Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are themselves not diseases, but symptoms of disease and imbalance. There are multiple causes such as motion sickness when travelling by car or boat, viral or bacterial infections, consumption of contaminated foods, irregular diet and even emotional disturbances. If the condition persists, and there is no apparent reason for it, please seek medical advice.

In Chinese medicine, the aetiology of nausea and vomiting is catergorised into one of four causes.

  • External Pathogenic FactorsWind, Heat, Summer-Heat, Damp or Cold. These invade the Stomach and cause the Stomach-Qi to rebel upwards. In such circumstances, pain and abdominal distension and fullness can also be present.
  • Irregular Diet – This includes eating too quickly, late at night and while on the move or working. These can impair digestion and lead to retention of food and Qi stagnation. Over consumption of greasy and fried food, dairy products, cold and raw (uncooked) foods creates dampness and cold in the Stomach, injuring Stomach-Qi. The same is true of hot foods such as red meat, spicy food and alcohol, which leat to Heat in the Stomach causing rebellious Stomach-Qi. Long term irregular eating habits will eventually lead to Stomach-Qi and/or Stomach-Yin deficiency.
  • Emotional Stress – Emotions such as anger, worry and sadness can all affect the Stomach, causing it’s Qi to rebel upwards. Nausea and vomiting can also result from emotional stress affecting the Heart, having an adverse effect on the descending of Heart-Qi, causing it to rise upwards.
  • Overwork – Long term patterns of excessive work, under stressful conditions and without sufficient rest can lead to Stomach-Qi deficiency, thus causing Qi to rebel upwards.

A Chinese medicine practitioner will diagnose the exact cause based on your consultation and establish the most appropriate treatment plan. This will most likely involve acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Commonly used medicinal herbs for treating nausea and vomiting include Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae), Cang Zhu (Rhizoma Atractylodis), Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae), Huo Xiang (Herba Pogostemonis) and Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens).

If you wish to enquire about treatment or purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines to help this condition please email us at