By: Dr. Tatyana Gurvich
Pharmacologist and Consultant
Most people have experienced nausea at one time or another in their lives. It is that very familiar unpleasant sensation which makes you feel like you are going to vomit. Nausea can be caused by many different diseases including, infection, liver disease, inner ear disorder, pregnancy, and certain medications. In most cases persistent nausea requires a medical evaluation. There are many strong, safe and effective traditional medicines your healthcare provider can prescribe for nausea which will work very well. However, with the herbal industry becoming ever so popular, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to see if some of their symptoms can improve with the help of herbs.
Several different herbs have been shown to helpful in relieving nausea associated with motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy:
Ginger , Peppermint , Cinnamon , Papaya , Green Tea with Lemon & Citrus
All of these herbs have been “Generally Recognized As Safe“ (GRAS) for food use in the United States and Europe. There have been no serious adverse effects reported with any these herbs when they are used in moderation. Sucking on lollipops which contain small amounts of these herbs is a very safe and soothing way to deal with nausea.
Although it is not known exactly how these herbs work to relieve nausea, it is postulated that they all have a local soothing, and antispasmodic effects on the stomach. Additionally, papaya contains natural substances called enzymes which help in the digestion of food, while citrus flavors and cinnamon have been found helpful as appetite stimulants.
Although the medicinal properties of these herbs have been known for centuries, more recent clinical research and documented case reports are also available which points to their efficacy.
For example, there is scientific evidence that shows that ginger is effective in treating motion sickness. In one clinical trial, patients who were given powdered ginger prior to going on a trip responded better than those given Dramamine, a motion sickness medication available without a prescription. In another trial of pregnant women, ginger was more effective than a sugar pill in relieving morning sickness.