March #21 : Feeling Queasy? Help is Easy - by Enid Vazquez

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Table of Contents

Larry Kramer Gets Angry

Radiant Radical

Adventures in Brain Chemistry

Cackles, Cauldrons, and Carrots

Johnny Appleseed

The Way To a Man's Heart

Tools of the Trade

Life Imitates Art

S.O.S.-March 1997

Mailbox-March 1997

Notes of a Native Son

Out in the Cold

Cocktail Hour

Gallo's Humor

Vanity Unfair

Uh-Oh, Canada

Dental Damns

School for Scandal

"Provide" Services

Goes Around, Comes Around

Whatever Happened to Mary Jane

The Buddy Line

Rebel YELL

Bull's Eye

Body at Work

Alive and Kicking

ACTing UP All Over

All in Good Time

Tabling the Situation

POZ Picks-March 1997

ACT UP's First Days

5,985 and Counting

A Specific Point of View

Dead Gorgeous

Sex and the Single Positoid

Misplaced Lust

The Anger Channel

Dose of Reality

Feeling Blue? Much to Do!

Kicking Butt

Expand Your Medicine Cabinet

Wean on Me

Feeling Queasy? Help is Easy

The Right Stuff

A Load Off His Mind

Carbo Diem

Monkey Business

Taking Action

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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March 1997

Feeling Queasy? Help is Easy

by Enid Vazquez

Try teas, bands, needles or weed

Oye of churning stomach; Help is on the horizon. Whether the culprit's a heavy AIDS drug or a digestive disorder, nausea can be nasty.

Sure, you can get Compazine, Tigan, Marinol, Kytril, Zofrn, Phenergan or Reglan, but these drugs tend to leave you drowsy, require a prescription and can be expensive.

So what to do? Aside from drinking a clear, carbonated beverage, you might try steeping some tea, getting acupuncture, massaging yourself, wearing special rubber bands or smoking a joint.

"Ginger tea is an extremely effective treatment for nausea," says Dr. Misha Cohen, research director of the Quan Yin Healing Arts Center in San Francisco and author of The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness (Berkley-Putnam/New York City). Cohen suggests boiling two or three thin slices of fresh ginger root for 10 minutes in a cup of water. Or take a quarter-teaspoon of ground dried ginger root in warm water, especially if nausea occurs with eating. Avoid ginger if you're experiencing burning sensations in your stomach.

Cohen says peppermint tea also works well. And Chicago herbalist Sue Saltmarsh recommends fennel tea and catnip tea. Catnip also works as an appetite stimulant and "is very soothing to the digestive tract," Saltmarsh says. Her rules for medicinal tea: Use boiling water, steep covered for at least 10 minutes, and don't add any sweetener.

How about taking "curing pills"-tiny beads of Chinese antinausea herbs sold in vials? A box costs $2 or $3. Cohen suggests taking half a vial two or three times a day for five days.

Something else to try: Place a wet washcloth on your stomach, a piece of grocery-bag plastic over that and a dry heating pad on top (or use a wet heating pad by itself).

Or try the acupressure point above your wrist: Measure up from the crease of your wrist on your inner arm with your three middle fingers. Massage the point in the middle with your thumb. This is where the rubber bands come in: Sea-Band is the brand name of an elastic bracelet designed for travel sickness. It has a small plastic ball that fits over the nausea acupressure point. Most drugstores sell them for around $11.

How about acupuncture? "Acupuncture can control and minimize nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms for several days to a week," Dion Richetti, medical director of Chicago's AIDS Alternative Health Project, says.

And then there's the "evil weed." Dr. Donald Abrams, assistant director of the AIDS Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, says, "Many of our providers find that marijuana works for nausea and other symptoms-which isn't surprising, since Marinol (a synthetic drug form of an active ingredient in marijuana) is approved to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients." So for those with suffering stomachs, it may pay to inhale.

Any self-medication for serious or persistent conditions should be done in consultation with a qualified health practitioner.

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