By Rachael Link, MS, RD on December 4, 2019 — Medically reviewed by Natalie Olsen, R.D., L.D., ACSM EP-C
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Drinking a hot cup of tea is one of the most effective ways to settle an upset stomach, especially if you’re feeling nauseous.
Nausea is characterized by stomach discomfort and the urge to vomit.
In fact, some teas have been shown to help soothe queasiness caused by everything from motion sickness to chemotherapy to pregnancy.
Here are 6 of the best teas for nausea.
Ginger tea is an herbal infusion made from ginger root.
This root has been used as a natural remedy for nausea for thousands of years and is commonly added to candies, tablets, and chews used to settle upset stomachs (1).
A review of nine studies reported that ginger relieved nausea and vomiting caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, certain medications, and surgery (2).
Similarly, a study in 576 people undergoing chemotherapy found that eating 0.5–1 gram(s) of ginger significantly reduced the severity of nausea, compared with a placebo (3).
Although most studies have focused on highly concentrated ginger extracts and supplements, it’s likely that the same benefits apply to ginger tea.
To make ginger tea, simply grate a small knob of peeled ginger and steep it in boiling water for 10–20 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. Next, strain the ginger and enjoy as is, or add a bit of honey, cinnamon, or lemon.
You can buy ginger tea bags as well — either in health shops, grocery stores, or online.
Ginger is a common natural remedy used to treat nausea. It makes a soothing cup of tea whether steeped from the whole root or using a tea bag.
Chamomile tea comes from a sweet, earthy flower enjoyed for its distinct flavor and health-promoting properties.
In traditional medicine, chamomile has been used to relax your digestive muscles and treat conditions like motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, gas, and indigestion (4).
According to a 4-month study in 65 women undergoing chemotherapy, taking 500 mg of chamomile extract twice daily reduced the frequency of vomiting (5).
Meanwhile, a study in 105 women noted that taking chamomile extract was more effective than ginger at reducing nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy (6).
However, note that pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider before drinking chamomile tea, as it and other herbal teas may pose a risk to their pregnancy (7).
While these studies have tested highly concentrated extracts of the flower itself, chamomile tea may offer similar effects.
To make it, steep 1 tablespoon (2 grams) of dried chamomile in 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water for 5–10 minutes.
You can also buy tea bags in stores or online.
Chamomile tea may relax your digestive muscles to help relieve nausea and vomiting.
Honey lemon tea is a popular tea that pairs a refreshing citrus flavor with a sweet finish.
Multiple studies demonstrate that the scent of lemon alone can relieve nausea.
For instance, a 4-day study in 100 pregnant women showed that smelling lemon essential oil led to significant reductions in nausea and vomiting (8).
Meanwhile, honey balances out lemon’s acidic tang. It also boasts antibacterial properties, which may protect against infections that could contribute to nausea (9).
It’s simple to make homemade honey lemon tea. To do so, add 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons (15 ml) of honey to 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water and stir.
Honey lemon tea may fight nausea due to lemon’s citrusy aroma and honey’s antibacterial properties.
Fennel is an aromatic herb and vegetable that’s closely related to carrots, celery, coriander, and dill.
It has long been used as a natural remedy for a wide array of ailments, including stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation (10).
Some of these properties are backed by research.
For example, one study in 80 women found that taking a capsule with 30 mg of fennel before menstruation helped reduce symptoms like nausea and weakness (11).
What’s more, a study in 159 people determined that drinking 1 cup (240 ml) of fennel tea per day helped promote digestive health, gut recovery, and bowel regularity after surgery (12).
You can make fennel tea by adding 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of dried fennel seeds to 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water. Steep it for 5–10 minutes, then strain.
You can also purchase tea bags online or in stores.
Studies show that fennel tea may help improve digestive health and relieve symptoms like stomach pain and nausea.
Peppermint tea is one of the most popular teas to treat stomach pain and nausea.
