By Shona Curley
Nausea affects all of us at one point or another in our lives – whether from bad takeout or the seasonal flu. For most people, nausea is a passing annoyance, but for some, it can be more lasting. Some people with chronic illness experience symptoms of nausea long-term, and for patients undergoing chemotherapy, nausea can be one of the most uncomfortable and even debilitating side-effects. In these cases, nausea can at times seriously impair quality of life.
If you’re suffering from nausea for any of the above reasons, consider trying medicinal herbs (with the support of your doctor) before resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. There are a number of widely available herbs that seem to alleviate nausea safely and even deliciously. Here is a list of three, which can be combined together in an infusion, or herbal tea, that actually tastes quite good.
Herbs to Alleviate Nausea
For as long as it’s been around, people have used marijuana to decrease nausea. Marijuana, however, though becoming more widely legalized for medical use, comes with a host of mind-altering effects that may be unwanted.
CBD – a phytochemical extract of the hemp plant – has none of the psychoactive properties of marijuana and is legal in all 50 states. Many people feel that CBD is just as effective at decreasing nausea as marijuana, and it may be that this phytochemical is one of the primary reasons marijuana affects nausea in the first place.
CBD is usually purchased as an extract or oil, but it’s available in other preparations as well. The taste, quite reminiscent of marijuana, can be off-putting for some – so look into flavored varieties such as vanilla or peppermint.
A 2011 review looked at how CBD may help to alleviate nausea and vomiting by influencing our endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a complex cell signaling system that influences sleep, mood, and other processes. The review concluded that CBD, through its interaction with endocannabinoid receptors, may help to lessen nausea, especially for chemotherapy patients. A 2020 study on rats went on to state that when used over the course of 4 weeks, CBD did not lose effectiveness at preventing nausea or vomiting.
2. Ginger Root
Ginger tea has long been used as a traditional remedy to soothe the digestive tract, aid digestion, and decrease nausea. A 2016 review deduced that ginger is an effective and safe way to combat nausea and vomiting, though further study is needed to determine dosage. There are many different packaged ginger teas on the market, and it’s also easy to buy the root whole, chop it up, and boil your own infusion.
3. Peppermint Leaf or Oil
Peppermint is another traditional remedy long used to aid digestion and lessen nausea. Just like ginger, you can buy peppermint tea pre-packaged, or you can buy the whole herb in bulk and make an herbal infusion from scratch. In many places, varieties of peppermint grow wild, and you can forage your own fresh herbs. Peppermint oil is a common ingredient in many herbal anti-nausea products. It’s thought to ramp up the digestive process to keep offending foods moving through the stomach.
How to Make CBD-Ginger-Peppermint Tea
It’s easy to make a beverage like your own CBD-ginger-peppermint tea infusion. Find a quality CBD extract or oil with a taste you like – you can even choose CBD flavored with peppermint essential oil. Brew an infusion of peppermint leaves and ginger root to your desired strength, either using packaged tea bags or bulk herbs. Add a few drops of CBD extract, and voila – a delicious warm beverage that may soothe your digestion and decrease symptoms of nausea. Sweeten your infusion with stevia, raw honey, or the sweetener of your choice.
The herbs CBD, ginger, and peppermint may all help to decrease nausea, so why not combine them together in a delicious infusion? Speak with your healthcare provider to be sure this herbal tea is right for you, and be sure to select products that are certified organic and that don’t contain any unhealthy additives. Brew, relax, and enjoy.
- Lete I, Allué J. The Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy. Integr Med Insights. 2016;11:11-17. Published 2016 Mar 31. doi:10.4137/IMI.S36273
- Mapp CP, Hostetler D, Sable JF, Parker C, Gouge E, Masterson M, Willis-Styles M, Fortner C, Higgins M. Peppermint Oil: Evaluating Efficacy on Nausea in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy in the Ambulatory Setting. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2020 Apr 1. doi: 10.1188/20.CJON.160-164
- Parker LA, Rock EM, Limebeer CL. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x
- Rock EM, Sullivan MT, Collins SA, Goodman H, Limebeer CL, Mechoulam R, Parker LA. Evaluation of repeated or acute treatment with cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) or CBDA methyl ester (HU-580) on nausea and/or vomiting in rats and shrews. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2020 Sep. doi: 10.1007/s00213-020-05559-z.
Shona Curley lives and works in San Francisco. She is co-owner of the studio Hasti Pilates, and creator of the website www.redkitemeditations.com. Shona teaches meditation, bodywork and movement practices for healing Lyme disease, chronic illness and pain.