother. In such cases effective prescription medicines are available which your healthcare provider can prescribe for you. However, most women have milder nausea and vomiting for which prescription medications are unnecessary. Several different herbs have been shown to be helpful in relieving nausea associated with pregnancy:
Ginger ~ Peppermint/Spearmint ~ Lavender ~ Citrus
All of these herbs have been “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) for use in food in the U.S. and Europe. No serious adverse effects have been reported with any of these herbs when they are used in moderation.
Although it is not known exactly how these herbs work, it is postulated that they all have a local soothing and antispasmodic effect on the stomach. Recent scientific evidence shows that they are effective at relieving nausea. For example, in a clinical trial of pregnant women, ginger was found to be more effective than a sugar pill in relieving morning sickness.
Sucking on a lollipop which contains a small amount of these herbs is a safe and soothing way to deal with your nausea during pregnancy and can also be a wonderful aid for the discomforts of Labor!!