In animal studies, peppermint oil has been shown to reduce pain and relax muscles in the digestive tract (13).
Another study in 123 people found that simply inhaling peppermint oil significantly reduced nausea after surgery (14).
Peppermint tea likely offers health benefits similar to those of the oil.
Peppermint tea bags are available at most major grocery stores, as well as online. Alternatively, you can make your own by steeping 10–15 crushed peppermint leaves in 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water for 10–15 minutes.
Research suggests that peppermint oil and its tea may reduce pain and nausea.
Licorice is an herb with a distinct bittersweet flavor.
In addition to being added to candies, chewing gum, and beverages, it has long been used in traditional medicine to treat digestive distress (15).
One monthlong study in 54 people found that taking 75 mg of licorice extract twice daily reduced symptoms of indigestion, including nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and bloating (16).
Other research has found that licorice extract could help heal stomach ulcers, which can trigger symptoms like bloating, stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting (17, 18, 19).
Licorice root tea bags can be found online and at many grocery stores and health shops.
However, because most of the available research on the topic used extracts, additional high-quality studies are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of licorice tea.
This herb may cause negative side effects like high blood pressure if consumed in high amounts. These side effects may be exacerbated by low levels of potassium (20).
For this reason, it’s best to limit your intake to just 1 cup (240 ml) per day. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any underlying health conditions (21).
Furthermore, as is the case with other herbal teas, pregnant women should not drink licorice tea before consulting their healthcare provider, as it may pose a risk to their pregnancy (7).
Licorice tea may relieve nausea by reducing symptoms of indigestion and healing stomach ulcers. However, more research on its safety is needed due to its potential side effects.
Sipping on a hot cup of tea can be a great way to relieve your nausea.
Certain teas, such as ginger, chamomile, and peppermint, may be especially beneficial. Some may even soothe other digestive issues like stomach pain, bloating, and discomfort.
Most of these teas are easy to make at home using store-bought tea bags or fresh or dried herbs.
Herbal Tea and Pregnancy | American Pregnancy Association
Many alternative medicine health care providers feel that consuming certain herbal teas during pregnancy is a great way to support optimal pregnancy health. Herbal teas can often provide an additional source of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. However, due to the lack of studies on most herbs, the FDA encourages caution when ingesting herbal teas.
To understand which herbal teas are safe to consume during pregnancy, let’s first look at the different types of teas and how they are made.
Differences Between Non-Herbal and Herbal
There are two different types of teas, non-herbal and herbal. The non-herbal teas can be broken down into 3 categories: black, green, and oolong.
Black tea is the most common type of non-herbal tea. It includes blends such as English breakfast, Earl Grey, and Orange Pekoe.
Green tea has a more delicate taste than black tea. The oolong teas are a combination of green and black tea.
Non-herbal teas contain varying amounts of caffeine and antioxidants.
Non-herbal teas are made from leaves of tea plants.
The longer the oxidation time (fermenting) of the leaf, the higher the caffeine level.
The brewing time, size of the leaf and type of tea leaf can also influence how much caffeine is in the tea.
Decaf versions of non-herbal teas still contain a bit of caffeine.
Made from the roots, berries, flowers, seeds, and leaves of a variety of plants not from actual tea plant leaves.
True herbal teas do not contain caffeine. (This does not include any other drinks that are called “tea” but truly are not, such as mate tea. )
These teas can also be used as medicinal remedies (relatingto, or having the properties of medicine).
Which teas are safe during pregnancy?
Although non-herbal tea is assumed to have great health benefits due to the antioxidants, it also contains caffeine, which pregnant and breastfeeding women are often encouraged to cut down on or eliminate.
The average cup of non-herbal tea contains about 40-50 milligrams of caffeine. Decaffeinated nonherbal tea does still contain a bit of caffeine; however, the amount is usually only about .4 milligrams.
Caffeine crosses the placenta and reaches your developing baby. The baby cannot metabolize caffeine like an adult can. Also, consuming caffeine while breastfeeding could contribute to infant sleep disorders.
