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5 Natural Tips to Ease Pregnancy Nausea with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Pregnancy is a time of great joy and excitement but can also come with unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. These morning sickness symptoms affect up to 80% of pregnant women in the first trimester. While some medications can help alleviate these symptoms, some women may prefer to explore natural remedies, such as traditional Chinese medicine.

1. Eat small, frequent meals. In traditional Chinese medicine, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are often attributed to a condition called "rebellious stomach qi," which means that the stomach energy is flowing in the wrong direction. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help regulate the flow of stomach qi and prevent nausea and vomiting. Foods that are easy to digest and high in protein, such as nuts, seeds, and lean meats, are recommended. Eat foods with complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, bananas, millet, and brown rice.

Enjoy a Ginger Tea Ginger has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate nausea and vomiting. A study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health found that ginger effectively reduced the severity of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. Drinking ginger tea, made by steeping fresh ginger in hot water, is a simple and effective way to reap the benefits of this powerful herb. Add a lemon wedge to your drink.

2. Make sure to take your prenatal vitamins. Several studies suggest a correlation between taking prenatal vitamins and experiencing less severe morning sickness during pregnancy. One study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who took a daily prenatal vitamin were less likely to experience severe nausea and vomiting compared to those who did not take a prenatal vitamin. Another study published in the journal Nutrients found that women who took a prenatal vitamin containing vitamin B6 had a lower incidence of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

3. Try Acupressure. Acupressure is a technique in which pressure is applied to specific points on the body to alleviate symptoms. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure is often used to regulate the flow of energy in the body. One study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that acupressure on the wrist effectively reduced nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. You can try applying pressure to the P6 point, located on the inside of the wrist, about three finger-widths from the base of the hand.

4. Practice Qi Gong. Qi Gong is a gentle exercise involving slow, flowing movements and deep breathing. According to traditional Chinese medicine, Qi Gong helps regulate the body's energy flow and promote overall health and well-being. One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Qi Gong effectively reduced the severity of nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. You can try practicing Qi Gong for a few minutes each day, either on your own or with a qualified instructor.

5. Use Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote health and well-being. In traditional Chinese medicine, certain essential oils are believed to have properties that can alleviate nausea and vomiting. Peppermint oil, for example, is known for its ability to calm the stomach and relieve nausea. You can try diffusing peppermint oil in your home or office, applying a drop or two to a tissue, and inhaling the scent.

In conclusion, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience, but there are natural remedies that can help. Traditional Chinese medicine offers a range of approaches that can alleviate symptoms and promote overall health and well-being. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help ease your symptoms and help you enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy.

From my own clinical experience and being pregnant myself, for the most part, I would usually advise women to try more than one approach to subdue morning sickness as sometimes, it takes more than one way to help a condition.


Smith, C., Crowther, C., & Beilby, J. (2002). Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Birth (Berkeley, Calif.), 29(1), 1–9.

Matthews, A., Dowswell, T., Haas, D. M., Doyle, M., & O'Mathúna, D. P. (2010). Interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (9), CD007575.

O'Brien, B., & Naber, S. (1992). Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy: effects on the quality of women's lives. Birth (Berkeley, Calif.), 19(3), 138–143.

Takuhiro Moromizato, Shinya Matsuzaki, Tsuyoshi Shiotani, Ayako Yoshida, Hiroko Ochiai, Hiroshi Ohta. Efficacy of a Prenatal Nutritional Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes in Japanese Women. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 217, Issue 3, Supplement, 2017, Pages S630-S631, ISSN 0002-9378, doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2017.06.946.

Sahakian, V., Rouse, D., Sipes, S., Rose, N., & Niebyl, J. (1991). Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Obstetrics and gynecology, 78(1), 33–36.


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