Sick to your stomach? Herbs are here!

digestion and fennel tea for stress and anxiety with Dr. Aoife Earls ND in Oakville Ontario

Many people exper­i­ence naus­ea (the urge to throw up, vomit, up-chuck… you get the pic­ture) from time to time, but it’s when it’s a daily thing that goes on for sev­er­al weeks or months at a time, it’s a sig­nal of some­thing else going on in the body. 

Become a digestive detective

Start a food and symptom diary

Tracking all of your symp­toms with every single thing you eat every­day can help to pin­point when exactly you are exper­i­en­cing naus­ea, and if there is an asso­ci­ated time. For example, if you are naus­eous on wak­ing, that can point to hypogly­cemia, or not hav­ing enough food before bed­time. It can also sug­gest excess­ive stom­ach acid that may be spurt­ing into the eso­phag­us while sleep­ing, caused by foods that relax the stom­ach muscles and the open/​close muscle (the sphinc­ter) like wine, chocol­ate, and caffeine.

Rule out other causes of infection or excessive stomach acid

As naus­ea is a state and not an actu­al con­di­tion, please go to the doc­tor. Google medi­cine will only take you so far as there are many factors that can cause naus­ea, includ­ing H. pylori, celi­ac dis­ease, food intol­er­ances, para­sites, SIBO… and self-dia­gnos­is here will not be as help­ful without the con­firm­a­tion of a pro­fes­sion­al. You may have mul­tiple things hap­pen­ing at once. It may be exactly what you think (or have read) or it may not! Get object­ive confirmation.

Choose easily digestible foods

Think warm, low gas-producing foods

This may seem obvi­ous, but when people are naus­eous they for­get to eat or hydrate, and when they do eat, the food they choose may be hard on the digest­ive tract. Bone broths, mashed bana­nas, white rice, dry toast (even rice-based toast would be easi­er) are good starts. Additionally, pro­tein is import­ant, and most people can eat chick­en or tur­key eas­ily if in a soup. Avoid raw, cold foods like salads and very gas-pro­du­cing foods like beans, cauli­flower, broc­coli, or kale. Extra gas pres­sure can make the naus­ea feel more intense.

Drink tea

Peppermint, ginger, fen­nel, and chamo­mile are a few of the most calm­ing herbs to the digest­ive tract that can also reduce nausea.

Increase your stress-supportive activities

Stress and wor­ry­ing REALLY aggrav­ate naus­ea because our body respond­ing to adren­aline can actu­ally pre­vent the digest­ive tract from hav­ing reg­u­lar bowel move­ments, increas­ing them and cre­at­ing diarrhea, or slow­ing everything down and caus­ing con­stip­a­tion. Digestion hap­pens when we are calm, with a part of the nervous sys­tem called the para­sym­path­et­ic nervous sys­tem. Meditation, Qi Gong, swim­ming, run­ning, singing, dan­cing can all actu­ally sup­port calm­ing a stressed nervous sys­tem, which can also help with digestion.

What are your favour­ite treat­ments for naus­ea and digest­ive upset? Comment below, and share with a friend who might need this!

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