For this reason, there is controversy on how much caffeine is safe, or if it should be avoided altogether. We know that the less caffeine consumed, the better it is for your baby while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk with your midwife or doctor about what amount is safe. This will help you make the decision on whether to consume non-herbal teas.
Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free, so caffeine is not an issue when consuming this type of tea. The concern with consuming herbal teas during pregnancy is the lack of data available on most herbs and their effects on a developing fetus. There are mixed opinions on the safety of herbal teas, for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
Most commercial brands of herbal teas are thought to be safe for anyone to consume in reasonable amounts. Herbal tea companies, such as Celestial Seasonings, report that they do not use any herbs that are considered dangerous and choose to use herbs from guidelines that the FDA has published.
The herbal teas that are considered to be unsafe are those that are not made commercially, those made with excessive amounts of herbs (amounts larger than those found in common foods or drinks), and those made with herbs that are known to be toxic.
As with most things, it is always best to talk with your midwife or doctor about any herbal teas that you are interested in drinking.
There are a number of teas labeled as a pregnancy tea. Pregnancy teas, which often contain red raspberry leaf, are considered to be beneficial in pregnancy. Many midwives and professionals who work with herbs believe that the regular consumption of these teas may help prevent pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, prolonged labor, and postpartum hemorrhage.
Medical studies have shown that red raspberry leaf can be consumed safely during pregnancy and can decrease the length of labor and the number of interventions used, such as artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), assisted delivery, and cesarean delivery.
Red raspberry leaf also seems to help prevent pregnancies from pre- or post-term gestation (delivering too early or too late).
The Herbs Used
The following are common ingredients you may find in herbal teas. Note that some have a questionable safety rating. The safety ratings given here are from the Natural Medicines Database.
More extensive research and discussions with your health care provider will help you make the decision about what herbs are safe for you to use in teas.
Red Raspberry Leaf (Likely Safe) – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Many pregnancy teas contain red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy. There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.
PeppermintLeaf (Likely Safe) – Helpful in relieving nausea/morning sickness and flatulence.
Lemon Balm (Likely Safe) – Has a calming effect and helps relieve irritability, insomnia, and anxiety.
Ginger root (Possibly Safe) – Helps relieve nausea and vomiting.
Dandelion (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – Rich in Vitamin A, calcium and iron; dandelion root and leaf can also help relieve mild edema and nourish the liver.
Chamomile (German) (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – High in calcium and magnesium, also helps with sleeplessness and inflammation of joints.
Nettles (Stinging Nettles) (Likely Unsafe-see note) – High in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, and iron. Used in many pregnancy teas because it is a great all-around pregnancy tonic. (*Note on the safety of Nettles: Natural Medicines Database gives Nettles a rating of likely unsafe, even though it is used in countless pregnancy teas and recommended by most midwives and herbalists. This may be in relation to which part of the nettles plant is used, the root or the leaves, and how much is used. According to other sources, the use of nettles is encouraged during pregnancy because of its health benefits.)
Rose Hips (Insufficient Reliable Information Available) – Very good source of Vitamin C and helps boost the immune system.
Alfalfa (Possibly Unsafe) – Has Vitamin A, D, E and K; particularly good in later pregnancy to boost Vitamin K, which helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
Yellow Dock (Possibly Unsafe) – Used to help treat anemia in pregnant women due to the high level of iron. Also contains Vitamins A, C, and calcium. *(This may also be used as a laxative–talk with your health care provider about the use of yellow dock during pregnancy).
Your Next Steps:
Subscribe to the Natural Medicines Database for information on other herbs and natural medicines and more in-depth information on the herbs discussed.
Make your own herbal tea by adding oranges, apples, pineapples, lemons, limes, pears, cinnamon, or mint leaves to boiling water or decaffeinated tea. *(You should not brew a homemade tea from a plant growing in the yard unless you know exactly what it is and if it is safe to consume during pregnancy.)
