Herbs and Acupuncture for Nausea & Vomiting
TCM for Nausea & Vomiting
There are countless causes of nausea. Some of these aren't serious, some are quite serious. Food Stagnation, Weak stomach qi, Liver Invading Stomach, Hangover, cancer, spleen damp, weak spleen qi, morning sickness, motion sickness, gallbladder damp-heat, pancreatitis - all can provoke nausea or vomiting. Persistent or recurrent nausea and vomiting require the attention of your health care provider. That said, there are many benign causes of occasional nausea that can be treated with Chinese herbs and Chinese medicines.
Perhaps the oldest formula is ER CHEN TANG (Two Cured Decoction). Often used for cough due to phlegm accumulating in the lungs due to Spleen Deficiency, this formula can also help relieve nausea which stems from this deficiency.
Perhaps the most popular is the STOMACH CURING PILL, an herbal wonder that is a fixture in every Chinese medicine cabinet, and a must-carry for all travelers.
Use it for nausea and/or a headache due to, stomach “flu”, overeating, hangover, unfamiliar diet, motion sickness, morning sickness, simple indigestion, etc. These herbs work in about 10 minutes and is convincing evidence of how quick acting and effective some herbal medicines can be.
Note that Curing Pills are not used for chronic diarrhea, or acid reflux.
SOURCE: Patented medicine which evolved from Bao He Wan (Preserve Harmony Pill) which first appeared in The Teachings Of Zhu by Zhu Zheng Heng, 1481
TRADITIONAL USES: Herbs for nausea reduce food stagnation, send rebellious stomach Qi downwards, clear heat, and dry dampness.
Costus Root, Saussureae Radix – MU XIANG
Moves the Qi, Dissipates stagnant intestinal Qi, Alleviates Pain
Angelica Root Angelica Dahurica, BAI ZHI
Expels Wind, Releases Surface, Alleviates Pain, Reduces Swelling, Expels Dampness and Alleviates Discharge
Medicated Leaven, Massa Fermentata. SHEN QU
Dissolves Food, Transforms Accumulations, Aides Digestion
Mint Leaf Mentha Folium: BO HE
Frees Constrained Qi, Clears the Head and Eyes, Disperses Wind Heat
Citrus Peel – Citri Rubrum Exocarpum- CHEN PI
Moves the Qi, Strengthens Spleen, Dries Dampness, Directs the Qi Downward, Prevents Stagnation
Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemomi Flos, JU HUA
Disperses Wind, Clears Heat from the Eyes, Pacifies the Liver
Ornamental Orchid – Gastrodia Rhiz – TIAM MA
Pacifies the Liver, Extiguishes Wind, Alleviates Pain, Disperses Painful Obstruction
Hoelin Mushroom – Poria Cocos: FU LING
Quiets the Heart, Calms the Spirit, Harmonizes the Middle, Strengthens Stomach/Spleen
Job¹s Tears – Coicis Semen – YI YI REN
Leaches our dampness, Strengthens Stomach/Spleen, Clears Damp Heat, Reduces Diarrhea
Magnolia Bark – Magnolia Cortex – HOU PO
Moves the Qi, Transforms Dampness, Resolves Stagnation, Directs Rebellious Qi Downward
Patchouli – Agastach Pogostemi, HUO XIANG
Transforms Dampness, Releases the Exterior, Harmonizes the Center, Expels Dampness
White Atractylodis – Atractylodis Rx, BAI ZHU
Benefits the Qi, Stabilizes the Exterior, Strengthens the Spleen, Dries Dampness
* Rice Sprout – Oryzae Germinantus – GU YA
Dissolves Food Stagnation, Strengthens Stomach
Kudzu Root – Pueraria Radix, GE GEN
Clears Heat, Releases Muscles of Upper Body, Nourishes Fluids
* Dr. Shen version uses gluten free GU YA (rice sprout) instead of the MAI YA (barley sprout) which are used by all other brands and does contain gluten.
Single Herbs Used For Nausea
Fresh Ginger – sheng jiang
Pinellia – ban xia
Perilla Leaf – su ye
Patchouli – huo xiang
Citrus Peel – chen pi
Amomi Seed – sha ren
Cardamon – bai dou kou
Other Formulas Useful for Nausea
- BAO HE WAN
- BAN XIA HOU PU WAN
- WEN DAN TANG
Herbs for Weak Stomach & Digestive Qi
- PING WEI SAN
- LIU JUN ZI WAN
- XIANG SHA YANG WEI WAN
- WEI TE LING
DO NOT SELF-PRESCRIBE THESE MEDICINES
Acupuncture for Nausea, Morning Sickness & Hangovers
More than 30 controlled studies have been published showing that acupuncture point stimulation can treat or prevent nausea and vomiting.
Acupressure massage can also relieve nausea. Some practitioners prescribe acupressure bracelets, which apply pressure to certain points without the use of needles. And patients can be instructed to apply acupressure themselves to help reduce nausea.
References and Additional Information:
- Carlsson CP, Axemo P, Bodin A, Carstensen H, Ehrenroth B, Madegard-Lind I, Navander C. Manual acupuncture reduces hyperemesis gravidarum: a placebo-controlled, randomized, single-blind, crossover study. J Pain Symptom Manage Oct 2000;20(4):273-9.
- Knight B, Mudge C, Openshaw S, White A, Hart A. Effect of acupuncture on nausea of pregnancy: a randomized, controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol Feb 2001;97(2):184-8.
- Lee A, Done ML. The use of nonpharmacologic techniques to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting: a meta-analysis. Anesth Analg Jun 1999;88(6):1362-9.
- Mann E. Using acupuncture and acupressure to treat postoperative emesis. Prof Nurse Jul 1999;14(10):691-4.
- Mayer DJ. Acupuncture: an evidence-based review of the clinical literature. Annu Rev Med 2000;51:49-63.
- Schlager A, Offer T, Baldissera I. Laser stimulation of acupuncture point P6 reduces postoperative vomiting in children undergoing strabismus surgery. Br J Anaesth Oct 1998;81(4):529-32.
- Vickers AJ. Can acupuncture have specific effects on health? A systematic review of acupuncture antiemesis trials. J R Soc Med 1996;89:303-311.
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claim as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.