July 13, 2012

Why do we drool before we barf?

You feel like you’re going to barf. And all of the sudden you find yourself drooling with excess spit. WHY?

I just read the answer here
“The body is attempting to solve the problem of whatever is causing the nausea and (in a sense) digest it,” said Dr. Isaac Eliaz . . . “Our digestive process starts in the mouth with the saliva, which is high in amylase, an important digestive enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates. So as part of the digestive process triggered by whatever may be causing the nausea, we have increased salivation.”
So what should the would-be barfer do? One guy says, “Whenever I start to salivate excessively and feel like I am going to vomit, I start spitting the excess saliva. Swallowing the saliva actually makes you vomit. Spitting it out until the saliva stops filling your mouth will help you not vomit.”

Apparently, this does sort of work. It’s weird, but whenever I’ve felt like barfing, I’ve done the same things as Beckstead, but I never thought about it. I just started drooling and spitting!


  1. On the contrary. Years ago, a young child (whom I was babysitting after a very rough night) actually advised swallowing the spit 'until the sicky feeling goes away'. It has served me well over the years! Not 100% guaranteed as occasionally whatever is in your stomach can be better off out (food poisoning for example), but my hangovers don't drag on all day any more!

    1. Oh, I think you've got it right-on with spitting to prevent vomiting--

      The "kind" of saliva that fills your mouth before you vomit WILL cause you to vomit!

      I surmise (I haven't seen an assay yet) that this is because there is a alkaline/enzyme component to that saliva, that otherwise does not exist normally.

  2. Drooling is the unintentional spillage of saliva from the mouth. Drooling can occur with any condition that impairs neuromuscular control of the muscles around the mouth, leading to weak muscles around the mouth, that increases salivation (the production of saliva), or that impairs swallowing. Cerebral palsy is one example of a condition in which oral neuromuscular control may be impaired, resulting in drooling. Drooling is common in infants because of immature muscular control. Medically, drooling is referred to as ptyalism, and an excess of saliva is known as sialorrhea.

  3. It's not really drooling. I agree, there is an extra enzyme in that saliva that makes it different, and it WILL make you vomit. It's the body saying to the stomach contents "Get out". Spitting it out is the best thing to do, because if you swallow it you, even a little, it's like one of those volcano experiments you did as a child. Also if you tilt your head back slightly, it stops the saliva from flowing almost entirely.

  4. Well, but still, reading the comments, it kind of confusing which is true. In my opinion though, I think spiting it out is better because more are saying it, BUT I am not sure that is safe for you to spit it out OR to swallow it! On another website, it said that mouth water in the mouth before vomiting is natural, because the acid in you stomach can harm your throat, tongue, and teeth. So, the saliva neutralizes the acid and also dilutes and rinses. Swallowing the spit may work to prevent vomiting BUT what if it doesn't? Spitting out the spit may help you stop vomiting BUT what if it doesn't? Know what I say, Just keep it in your mouth!

  5. I've found that the regular saliva, thin stuff is safe to swallow. Even a little bit thicker and it has to come out or it will make you sick. If you try to swallow thickish saliva, your body will reject it and just like the volcano comment as above it will come right back out.

    It doesn't stop vomit for me. The super thick mucus is what lets me know I need to run to a bathroom asap.


No bad words, thanks!