Talk with your midwife or doctor about helpful herbal teas to drink during pregnancy.
Want to Know More?
Herbs and Pregnancy
Treating Infertility with Herbal Medications
Caffeine and Pregnancy
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Gruenwald, J., Brendler, T., & Jaenicke, C. (Eds.), PDR for herbal medicines 4th ed. Montvale, NJ: Thomson Healthcare Inc.
2. Raspberry leaf in pregnancy: its safety and efficacy in labor. J Midwifery Women’s Health. 2001 Mar-Apr;46(2):51-9. PMID: 11370690 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
3. Belew, C. (1999). Herbs and the childbearing woman: Guidelines for midwives. J Nurse-Midwifery. 44:231-252.
4. Tea Association of the USA
Why nausea in the morning on an empty stomach - causes and how to treat at home
Most often, pregnant women face nausea in the morning on an empty stomach, due to intoxication, but it is not uncommon for this problem to occur in males or even children
Do not worry too much if you have encountered such a problem once, it is likely that this is a banal poisoning. But, if nausea in the morning on an empty stomach does not go away, you should immediately consult a doctor. Some people are used to dealing with this problem with folk remedies and medicines and they really get better, but it is worth considering that most likely the disease or pathology itself continues to develop. And as a result, it will turn into a more serious form. That is why it is so important to consult a doctor who will find out the cause of morning sickness and prescribe the most effective treatment.
Most often, morning sickness on an empty stomach may indicate the presence of the following diseases: unpleasant symptoms. This is due to inflammatory processes in the duodenum 12. The patient can also be tormented by: burning, bloating during and after eating, heartburn.
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) - also characterized by nausea in the morning, as well as after eating fatty or fried foods. This disease is easily confused with gastritis due to the similarity of symptoms, but with pancreatitis, the patient begins to have problems with stools and an unpleasant, bitter taste in the mouth.
Appendicitis - nausea is likely to fade into the background, after unbearable pain in the right side begins to appear.
Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) - this disease can also be accompanied by morning nausea. Accompanying symptoms are pain in the right hypochondrium and excessive gas formation.
Other causes of nausea in the morning
After excluding the above diseases from the list of causes, the following causes can be considered:
Pregnancy. Intoxication and nausea in the morning is often found in pregnant women, especially in the early stages. This is a normal reaction of the body to significant changes and hormonal changes. It is very important to completely exclude drugs for the treatment of the digestive tract during pregnancy. These funds can have an extremely negative impact on the health of the patient, the unborn child and the course of pregnancy. Therefore, you will have to endure this ailment and get by with folk remedies, but be sure to consult your doctor.
Migraine. Morning sickness on an empty stomach may precede a severe headache. You will most likely still feel a lot of noise and increased sensitivity to smells.
High blood pressure (hypertension). The problem of morning sickness can be accompanied by headache and dizziness. If you do not pay attention to these symptoms in a timely manner, you risk starting this disease, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
Cardiovascular disease - rarely, nausea on an empty stomach occurs with heart failure or developing myocardial infarction. If nausea is accompanied by pain, a feeling of heaviness and tightness behind the sternum, numbness or tingling in one half of the body, it is necessary to seek medical help as soon as possible, as this may be an incipient myocardial infarction.
Increased intracranial pressure - Nausea and regurgitation in infants can occur when pressure increases inside the ventricles of the brain.
What to do if you feel sick in the morning
It is important to understand that regular morning sickness is a signal of the presence of a pathology or disease and it is highly undesirable to self-medicate. Be sure to consult a doctor for an examination, but if you don’t have such an opportunity at the moment, there are several effective ways that will help reduce or temporarily get rid of this problem:
Medicines. You need to be very careful and you must be sure that morning sickness is not the cause of pregnancy or an intestinal disease.
Ginger root, mint and lemon drinks. You can make infusions of these products for maximum effect, simply by adding them to a glass and boiling water, after 15 minutes you will have a very effective and safe (in the absence of allergies) remedy for morning sickness. YOU can also just add them to hot tea.
