In this article we'll cover some easy, natural home remedies and techniques to treat nausea and calm upset stomachs. These use ingredients you should be able to find at your local grocery store or online.
Ginger has been used for treating digestive issues since ancient times. It's more than just a folk remedy though, numerous studies have supported ginger as an effective treatment for nausea on par with anti-nausea medications.
Ginger root has been shown to help ease nausea.
In the US today, the most widely available form of ginger is ginger ale. However, many ginger ales contain very little or no actual ginger as well as having large amounts of added sugar which can make a stomach ache worse. We recommend getting ginger in a more pure form like ginger juice, ginger tea, pickled ginger, or many other ginger products.
Certain herbal teas can be used to ease stomach issues including ginger, peppermint/spearmint, and chamomile. Be careful though, green or black tea with caffeine can make your stomach issues worse. Peppermint and spearmint work as natural analgesics with a soothing, numbing effect on your stomach muscles. Chamomile is another ancient remedy like ginger that contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties along with many other benefits. However, if you are on a low FODMAP diet, chamomile tea is a little high in FODMAPs so we recommend a chamomile extract like the one used in this study to treat IBS.
Chamomile tea has many benefits but if you have IBS and are trying to be low FODMAP it might not be best.
Try slowing down your breathing and taking deep breaths. In this study participants were instructed to inhale for three seconds, hold for three seconds, and exhale for three seconds. That technique improved the nausea symptoms for the majority of participants. Controlled breathing is a critical aspect of meditation which we highly recommend for stomach health and general well-being.
Aloe vera juice has been growing in popularity in the US making it easier to find lately. Aloe vera juice also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help promote regularity. Be sure to get the purified/decolorized inner leaf juice since the non-decolorized can actually make a stomach ache worse. That's because the outside of the aloe plant can be harmful to your digestion and cause diarrhea.
Definitely not for everyone or for every type of stomach pain, but some heat applied to the stomach can relax your muscles and ease spasms. Try a heating pad or warm cloth rested on your stomach for a few minutes. Be careful not to overdo it though. A warm bath is also a great option to relax all your muscles.
Some spices can help with nausea and stomach aches including fennel, cinnamon, and cumin. Fennel and cinnamon have been shown to be especially helpful with nausea and other symptoms of menstruation. Cumin can have many beneficial digestive effects including treating bloating and diarrhea. These spices can be cooked with, you can chew the seeds of cumin and fennel, make tea with them, and some supplements use these spices.
Lemons contain acids that, surprisingly, may help you break down food. Try cutting a wedge and adding it to a glass of water. Some people add honey for sweetness but we would recommend a little regular granulated sugar instead since honey can be hard on the stomach. Also we don't recommend lemonade since those almost always contain a lot of added sugar.
Even just the smell of fresh cut lemon can help with nausea. This study showed lemon scents were effective in treating nausea symptoms from pregnancy. Be sure to smell any lemons you cut!