What Are the Best Ways to Treat Vomiting?

An illustration of a human stomach.
Peppermint and chamomile teas can sooth upset stomachs.
Small amounts of fluid may help treat vomiting.
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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
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To treat vomiting, it's important to avoid exacerbating the situation by trying to make the affected individual continue eating. A better choice is to stop solid food until the vomiting has had a chance to settle down. To keep the person hydrated, allowing them to drink clear fluids or some flat cola may help. If the individual is taking any oral medications, it should be stopped until the vomiting episode has concluded.

Attempting to treat vomiting by trying to continue on as normal is not the best strategy. Throwing up takes a lot of energy, and the patient is not getting the nutrition from the food he or she is ingesting during this time. Taking time off from work or school is what is required as long as the vomiting continues and probably for some time afterwards.

To guard against dehydration, treat vomiting by introducing small amounts of fluids. Wait in between drinks to see if the amount ingested will stay down. Plain water can be used for this purpose, but flat cola or ginger ale are also good choices. To take the carbonation out of the cola quickly, pour it into a glass and stir with a spoon. Drinking ginger ale will help to ease nausea, and may help to stop the cycle of vomiting.


Medications being taken by mouth don't generally help when it comes to trying to treat vomiting. They may be irritating the individual's stomach and adding to the problem. The person who is throwing up is also not getting the benefit of the medication, since it may not have time to be introduced properly into the patient's system.

After the episodes of vomiting slow down and eventually stop, introducing solid food again should be attempted slowly. Toast or other bland foods should be tried first. Rice and bananas are also good choices at this point.

If the bland foods stay down without triggering another episode of vomiting, other foods can be added over the next few days. It's a good idea for the person who is being treated to eat small meals more often than to try to consume regular quantities of food right away. Once he or she is eating normally, regular activities can be resumed.

Hopefully, most episodes of upset stomach and vomiting will resolve themselves without medical attention, but there are times when a doctor should be consulted. If brown vomit that looks like coffee grounds is observed, a trip to the closest emergency room is needed. The brown appearance is an indication of blood, and medical attention will be needed to treat vomiting in this instance.


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