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Pregnancy & Nausea

There is no clear cause of nausea or vomiting, but here are some of the theories about it. One or more of them may have a bearing on your nausea.

  • The vital energy of the body is directed toward the uterus and away from the digestive tract, bringing to light any underlying digestive weakness. There may be associated tiredness and lethargy
  • A liver imbalance may occur in early pregnancy brought about by the circulatory change as more blood is directed towards the uterus
  • Rapid change of hormone levels in early pregnancy may irritate the brain's vomit centre
  • Relaxation of smooth muscle throughout the body, including the blood vessels, caused by high progesterone levels, produces a drop in pressure. This may cause a relative drop in pressure. This may cause a relative drop in supply to the brain, particularly on rising, which causes nausea
  • Low blood sugar, eating before getting up in the morning may help this, as can eating small meals frequently through the day
  • Food allergies can be to blame. Women often feel better when cutting out milk and wheat
  • Poor diet, junk foods and the toxic system produced by them may give rise to nausea and vomiting as the body attempts to cleanse itself in preparation for a healthy pregnancy. Food combinations may also be to blame. Many women feel better when taking a food combining diet, such as the hay diet
  • Stress may play its part. Fear, anxiety or apprehension about pregnancy or any other emotional problems can upset the digestion

During the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy, the hormones are mostly produced in the corpus luteum of the ovaries. After this time the placenta largely takes over, which may explain why most women feel better after this stage. Som researchers believe nausea or vomiting to be a positive sign that the body contains levels of hormones higher than the necessary to maintain the pregnancy. Women who vomit during pregnancy have been shown to have a lower rate of miscarriages, stillbirths and premature delivery than those who do not.

Treatment of Nausea

The herbal medicine for nausea and vomiting are as wide and varied as the different theories associated with the symptoms. it is useful to assess which theory is most applicable to you, but if that is not clear, you can find your remedy through trial and error of those on offer. What helps one woman to relieve her sickness may not always work for another, and you may want to chop and change your remedies.

It is probably most simple to prepare teas of the suggested herbs, either singly or blended together to create pleasing tastes. You may want to drink the tea by the capful three to six times daily, or it may suit you better to take sips every few minutes when the nausea arises. Lemon balm, lemon verbana, peppermint and lavender make delicious tasting teas plesant tastes. Tinctures of the herbs can also be used, especially for bitter herbs, as only small amounts need to be taken at a time. You can take up to about 15ml through the day, as drops on or under the tongue as required. Use three to five drops at a time. Many of the herbs which aid digestion and relieve nausea are also relaxing or mildly sensitive.

These herbs are useful for nausea which may be accompanied by anxiety and tension:

  • Lemon balm
  • Lavender
  • Wild yam
  • Chammomile
  • Raspberry leaves

Some herbs contain a strong component ofg volatile oil. These include:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon
  • Chammomile
  • Lemon balm
  • Ginger
  • Fennel

Others contain bitters

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lemon balm
  • Meadowsweet
  • Peppermint
  • Verbena

All of these act to stimulate and enhance the function of the digestive tract andf liver; they are useful where nausea is related to weak digestion or a liver imbalance.

Many are familiar with the strong aromatic taste and flavour the volatile oils lend to ginger and cinnamon - these can be ground to a powder or chopped finely and taken as teas, or added to cooking. You can also chew cinnamon sticks or pieces of crystallized ginger. Ginger beer is a most effective and refreshing drink, and ginger in various forms is recommended by midwives and health visitors for the relief it offers in nausea of all kinds - including motion sickness.