How to Avoid Throwing Up

Two Parts:Avoiding Throwing Up at HomePursuing Recommended Medical Options

It's never pleasant. That sinking feeling in your stomach that tells you that something isn't right. Although emesis is a valuable biological tool, it sure doesn't feel valuable when it's hitting you like a ton of bricks. Luckily, there are lots of helpful tricks that you can do to keep you from throwing up.

Part 1
Avoiding Throwing Up at Home

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    Drink small amounts of clear liquids frequently.[1] Clear liquids are easier to digest than other foods, making them much more forgiving on your stomach. These clear liquids (and foods) include:
    • Water
    • Tea
    • Broth, such as chicken or vegetable broth
    • Things like cranberry juice, Jell-O, and even popsicles.[2]
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    Try drinking a slightly sweet beverage such as ginger ale. According to doctors, drinks with sugar in them can be calming to the stomach.[3] At the same time, avoid drinks with excessive acidity, such as grapefruit juice or orange juice.
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    Place a cold compress on strategic parts of your body. Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead.[4] This may cool down your suddenly-warm body and send signals to your brain that vomiting is unnecessary. Other parts of your body that may benefit from a cold compress include:
    • The back of your neck
    • The inside joint of your elbows (where your forearm meets your bicep)
    • Behind your knees
    • The inside of your wrists
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    Suck on, chew, or otherwise eat ginger. In several trials, receiving a ginger supplement has proven to be more effective at reducing nausea and the need for vomiting.[5] Doctors are even beginning to prescribe ginger syrup to women who experience nausea in the first trimester of their pregnancy.[6] All told, ginger is a great anti-emetic that's cheap and readily available. Here are some ways to enjoy ginger at home, even when you're feeling less than well:
    • Ginger chews and ginger cough drops. Ginger chews are more like ginger candy, while ginger cough drops are more often sucked on (and may double as an effective throat coating if you happen to have a cold).
    • Ginger tea. Grind up 12 slices of ginger with a mortar and pestle until grains begin to show. Place ginger and 3 cups of water into a pot and bring to boil. Turn burner down to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes. After steeped, strain away ginger and add 1 tablespoon or honey, stirring to dissolve. Serve warm.[7]
    • Ginger syrup. Place 2 cups of roughly chopped ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place in large pot. Add 2 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour, until syrup has reduced by two-thirds. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.[8] Add syrup to water or take straight.
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    Lie down, with your head higher than your feet. If you begin to feel nauseous, try to lie down immediately. Prop your head up on pillows so that it's at a higher elevation than your feet. This helps your body maintain its sense of balance better, leading to less nausea.
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    Try an assortment of teas. Teas contain herbal remedies that can calm the stomach, line the intestines, and otherwise help reduce the need to vomit. When drinking, remember always to sip in small quantities. However, not just any tea will do. Try these teas as a precautionary stopgap when you feel the nausea coming on:
    • Chamomile. Laced with a little bit of organic honey, this trusted sleepytime tea soothes the stomach. Calming, light, and comforting.
    • Licorice root. A very mild laxative, licorice root can help you relieve any constipation that may be causing nausea or vomiting.[9] It also contains an enzyme (called glycyrrhizin) treats a host of ailments, but also makes for a very sweet tea.
    • Red raspberry leaf. Many women use red raspberry leaf tea to help treat morning sickness and to ease muscles going into labor.[10] Although it can relax muscles, red raspberry leaf has been shown to cause uterine contractions. Be sure to talk to your doctor about recommended doses if you are currently pregnant, as it can bring on early labor in some women.
    • Slippery elm. Slippery elm tea helps produce mucous secretions which line the stomach. This stomach lining can be beneficial in treating upset stomach and helping to allay the need to vomit.[11]
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    Eat dry crackers in small amounts. In small amounts, eating dry crackers may decrease nausea. If this solution works, you may have been hungry, not ill. This may or may not work, depending on what is causing you to want to throw up.
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    Change your eating habits if food is making you want to vomit. If you suspect food is the culprit in vomiting, that's good, because there's a good chance that you can reduce the urge to vomit simply by modifying the way that you eat:
    • Eat cold foods or meals if the smell of hot foods makes you nauseous.
    • Avoid hard-to-digest foods. Fried foods, spicy foods, beans, high-fat and dairy foods, chocolate, and nutrient- and fiber-rich veggies are all especially difficult for your body to digest.[12]
    • Eat smaller meals more often instead of bigger meals less often. Try shooting for 6 small meals per day instead of 3 larger ones. You'll make it easier for your body to digest its food.
    • Drink plenty of fluids during the day, just not very much with meals.[13] Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, but don't drink very much during meals.
    • If you experience morning sickness, keep a box of crackers by your bed and eat a few first thing the morning before you get out of bed. This may help quash morning sickness.

