My secret weapon against feeling green.

No, this is not my confession of organizing an underground rebellion against all things ecologically-friendly; because that would just be strange, especially considering my husband’s line of employment. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, right? (Though, technically, it’s usually me feeding him.)

By green, I mean the color you turn when you feel like you’re going to lose your lunch. Hug the toilet. Wretch up your toenails.

For my whole life, I have despised puking. Growing up, if I had a stomach bug, I would just lay in bed, awake and miserable for hours, just to postpone the inevitable. People would say things like, “If you just do it already, you’ll feel better.” But that logic fell on deaf ears; I hated puking more than I hated lying there in misery. My friend Nan and I once discussed our mutual loathing of the act, and realized we would both have “phantom nausea,” sometimes for days, when we knew a stomach bug was making its way around the community.

Last night, I awoke at around 1 am with that dreaded feeling. I didn’t feel great going to bed, but at that middle-of-the-night moment, I knew what my future held. The nausea was coming in waves, and my stomach was in a tight knot. The main difference between last night and a similar night a few years ago is that I knew there was a solution that didn’t involve holding my own hair back: my secret weapon is apple cider vinegar.

My friend Caroline told me about this a few years ago, this tonic that has released me from even phantom nausea. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve not once had to sleep on the bathroom floor. Even during times when my whole family was taking their turns in bathrooms, under the control of that season’s dreaded bug, I was puke-free.

Sometimes when I share this tonic with a friend, their response is: but your body needs to wretch, it needs to get rid of something. But I say, nope, I don’t buy it. It’s like a fever: your body has them for a reason, and we let them go as long as we can without medicating. But if my kid is utterly miserable, I’m going to give them ibuprofen. If the body needs the fever to go high, it will do so even if medicated. The same with vomiting: if my body really needs to get rid of something, it will do so even if I give it a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Otherwise, I’d rather skip the whole process and get some sleep.

So last night, I got up, made my way downstairs, and poured myself a tonic. I sat and sipped it while looking aimlessly at my computer screen, finding nothing better to do than tweet about it:

And just like every time I do this, I sat there thinking it wouldn’t work. I drank the whole glass and didn’t feel better. But I sat for about 10 more minutes, and realized how tired I was, that I’d rather be in my bed. So I went back upstairs, still feeling a little queasy, and then woke up 5 hours later to the sound of my 2-year old screaming for granola.

Which, for once, was a welcome sound.


Tonic for Nausea

  • 6-8 oz glass of water
  • 1 Tbsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I use Spectrum or Bragg’s)

Pour vinegar into glass of water, and sip entire glass. Nausea should dissipate within 20-30 minutes. Repeat as necessary.

* If you have been exposed to a stomach bug, you can drink this tonic 3x a day to avoid getting the bug.


This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS.

19 thoughts on “My secret weapon against feeling green.

  1. I don’t think I ever tried it with pregnancy, which is weird, because I think I knew about it by the time I had my third.

    It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try. I can’t imagine it would be unsafe, since it’s basically consuming the same amount of vinegar as you’d eat in salad dressing.

    Let me know if you (or someone you know) tries it, and if it works!

  2. I sure hope this does work with morning sickness! I’ll surely try it the next time around.

    And thanks for making me feel much less alone. I, too, hate throwing up. I think I made my morning sickness worse because of that. I’d lay on the sofa for hours willing myself not to do the inevitable and feeling worse and worse. When I did finally throw up, I’d cry all the way through the process, as if I was experiencing some horrible trauma . . . which I was.

    I’ve been thinking that, in any pregnancy to come, I’ll try and be stronger and just get it done with first-thing, but now I’m think that I’ll just try your drink!

  3. That sounds like it wouldn’t be as bad as taking Emitrol for nausea — Emitro is NASTY. Will have to get some ACV to keep for the next time I get sick. I’ll probably still lie on the floor in the bathroom, though, because cold floor tiles just feel RIGHT at those times.

    BTW, I ALSO hate puking, and I think Angie does, too. You think it’s a genetic trait or learned behavior?

    1. Oh I can be one 🙂

      I’ll try this and get back to yall. Tho I do drink Kombucha in this preg, so it’s possible I won’t respond to ACV very strongly? Anyway, I forget what it was like to not throw up all day…I’m sorta losing my mind. 14 weeks preggo right now…

  4. Seriously — someone who’s currently in the throes of morning sickness needs to try this! I would totally try it, if I was.

    The only thing I’d recommend is not drinking it more than 3x a day. So, my guess is that someone might find temporary relief, but for really morning-sick people the nausea would come back.

    The hardest part — and I’m sure the reason I never tried it myself — is being able to get it down. For some reason it’s not hard for me to drink when I’m sick (but not pregnant) — it’s not a horrible taste, and I even find it comforting when I’m avoiding a bug. But when pregnant my gag reflex was so strong — I don’t know if I could’ve gotten it down.

  5. Hello–it’s THE Caroline! Wow! I made it on a blog. Our family of four has NOT vomited in 6 years. NO KIDDING! We take apple cider vinegar TABLETS twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday). Each person gets 1 tablet. Take it regularly, and you’ll never even get “green” like Katy did. I haven’t had that horrible feeling in 6 years.

    Of course, you can take it “straight up” or with juice. A little tablet is so much nicer (1 tablet is 1.5 tsp. of vinegar), and it might be nicer on your teeth.

    My Dad took apple cider vinegar two decades ago while in the throws of food poisoning. Within 1 hour he was fine. As for morning sickness, someone give it a try and report back!

    I hope this helps LOTS of families this winter! By the way, the Roman army but vinegar in their water to kill the germs. Also, Swamp Fox, a Revolutionary War hero, did the same. This remedy has been around a LONG time.

  6. My husband and I have often taken a shot or two of cider vinegar straight up to help a really bad sore throat. Can’t remember where we got this suggestion.

    It burns the crap out of you going down and somehow the throat always feels better after. (Maybe kind of like gargling Listerine?)

    I do not recommend drinking it undiluted on an empty belly, however, as it does not sit well. (burns the crap out of your stomach too)

    1. Beth, I agree — I can’t imagine shooting it straight when already feeling sick! But I can see the sore throat thing working.

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