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 and there are 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. Natural ways to help pregnancy or hormonally associated nausea are written up in more 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 a method to take Ginger that has been found to consistently and quickly help, 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 some other kind of ingested toxin. In such cases, the vomiting phase normally passes fairly quickly but the diarrhoea stage can take longer to get through.

If some kind of gastric bug or food poisoning is suspected, then don't try to do anything to stop the vomiting because the faster the system clears itself out the better. Aside from rest and keeping hydrated, further treatment shouldn't be required unless the infection etc. isn't resolving in a timely manner and the diarrhoea becomes chronic, in which case there is an article that goes into some natural ways of working with this in different ages is found here



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

There is a certain formula combining the three herbs Catnip, Fennel and Licorice root, that has been seen to give much relief to many people with an inflamed gastric lining.

We call it, simply enough, 'Gastritis formula' and, because it is usually so effective, if it isn't seen to rapidly improve matters, we might suspect there is some other kind of issue that is at the root of the problem. More about the Gastritis formula 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 a simple combination of Chamomile, Fennel and Caraway seeds. We call this 'GI tea', for 'gastro-intestinal. It is a pleasant and relaxing tea that is usually well received by all ages. More about the GI tea and how to prepare it here

Further to this, to treat and get deeper into the underlying cause of excess anxiety, there are a number of practical recommendations that have been seen to reliably 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 dehydration through such signs as:

~ the tongue or inside of the cheeks becoming too dry
~ there being little urine output or the urine becoming quite dark coloured
~ the eyes or fontanel becoming notably more sunken

If a baby seems to be vomiting excessively, it may be wise to shift their feeding towards 'little and often' for a while. Their stomach may simply not be big enough to hold the amount they are drinking and, rather than regurgitate a little, the whole lot comes back up.

It is also entirely safe and appropriate to give a baby with excess vomiting some tiny doses, e.g. half a tsp. or so of the GI tea as described above, or any of Chamomile, Fennel or Catnip teas singly or in combination, 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 are naturally prone to vomiting when they become sick, even when the sickness has nothing to do with their gut, and they are only getting some kind of a cold or flu.

Their immune system registers that their 'army' of white blood cells needs to be mobilised and, as part of this process, it sends a signal to clear out the contents of the gut. The evolutionary advantage for doing this is that all available energy can go into fighting the infection, which might include mounting a fever, instead of needing to continue the process of digestion. Having contents in the gut to digest can always happen another day, so long as the infection has been survived...

In these instances, there is nothing to worry about, it is actually a healthy sign and there is no reason to be in any hurry to try to put fluids or foods back into the stomach. No harm will come by letting it be empty for a good 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. If they again vomit each time they eat or drink something just stop giving anything by mouth for a while. Let the system rest for a few hours before trying again or just give them some chips of ice if they complain of thirst or a dry mouth. Dehydration takes many hours to become established.

Also note that some children who get recurrent episodes of vomiting, without any signs of infection such as a high temperature, may in fact have a food intolerance. This is an important subject that is too often overlooked in conventional medicine and, if it needs to be explored further, read here

One other issue that may need attention is that many children, just by their nature, have a digestive system that is especially sensitive to stress. If the child gets vomiting (or diarrhoea) when they are over-excited or worried about something, then the link given above on working with anxiety is the area in this site that has the information that is most likely to help, again it's linked here


Vomiting in teenagers

Vomiting in a teenager, from an infection or bad food, simply needs to be managed until it passes and again, if the diarrhoea stage lasts more than a few days, the article linked here has strategies to help

Vomiting in a teenager that is being 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. There is no herb, or other simple strategy, for such an ailment of the mind and the body and 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, more on this difficult subject here


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, a sufficient dose of the herb Lobelia can help here.

Lobelia would not be given to a child, a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, or an elderly person in this way but, if needed 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. From the 1:5 tincture that we make from dried, organic Lobelia, a combined dose of approximately 10-15 mls has been needed. This was given in 3 or 4 ml doses every few minutes. The nausea builds to a very intense level before the vomiting occurs but is then immediately relieved after the vomiting whereupon the person experiences profound relief and relaxation for some time afterwards.

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