Note: Inducing vomiting is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as children under 12 years of age. Also, it is not recommended as a mechanism for weight loss.
If someone swallows non-corrosive poison, toxins or a harmful food substance, inducing vomiting can help get the substance out of the person’s system to some extent.
However, throwing up is not a solution when you have swallowed corrosive poison or chemicals. The New Zealand National Poisons Centre (NPC) does not recommend vomiting as first aid for toxic substance.
Throwing up is a natural mechanism that should be practiced as a last resort and only after consulting your doctor.
Before you try to induce vomiting, it is important to be aware of the side effects. Forced vomiting can be harmful to the body.
Throwing up forcefully can cause dehydration, burns in the esophagus, swelling in your airways, tooth enamel erosion, tears in the esophagus and deprive the body of minerals.
Never use throwing up as a weight-loss method. Doing so can lead to eating disorders, such as bulimia, that can cause severe malnutrition, and can even endanger your life.
Pregnant women should not make themselves throw up, as it can cause dehydration and deprive the baby of important nutrients.
Here are some of the effective methods to make you throw up.
1. Use Your Fingers
You can use your fingers to activate the body’s natural gag reflex, which will make you throw up easily.
- Choose where you’re going to vomit and sit firmly in a comfortable position with your head pointing downward to prevent choking.
- Insert your clean and well-washed index and middle fingers into your mouth.
- Place your fingers on your tongue, then move along the tongue toward the back of your throat until your fingers touch the little dangly thing called palatine uvula that hangs down from the back of your palate.
- Press your fingertips downward to induce vomiting.
- Soon you will start getting stomach cramps. Remove your fingers and allow the stomach contents to come out.
- After vomiting, rinse your mouth with water and also wash your hands.
Note: Do not use any hard objects like sticks or spoons to induce vomiting.
2. The Toothbrush Trick
The toothbrush trick also uses the gag reflex to induce vomiting.
- Moisten a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Gently rub the bristles on the back of the tongue to stimulate the gag reflex.
- Do this several times until you feel the need to vomit.
- After vomiting, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly.
3. Mustard Water
Mustard water is another option that can make you throw up quickly.
The unpleasant taste and unappetizing smell of mustard sauce and water make you feel like throwing up.
- Add 1 tablespoon of mustard sauce or paste to a glass of warm water.
- Stir thoroughly, then drink the solution in a single gulp.
- Wait 20 to 30 minutes for the solution to work and induce vomiting.
This home treatment is effective for many people, but not everyone. You will need to try it to know whether it works for you.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you suspect of eating some rotten food that can cause food poisoning, apple cider vinegar is a good remedy to try at home.
It is the strong odor of raw, organic apple cider vinegar that can make you throw up. Plus, bacteria and other pathogens are very sensitive to the acidic property of apple cider vinegar. It helps cleanse your body of harmful toxic substances.
Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The strong odor and taste of it will lead to instant queasiness and vomiting.
5. Warm Salt-Water Solution
Salt and water, two ingredients that you can find readily at home, can help induce vomiting if you suspect you ate something toxic or poisonous.
Salt water can make you vomit, but be aware of the risks. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
- Add 3 teaspoons of table salt or rock salt to a glass of lukewarm water.
- Stir thoroughly and sip the solution slowly. You do not need to drink the solution completely. Just drink till you feel queasy.
- The extreme salty taste will force you to throw up immediately.
Note: When following this remedy, it is important to keep in mind your salt intake. It is not recommended for those who are on a sodium restricted diet.
6. Sensory Stimulation
The sensory stimulation of the human body reacts to different situations in different ways. In fact, certain stimuli can induce nausea and make you throw up immediately.
For instance, when you watch someone throwing up, it creates a nauseous feeling that can lead to vomiting. Similarly, the offensive smell of vomit can activate the gag reflex and lead to vomiting.
As asking someone to vomit for you is not a feasible solution, you can always look for videos of vomiting. Watching a gross medical procedure or some horror movie can also do the trick.
Even exposing yourself to unpleasant smells, such as rotten fruits or vegetables, can also make you throw up very quickly.
It is not necessary that sensory stimulation always work, but there is nothing wrong in giving it a try at least.
7. Spin Around
The act of spinning can also make you very dizzy and make you vomit the contents of your stomach fairly quickly.
- Sit calmly in a chair that spins.
- Slowly start the spinning motion and gradually increase the speed.
- Spin around until you feel dizzy, which induces vomiting.
- Drinking 1 tablespoon of castor oil mixed in a glass of orange juice or lukewarm water may also help induce vomiting. However, this is generally not advised, especially for small children due to the risk of aspiration and lung inflammation.
- Earlier, an over-the-counter emetic called the syrup of ipecac was considered good for inducing vomiting but the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises against its use and even recommends removing the substance from your home.
- Always keep your head facing downward while vomiting.
- Any hair or clothing should be kept away from the mouth.
- Try to vomit into a bucket or a toilet to remove the waste promptly.
- Soon after vomiting, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. This will help get rid of the foul taste in your mouth.
- When vomiting, keep in mind to avoid choking, which can slow the removal of the harmful substance.
- Throwing up leaves your body dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a great way to rehydrate your body. Opt for lukewarm water as your body absorbs it faster.
- After 1 to 2 hours of throwing up, try to eat soup or warm broth to get proper nutrients and help your body recover.
- Do not brush your teeth for about 30 minutes after you throw up. Your enamel will be sensitive after coming in with your stomach acid.
- Make sure to wash your hands and face thoroughly. If your body allows, taking a warm bath will help you feel better.
- Drink herbal teas to improve your digestion and protect your digestive tract.
- Proper rest is needed for recovery. Stay in bed and take naps to allow your body to heal.
- Never self-induce vomiting for the purpose of weight loss or “purging”. This can be really dangerous for your health.