Part 2
Pursuing Recommended Medical Options

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    Try taking an antihistamine like Dramamine. Available, in tablet, liquid, and suppository form, dramamine is a good way to prevent nausea and vomiting for something like motion sickness. If you know you're going to be driving in a fast car up windy hills, or go out whale-watching on choppy seas, pop some dramamine. Dramamine can be purchased over-the-counter.
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    Try a scopolamine patch. Scopolamine is a powerful motion sickness drug that's derived from a family of plants. Although often used as a potent street drug on its own, scopolamine in very small doses can be used to counteract motion sickness and upset stomach.
    • See your doctor if nausea and vomiting is a persistent trouble in your life and ask about motion sickness patches that contain scopolamine. If placed 4 to 12 hours before expected motion sickness, the patch can be very effective. It does produce some side-effects, including drowsiness, blurred vision, and dry mouth.[14]
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    Try doxylamine for morning sickness. If you're still getting used to the persistent morning sickness caused by early stages of pregnancy, doctors recommend taking the over-the-counter drug doxylamine. Doxylamine is a sedative that is often used as a cold and allergy relief medicine.
    • At high doses, withdrawal symptoms may appear if you stop taking this drug suddenly. It can cause insomnia, sometimes lasting for up to a week. For this reason, avoid relying solely on this drug to prevent morning sickness.


  • If you feel sick, put some water on the side of your bed to drink, and breath deeply and think of light, happy thoughts.
  • Take deep breaths and rub your stomach slowly. Don't think about food.
  • Another great thing to do is to breath deeply, shut your eyes and think of a tranquil place like a lake, snowy mountainside or a beach where you can hear the waves crashing. Or, as a similar option, turn on a noisemaker if you have one on hand, and think of the place that the sound represents.
  • If you feel very ill, your body is telling you that you have bad toxins in you. Even if you don't want to, it's better to throw up and rid of the poisonous substance. You'll feel better afterwards, really.
  • Search "Yoga Music" or "Quiet Music" on Soundcloud, Spotify, Pandora, or some other form of free music, close your eyes, and listen to that. It helps a lot.
  • Sit up tall and straight, don't lie down or crouch holding your stomach. Sometimes when you feel like you're about to vomit, you just have a nasty burp.
  • If you regularly experience nausea, it helps to carry a plastic "throw up" bag with you in a pocket or purse. The thin plastic bags used for fruits and vegetables at grocery stores work great! Just make sure there are no holes. You may find that with the bag, you actually feel less nauseous, because you can be reassured that even if you throw up, you will be fine.
  • Medicate before you have overwhelming nausea, so the medicines stay down and have a chance to work.
  • Try not to move so much. Stay in bed.
  • If you actually feel the vomit coming up, try rubbing your throat from chin down and keep swallowing.
  • Try going to sleep. When you wake up it often feels a lot better.
  • Chew tums, watch TV, and do anything that relaxes you.
  • Try not to think about it. You may find you feel more nauseous thinking about it. Think of stuff that comforts you or relaxes you so you can have your mind stay off of throwing up.
  • A warm bath will also help. Also sucking on pretzels will help settle your stomach.
  • Take a lukewarm shower for a while then while doing that take deep breaths in the shower. Also take small sips of cool water.
  • Don't drink too much, as you may end up vomiting again.
  • Step outside and get some fresh air! It helps because sometimes the fumes in the air inside can make you feel nauseous. Or open up your window some and let fresh air in and out.
  • Avoid loud sounds or extreme motions they could increase stomach pain and nausea.
  • Think of your breathing. In and out, slowly. This will put your head in a calm state of mind, reassure that you are fine. Don't put your hands on your chest. Listen to natural sounds. This should help quickly.


  • The reason why you should avoid excess throwing up is because the acid in your stomach can corrode and cause irreversible damage to the enamel in your teeth, making them yellow.
  • If you can't help yourself from throwing up, and are doing it regularly, see a doctor immediately!

Article Info

Categories: Nausea and Vomiting