Medicinal collection - if nausea relentlessly torments you in the morning, you can try a collection of mint, oak bark and celandine. To prepare the drink, take 1 tsp of mint leaves, dried oak bark and chopped celandine, pour 0.5 l of boiling water and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes. After the broth is cooled and filtered, take 1 tablespoon 3-5 times a day before meals.
During pregnancy. There are some little tricks you can use. For example, do not get out of bed quickly, drink plenty of fluids. Eliminate fatty and heavy foods from your diet. Eat small meals several times a day.
Early toxicosis in pregnant women - maternity hospital "Leleka"
Everyone has heard that pregnant women feel sick in the morning. Nausea, vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms are signs of early toxicosis of pregnant women.
Causes of toxicosis in pregnant women
Oddly enough, but evidence-based medicine still has no consensus on the causes of toxicosis. It is known for sure that after the appearance of a fetal egg in a woman's body, the hormonal background begins to change, and the state of the nervous system also changes. These are two interrelated processes.
Unfortunately, these changes often affect other body systems. First of all, the digestive system suffers, and indigestion is fraught with negative consequences for the whole organism. Morning sickness, salivation, vomiting, rejection of certain foods can be so strong that a woman loses weight, suffers from beriberi, impaired immunity, and simply feels unwell. In the middle and strong stages of toxicosis, an uneven heartbeat rhythm, changes in blood pressure, and acetone in the urine can be observed. With severe toxicosis in pregnant women, a disorder of the water-salt balance in the body and the threat of spontaneous abortion are possible.
In addition, toxicosis often exacerbates chronic diseases, especially of the gastrointestinal tract: ulcers, gastritis, duodenitis. Women who have had inflammatory diseases of the genital organs and multiple abortions are also at risk. In general, 50-60% of women suffer from toxicosis of pregnant women, but only 8-10% of toxicosis acquires dangerous forms. With severe toxicosis, spontaneous abortion is often. However, if this did not happen, the main manifestations of toxicosis disappear by about 11-12 weeks.
How to avoid toxicosis: doctors' recommendations
There is no method that would 100% protect the expectant mother from toxicosis of pregnant women. However, there are preventive measures that will help alleviate the condition of a woman.
1. Preventive treatment
Women who are planning to become pregnant are advised to undergo treatment for their chronic diseases. To do this, you need to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. The risk of developing severe toxicosis in the presence of chronic gastrointestinal problems is significantly higher.
2. Balanced diet
Even during pregnancy, a woman can eliminate the manifestations of toxicosis through a balanced diet. Food products should be as natural as possible, easily digestible. In addition, it is worth limiting the size of a single serving: it is better to switch to fractional meals and eat more often, but in smaller portions.
In case of toxicosis, it is recommended to avoid:
fatty foods, especially cakes and pastries with buttercream and fatty meat products such as bacon and brisket;
pickles and smoked products;
semi-finished products - dumplings and dumplings of industrial production;
alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, industrial fruit juices;
fruits and vegetables with a strong taste and smell - strawberries, tomatoes, apricots, cherries;
coffee and tea.
However, it should be remembered that any diet must be adapted to the individual, so these recommendations are not binding.
Stress and anxiety can increase the effects of toxicosis. Under the influence of hormones, the psyche of a pregnant woman becomes especially vulnerable, and even a slight excitement can become a reason for stress. Therefore, in case of toxicosis, it is advised to limit communication with strangers, avoid crowded places of aggressive people - state clinics, utility centers - and, if possible, go on maternity leave from work.
4. Healthy lifestyle
Regular walks in the fresh air, the rejection of artificial stimulants - strong drinks, chocolate, popular TV shows, loud music - will benefit the mother and child and help reduce the manifestations of toxicosis.
It should be remembered that if all preventive measures are taken, and the condition of a pregnant woman does not improve, the symptoms of toxicosis increase, a doctor's consultation is necessary.