Most of us have been struck by travel or motion sickness at one time or another. The inner ear which controls our balance sends a message to your brain that you are moving; meanwhile your eyes are sending a conflicting message that says you are stationary. When your brain tries to interpret this confusing input, the result is motion sickness. Trips in a car, boat or plane can be pretty miserable if you are suffering with nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sometimes headache.
Children are notorious for getting car sick which can make those family holidays less than ideal. But don't despair, there are a number of quick and simple remedies you can try which really work!
Treatment and general recommendations
- Eat lightly before your trip and avoid alcohol.
- If possible, sit in the front seat of a car, in the middle of a boat, up the front of a bus or over the wing in an aeroplane.
- A child who always gets carsick will definitely do better sitting in the front seat for long trips.
- Encourage children to look out at the scenery and not within the car.
- Avoid reading or looking down in the car.
- On a boat try fixing your gaze 45 degrees above the horizon; in a plane it may be better to close your eyes or look outside.
- Avoid cigarette smoke and food odors if possible, and avoid overheating. “Sea-Bands”, available from pharmacies, are bands worn around the wrists to reduce nausea, especially motion sickness. They have a plastic button that exerts pressure over an acupressure point in the wrist.
- Stick to a light diet while travelling and avoid fatty foods and high sugar foods. "The Liver Cleansing Diet" book has good ideas for meals.
- Snacking on some dry crackers or rice cakes may be helpful.
- Ginger has been used very successfully to treat travel sickness. If possible, juice some fresh ginger to use in the following ways which can be taken on your trip in a thermos. Ginger tea consists of the juice from a 2 inch (5 cm) piece of green ginger simmered together with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of honey, 1 pint of water, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and three to four cloves. Strain and drink warm. A refreshing ginger ale can be made from the juice of a 1 inch (2.5 cm) slice of ginger together with either some fresh apple juice or sultana grapes and lemon juiced together and topped up with sparkling water. Chill and serve. Finally, another delicious combination is that of ginger, carrots and apple juiced together.
Orthodox medical treatment
Travel sickness medications such as dimenhydrinate ("Dramamine"), promethazine ("Avomine") and hyoscine ("Kwells") are available over-the-counter at the pharmacy. These can cause some annoying side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness and blurring of vision.
Recommended supplements for travel sickness
- Magnesium Tablets
Take 2 tablets 1 hour prior to travel.
- Magnesium Powder
Adults: Take 1 level teaspoon 1 hour prior to travel.
Children: Take quarter to half a teaspoon 1 hour prior to travel (children often tolerate powder better than tablets and Magnesium Ultra Potent powder can be mixed into juice or water).
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.