Nausea & Vomiting

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Finding a good herbalist

The recommendations in this article are entirely suitable for a person to use for themselves or for their child however, if there are other issues that need attention and you know that you need further help, there may be a great deal of benefit to you to go to whatever lengths necessary to find a good herbalist to support you, there's some suggestions on how you might go about finding such a person here

Pregnancy or hormonal nausea

Morning sickness, including to the extent of causing vomiting, is extremely common in pregnancy, especially from about week 8 through to week 14. Some women get nausea to the point of vomiting with the premenstrual syndrome or with major changes to their hormones during the menopause. In any case, the use of Ginger drops or Gentian root along with other other practical methods have been seen to be reliably effective. This subject is written up in detail here


Nausea & Vomiting

If there isn't a need to vomit, because there isn't a poison, or a hangover, or a bug etc. in the gut, but there is just a horrible feeling of nausea that brings you to feeling like you could vomit but you never do, then there is surely no better remedy than Ginger to help rapidly alleviate the sickness.

For the method that has been found to work most reliably in this situation, read the section on 'Ginger drops' in the article on Ginger found here


Vomiting & diarrhoea

For most people, when they get an illness that is causing them to vomit, they are eventually going to start getting diarrhoea as well. This is because they have some form of gastroenteritis, caused by a virus, a bacterium, a parasite, or a food-borne poison.

In these cases, the vomiting phase usually passes quickly but the diarrhoea stage can take a lot longer to get over. If a gastro bug or food poisoning is suspected, don't try to do anything to stop the vomiting, the faster the system clears itself the better. An issue only arises when an infection isn't resolved in a timely manner, or if there is a problem that is recurring.

In this case, if diarrhoea is a key symptom, the article that goes into depth on managing this with different methods in different ages is found here



Another reasonably common source of recurrent vomiting for some people is a chronic inflammation or perhaps even ulceration in their upper digestive tract.

There is certain, very effective formula that combines three herbs; Catnip, Fennel and Licorice root, that has been seen to give much relief to many people with an inflamed gastric lining (i.e. Gastritis) and, because it is usually so effective, if the 'Gastritis formula' was not being felt to rapidly improve matters, then that would indicate that this is a matter that should be getting care from an experienced and preferably holistic minded practitioner. More about the Gastiritis formula, and how to use it here


Stressed Gut

Some people will be prone to vomiting when they are in severe stress. Some immediate help can be had to release tension from the belly by using the 'GI tea' formula. It is simply a combination of Chamomile, Fennel and Caraway seeds but it usually rapidly relaxes the digestive system. More about the recipe and how to prepare it here

Further to this, to help get deeper into the underlying cause of excess anxiety, there are many practical recommendations that have been seen to give certain help found here


Vomiting in babies

Nearly all small babies tend to throw back up some of their milk and this is never thought to be a problem unless they are becoming dehydrated. You can check for this with such signs as the tongue or inside of the cheeks becoming dry, their being little urine output or it becoming quite dark, the eyes becoming sunken, or the fontanel (the dip in their skull) becoming notably more depressed. If a baby seems to be vomiting excessively, it may be wise to shift their feeding to little and often for a while. Their stomach may simply not be big enough to hold the amount they are drinking and rather the regurgitate a little, the whole lot is coming back up.

It is also entirely safe and appropriate to give a baby with excess vomiting some tiny doses, e.g. half a tsp. of Chamomile and/or Fennel and/or Catnip teas, made with 1-2 heaped tsp of one or more of these herbs in a cup of freshly boiled water, covered and infused for 10 minutes.

Vomiting in children

Some children just naturally vomit easily when they get sick. Even if it is nothing to do with their gut, and they are only getting some kind of a cold or flu. Their immune systems register that the 'army' needs to be mobilised and, as part of the process, sends the signal to clear out the contents of the gut. The evolutionary advantage of this is that all the available energy can then go into creating a fever and fighting the infection, instead of worrying about digestion, which can always happen another day.

In these instances, there is nothing to worry about, it is actually a healthy sign and there is no reason to try to put fluids or foods back into the stomach. No harm will come by letting it be empty for a few hours. When you do want to give some fluids, give just a few sips and see how it sits for a few minutes before introducing more fluids or foods. The body has its own intelligence which will know when it is ready to restart digestion.

Children that get recurrent episodes of vomiting who are not getting a high temperature at the same time may have a food intolerance. This is an important subject that is too often overlooked in conventional medicine. If it needs to be explored further, read here

Many children, by their nature, have a digestive system that is sensitive to stress. If the child gets vomiting (or diarrhoea) when they are over-excited or worried about something, the link given above on working with anxiety is the area that will be most likely to help, again it's here


Vomiting in teenagers

Vomiting in a teenager that is from an infection or bad food simply needs to be managed until it passes. Assuming it comes along with diarrhoea and is lasting more than 2 days, the article again linked here has some strategies to help

Vomiting in a teenager that is self-induced is clearly a most worrying indicator that they may have dysmorphia (an altered body image) and either already have or are in the process of developing an eating disorder. Despite having often worked with teenagers, and adults, in this area, I do not currently have an article on the site on this subject, but I would say that making a good connection with an experienced and holistic practitioner will be an essential part of the healing process. There is no herb, or other simple strategy, for such an ailment of the mind and the body. It needs care and close attention for there to be a positive outcome, but this is something that is entirely possible with time and patience.


When you want to get it over with

Sometimes, it can happen that there is a need to vomit but the body just can't get up the impetus to do it. A person can feel nauseous for hours if not days, they want to be sick and they need to be sick, but they can't get it started. Some people will be game to put their fingers down their throat however, if there is access to it, the famous herb Lobelia can be very good here.

It would never be given to a child or to an elderly person but for an adult it can be used as described here by H Felter 'When the emetic (vomiting) action of lobelia is desired, small doses of lobelia tincture, or of the powder in warm water, should be frequently administered until profound nausea is induced; then the medicine should be pushed rapidly to emesis. Large draughts of warm (not hot) water will hasten its action and render the act of vomiting easier'

Depending on the strength of the tincture, a small dose could be anywhere from 1 to 5 mls at a time.

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd