Health & Fitness

How To Make Yourself Throw Up? Tips To Follow!

Vomiting is your body’s way of forcefully removing the content of the stomach and your upper digestive system through your mouth. This is a reflex ...

by Kendra Reed

How To Make Yourself Throw Up? Tips To Follow!

Vomiting is your body’s way of forcefully removing the content of the stomach and your upper digestive system through your mouth. This is a reflex action that helps your body in throwing out potentially harmful substances that you might have ingested.

That feeling of nausea and vomiting is obviously not a pleasant one but in some particular conditions, we might have to induce vomiting. In the case of medical emergencies, when someone swallows something harmful, inducing vomiting might be the right course of action to get rid of it. Another such situation would be food poisoning when you are uncertain about the quality of the food consumed. 

There are many situations where this might be useful. But you have to keep in mind that inducing vomiting has its complications. And if you are feeling the urge to induce vomiting for no reason then you have to contact your medical advisor. 

The Physiology Of Vomiting

Vomiting occurs in two phases. The first is retching, where the diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract, and the next stage is expulsive, where the pressure buildup gets higher and the body ejects out the stomach contents.

Steps to Self-Induce Vomiting

The brain triggers the vomiting reflex detecting something harmful in your stomach lining. It all starts when the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) finds something suspicious like toxins or when your stomach lining is irritated. This CTZ signals the vomiting center and thus generates reflux. After that, the lower esophageal sphincter ( the zone where the food pipe meets the stomach) relaxes to facilitate the upward movement of the stomach contents.

The muscles in your abdomen tighten and the diaphragm contracts thus increasing the pressure in your abdomen. The pyloric sphincter closes to prevent the contents from flowing downwards. The epiglottis closes so nothing flows to the air pipe into the lungs. Next, the production of saliva will be increased to prevent the corrosion of enamel with its exposure to powerful ingredients. 

Safe Methods To Induce Vomiting

In the case of an emergency, you can try out these safe options to help you induce vomiting.

  • Using your finger: Start by washing and cleaning your fingers thoroughly and press your index finger at the back of your throat. If you are not ok with using your fingers you can also take your toothbrush to get your job done. Pressing against the back of the throat triggers the gag reflex   
  • Warm Salt Water: You can mix two teaspoons of salt with a warm glass of water and drink it.
  • Gargle: Gargling triggers your gag reflex and might help you induce vomiting. So try gargling with warm water and you may also add a bit of salt as well to quicken the process. Gargling egg whites may also do the trick as it might sound gross which again triggers nausea. The texture, taste, and smell of the egg whites will do the trick

Even though inducing vomiting might give you some relief on occasion, there are some side effects or potential risks to self-induced vomiting. 

  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Low potassium levels can cause fatigue, weakness, or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Tooth decay: The acid content in vomiting can cause decay to the enamel.
  • Enlarged salivary glands: The acid content can also cause parotid gland enlargement.
  • Tearing of the esophagus: A tear to the esophagus might be detrimental to your life and can be a life-threatening condition. 
  • Involuntary vomiting: The gastroesophageal sphincter might be loosened by repeated vomiting. This might result in losing the ability to stop vomiting.

Dealing With Nausea And Dry Heaves

Dry heaving is when you go through all the retchings and motions of vomiting but do not produce any vomit. It is common to experience this after a heavy episode of vomiting or if you have any medical conditions or during your pregnancy. Now let us go over some of the common household remedies that might help you with dry heaving. 

  •  Relax and take a good rest: Try taking deep breaths and relax for a while. Breathing may calm down your system and reduce the symptoms of dry heaving.
  • Hydrate yourself: You can start by taking tiny sips of water or can suck on ice or try eating small ice chips  
  • Bland foods: Once you are done with your vomiting try eating bland foods like crackers or dry toast, plain rice, etc in small amounts. 

Alternatives To Inducing Vomiting

If you want to calm yourself and do not want to induce vomiting and soothe your nausea then you can try these tips.

  • Herbal teas: Ginger and peppermint tea are known to soothe nausea
  • OCT Medications: You can reach out to your doctor and ask for some OTC medication that can prevent nausea.
  • Breathing techniques: Performing deep breathing techniques may aid in alleviating symptoms of nausea
  • Acupressure: Doing acupressure on the pressure point called P-6 found in your inner wrist can help with nausea and vomiting.


Inducing vomiting is a serious issue and one must be really careful and follow proper guidance. Making yourself throw up must only be done when it is a health emergency.  Do not do it for any other reasons.

If you have any eating disorder then please reach out to your medical practitioner and express your concerns. Do follow caution and make sure that you are being safe with the procedure. If the vomiting and nausea are consistent for no reason then approach your doctor. 


1. What triggers you to throw up?

Food poisoning or stomach flu, acid reflux, certain medications or medical conditions, pregnancy, motion sickness, etc are some of the reasons why you throw up.

2. How do you command to throw up?

There are many tricks like pressing against the back of your throat with your finger or toothbrush, gargling with water or egg whites, or thinking about vomiting or anything that generates feelings of disgust may also work. 

3. Why am I not able to vomit?

You might be experiencing retching or dry heaving where you feel all the gags but cannot throw up. Some of the common reasons for dry heaving are food poisoning, alcohol consumption, stress, pregnancy, exercising too much, GERD, IBS, migraines, whooping coughs, and reactions to medications.

4. What to do when you feel like throwing up but can’t?

It’s called being nauseated. If you are feeling nauseous then maybe try distracting yourself for a bit with films, or music. Get fresh air, try soothing teas, don’t eat heavy meals rather small meals which do not contain fries or greasy foods. Deep breaths can also help compose yourself. 

5. Why am I gagging but not throwing up?

This might be due to dry heaving where you feel the sensations and movements when you are about to throw up but do not actually vomit.

6. What should I have if I feel like vomiting?

If you feel like you are about to vomit then make sure that you start by drinking sips of water or sucking on ice. You can also try eating bland foods like plain rice, saltine crackers, or even plain bread. Avoid eating foods that are fried too flavorful or greasy


  • Kendra Reed

    Dr. Kendra Reed is a dedicated general medicine physician with 7 years of clinical experience. After graduating from medical school, she completed her residency in internal medicine, developing a well-rounded skillset in diagnosing and treating a diverse range of conditions. Patients appreciate Dr. Reed's warm bedside manner and commitment to providing comprehensive, personalized care. In addition to her clinical work, she is actively involved in community outreach programs, educating the public on important health topics. Dr. Reed is known for her ability to establish trusting relationships with her patients and help them achieve their wellness goals.

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