What are the causes and remedies for nausea?

Symptom Database

Nausea is a common symptom that many people experience at some point in their lives. It is characterized by a feeling of unease in the stomach, often accompanied by the urge to vomit. Nausea can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from motion sickness to morning sickness during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are several remedies available to relieve nausea and provide much-needed relief. In this article, we will explore the causes of nausea and discuss effective remedies to alleviate this uncomfortable symptom.

Causes of Nausea

Nausea can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Motion sickness: When the brain receives conflicting signals from the inner ears, eyes, and other sensory organs, it can result in nausea and vomiting. This commonly occurs during car rides, boat trips, or flights.
  • Morning sickness: Pregnant women often experience nausea, particularly during the first trimester. The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but hormonal changes and increased sensitivity to certain smells are believed to play a role.
  • Food poisoning: Consuming contaminated food or water can lead to nausea and vomiting. Bacterial or viral infections can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, resulting in these symptoms.
  • Medication side effects: Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs or painkillers, can cause nausea as a side effect. This is often temporary and subsides once the body adjusts to the medication.
  • Anxiety and stress: Emotional distress can manifest physically, leading to symptoms like nausea. The body’s response to stress can disrupt the digestive system and trigger feelings of unease.

Nausea Remedies

1. Ginger

Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea. It contains compounds that help soothe the stomach and reduce inflammation. Consuming ginger in various forms, such as ginger tea, ginger candies, or ginger capsules, can provide relief from nausea symptoms.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint has a calming effect on the stomach and can help alleviate nausea. Drinking peppermint tea or sucking on peppermint candies can provide relief. However, individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should avoid peppermint, as it can worsen symptoms.

3. Acupressure

Applying pressure to specific points on the body, such as the wrist, can help relieve nausea. Acupressure bands, which apply pressure to the P6 point on the wrist, are commonly used to alleviate motion sickness and morning sickness.

4. Deep Breathing

Practicing deep breathing exercises can help calm the body and reduce feelings of nausea. Taking slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth can help regulate the body’s response to stress and anxiety.

5. Hydration

Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can also help alleviate nausea. Sipping on clear fluids, such as water or herbal tea, can prevent dehydration and reduce the severity of nausea symptoms.

Nausea Treatment

In addition to home remedies, there are medical treatments available for persistent or severe cases of nausea. These include:

1. Antiemetic Medications

Antiemetic medications are commonly prescribed to relieve nausea and vomiting. These medications work by blocking the signals in the brain that trigger nausea. They are often used in cases of chemotherapy-induced nausea or severe morning sickness.

2. IV Fluids

In cases where dehydration is a concern, intravenous (IV) fluids may be administered. IV fluids can help replenish electrolytes and fluids lost due to persistent vomiting.

3. Dietary Changes

Modifying the diet can be beneficial in managing nausea. Avoiding spicy, greasy, or heavy foods and opting for bland, easily digestible options can help reduce stomach discomfort.


Nausea is a common symptom that can be caused by various factors, including motion sickness, morning sickness, food poisoning, medication side effects, and anxiety. Fortunately, there are several remedies available to relieve nausea, ranging from natural options like ginger and peppermint to medical treatments such as antiemetic medications and IV fluids. By understanding the causes of nausea and implementing appropriate remedies, individuals can find relief from this uncomfortable symptom and improve their overall well-being.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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