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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Beat Motion Sickness Naturally

Beat Motion Sickness Naturally

Vacation season is here. If you’re planning a getaway with your family this summer, be sure you’re prepared to combat kinetosis, more commonly known as motion sickness, seasickness, or carsickness.

Motion sickness is caused when a person’s sense of vision and their vestibular system — the balance center located in the inner ear — perceive motion differently. This disagreement occurs most often with frequent stops, starts, and speed changes, as in a car, or with rapid changes in direction, as with the up and down movement on a boat. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, weakness, headaches, mood swings, depression, and an inability to focus.

Approximately two-thirds of all people are susceptible to motion sickness, with half of those succumbing to it even in mild circumstances. So how do you combat this vacation spoiler?

- Ginger has long been acknowledged as an effective remedy for motion sickness. Recent studies even suggest ginger could be more effective at preventing symptoms than popular over-the-counter medications. Try taking up to 4 grams of powdered ginger a few hours before traveling, and sucking on ginger candies during the duration of the trip. If it’s a long trip, such as a cruise or cross-country tour, bring enough powdered ginger along to take once every few hours.

- Peppermint, though less effective than ginger, can also help to relieve nausea and discomfort from motion sickness. Try alternating peppermint candies between ginger ones, or using it when ginger isn’t available.

- Acupressure wristbands, sometimes called “seabands” are another popular remedy. These wristbands have a knob or button that presses down on a point called the “pericardium 6,” located on the inside of the forearm, about two inches above the wrist. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that this spot has a reflexive relationship to the digestive system. If you want to save money, pressing this area with a finger is just as effective, if not as convenient.

- As much as possible, try to keep your head still. Rest your head against your seat.

- Don’t read or try to concentrate on anything nearby. Try to focus on a distant, stationary object.

- Avoid eating large meals, spicy, greasy or acidic foods, or drinking alcohol before traveling. Make sure to eat something, though, and drink plenty of water. Empty stomachs are more acidic, and therefore more prone to motion sickness.

- Keep dry crackers and carbonated beverages, especially ginger ale or seltzer water, on hand to settle your stomach.

- Get plenty of rest before traveling. Being tired makes you more susceptible to motion sickness.

- Keep your ears clean. Clean ears make it easier for your vestibular system to correct itself.

- Get some fresh air. If traveling by car, open your window. If you’re on a boat, go to the upper deck and avoid enclosed spaces.

1 comment

1 MistletoeLady { 07.28.10 at 12:04 pm }

Ginger for motion sickness really does work! Everyone I have spoken to that has actually given it a try said it helped them a lot or totally took away that queasy feeling. Many of them use Ginger Tea regularly as a part of their motion sickness routine. Give it a try, if you are plagued with motion sickness, it is certainly worth a try!

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