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Morning Sickness and the Promising Effects of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

morning sickness, acupuncture, herbal medicine, fitzroy north, chris eddy, the neighbourhood clinic
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for morning sickness

Morning sickness, a common ailment experienced by many pregnant women, can cast a shadow over the otherwise joyous journey of pregnancy. While conventional treatments offer relief, some mothers-to-be seek alternative remedies to alleviate symptoms naturally. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) provides two effective modalities - acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine - that have demonstrated positive effects in managing morning sickness. Supported by research, these ancient practices offer promising solutions for expectant mothers looking for safe and holistic relief.

Acupuncture for Morning Sickness Relief:

Acupuncture, an integral part of TCM, involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points along the body's energy channels to restore balance. Several studies have shown that acupuncture can effectively reduce nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness.

A randomized controlled trial conducted by Smith et al. (2002) assessed the effects of acupuncture on pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. The results indicated that women who received acupuncture experienced significant reductions in the severity and frequency of morning sickness compared to the control group.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis by Ee et al. (2018) reviewed multiple studies on the efficacy of acupuncture for morning sickness. The analysis concluded that acupuncture provided a substantial reduction in nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, emphasizing its potential as a safe and drug-free option for managing morning sickness.

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Morning Sickness:

Chinese herbal medicine utilizes a blend of medicinal herbs to address individual imbalances and promote overall well-being. Specific herbs have shown promise in easing morning sickness symptoms and supporting a healthy pregnancy.

One widely studied herb is Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger), known for its antiemetic properties. A study by Chittumma et al. (2007) explored the effects of ginger on pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting and found that ginger significantly reduced symptom severity in pregnant women.

Additionally, a Chinese herbal formula called Xiao Ban Xia Tang was examined by Yang (2022) showing reduction in emesis in rats and positively altered microbiota.

Combining Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine:

The combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is often employed in TCM to provide comprehensive relief from morning sickness. Acupuncture can target specific nausea-related acupoints and promote the body's natural healing response, while herbal remedies offer ongoing support to manage symptoms and promote overall well-being during pregnancy.

Morning sickness can pose challenges for expectant mothers, but the integration of complementary therapies like acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can offer natural and effective relief. Supported by research, these time-honored practices have demonstrated significant reductions in nausea and vomiting, providing a holistic approach to managing morning sickness during pregnancy.

We have over 20 years experience treating women through every stage of pregnancy, from conception, all trimesters, birth, post birth to treating their babies!

Come and see us in Fitzroy at The Neighbourhood Clinic for a treatment to alleviate your morning sickness.

15 views2 comments


Chris Eddy
Chris Eddy
Nov 18, 2023

Hi Morgan. Sorry, I should have put a link there. I was going down a research rabbit hole of studies that day, and now I can't find it. I replaced it with another study with rats. Many of the Zhao et al studies were focused on cisplatin and microbiota. Hope that helps. Chris


Nov 17, 2023

Hey Dr. Chris! I'm looking for a copy of the Zhao et al. 2017 paper you referenced so I can site it for a term paper. I can't seem to find it online. Do you have the title of the paper?

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