21 Home Remedies for Motion Sickness

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The symptoms of motion sickness can include sweating, light-headedness, hyperventilation, nausea, and vomiting.

Oh that queasy feeling, when the world just won't stop swaying, bobbing, or just plain moving. No matter what the mode of transport, the result can be motion sickness. While many experts believe there may be a genetic tendency involved, they aren't exactly sure why some people get sick from riding in a car, boat, plane, or train, while others don't. If you do, you're not alone. Motion sickness caused some pilots to drop out of training during World War II. And to this day, NASA astronauts struggle to combat this side effect of space travel.

Normally, the eyes, inner ears (which contain fluid that sloshes around in reaction to movement), skin, and muscles send sensory information to the brain that allows it to determine the body's position in space and to track whether and in what direction you are moving. Motion sickness is believed to occur when this balancing system gets overwhelmed by contradictory messages sent from the eyes and inner ears. The resulting symptoms of motion sickness can include sweating, light-headedness, hyperventilation, nausea, and vomiting.

For some people, the symptoms of motion sickness can be brought on merely by walking down the aisles in a supermarket or watching telephone poles whipping by a car window. Some people can even get motion sickness sitting in a theater and watching an action-packed film on one of those super-sized movie screens.

With a few simple steps, you may be able to prevent motion sickness from developing in the first place or help quell your queasiness once it's begun. Read the next page for helpful home remedies.

For more information about remedying stomach problems, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.

Home Remedy Treatments for Motion Sickness

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. If possible, sit in an area with the smoothest ride.

If you suffer from motion sickness, you'll do anything to get rid of that queasy feeling, right? Well, following are a few home remedies that just might work.

Pick the right seat. If possible, sit in an area with the smoothest ride, where motion is least likely to be felt in the first place. When making a plane reservation, ask for an aisle seat over a wing. On a train, opt for a car toward the front. Sit in the front seat of an automobile. And on a ship, ask for a cabin toward the center of the vessel.

Avoid standing. The last thing you need when you're trying to keep your stomach settled is to be tossed around during the trip.

Face forward. Choose a seat that faces in the direction you are traveling, so that the forward motion your body feels will match what you see.

Minimize head movements. Try to avoid sudden movements of your head, which can aggravate motion sickness.

Stay up. While you may be tempted to go below when you're feeling queasy on a boat, stay on deck as much as possible, so your eyes can confirm the movement that your body is feeling.

Look off into the distance. Not to daydream, but to focus on a steady point away from the rocky boat, plane, or car. If there isn't a tree or barn or other specific object in the distance to focus on, stare out at the horizon, where the sky meets the earth (or water). Again, this will allow your eyes to see that you are moving -- to match the movement your body feels -- without making you dizzy, the way that watching telephone poles or mile markers whizzing by can make you feel.

Leave your reading at home. If you read in a car, your eyes stay fixed on a stationery object, yet your body feels the motion of the car -- again setting up that sensory contradiction. Instead, focus on the road in front of you or at a distant object so all your senses can confirm that you are on the move.

Volunteer to drive. Drivers are so busy watching the road that they're less apt to get carsick.

Eat a little or don't eat at all. Sometimes eating helps, sometimes it doesn't. Experiment to see what works for you. About an hour before you leave, eat some plain crackers or a piece of bread or toast. If it makes you feel worse, don't eat next time -- keep your stomach calm and empty, in case you should start to get nauseated.

Avoid heavy foods and odors. The smell of spicy or greasy foods and strong odors can prompt motion sickness before or during a trip. So skip the stop at the roadside diner.

Say no to alcohol. Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during a trip. It can worsen motion sickness.

Stay calm, cool, and collected. Sometimes, just the thought of getting sick can make you sick. The same goes for those who are anxious about what they're about to do, like flying in a plane or riding in a boat. Try to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Take a few deep breaths, and tell yourself that you will not get sick.

Try over-the-counter remedies. Antihistamines, such as Dramamine, Bonine, and Marezine, should be taken at least an hour before the trip for maximum effectiveness. Always check the label for warnings and possible side effects, such as drowsiness or blurred vision, and take necessary precautions, such as not driving a car.

Stay away from others who are sick. The power of suggestion is very strong, especially if you have a tendency to get a bit "green" yourself. As callous as it may sound, let someone with a sturdier stomach tend to the sick; you should be looking at the horizon or at another steady point in the distance.

These lifestyle adjustments are not the only remedies for motion sickness. In the next section, we'll tell you about nutritional home remedies for that sick feeling in your stomach.

For more information about remedying stomach problems, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.

Natural Home Remedies for Motion Sickness

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Drinking decaffeinated tea at the first sign of motion sickness may help relieve nausea.

No one can completely avoid motion sickness. Even astronauts have bouts of nausea every now and then. Fortunately, what you eat or drink can ease, and even prevent, a bout of motion sickness. Here are a few such remedies.

Home Remedies From the Cupboard

Crackers. Take these easily digestible snacks along and nibble on them every couple of hours to help prevent nausea and vomiting. An empty stomach makes it more likely that you will get sick.

Ginger. Ginger has long been known as an herbal remedy for queasiness, but modern science has proved this spice has merit, especially for motion sickness. One study discovered that ginger was actually better than over-the-counter motion sickness drugs. Make a ginger tea to take along with you when you're traveling by cutting 10 to 12 slices of fresh ginger and placing them in a pot with 1 quart water. Boil for ten minutes. Strain out the ginger, and add 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup for sweetening if you like.

Low-fat foods. If you eat a low-fat meal before you head out on your trip, you may avoid getting sick. Eating something before you leave makes your stomach more capable of handling the ups and downs of the road. Experts say not eating destabilizes the stomach's electrical signals, making you susceptible to nausea and vomiting.

Peppermint candies or lozenges. If you start feeling sick, get out the peppermints. Not only will you end up with fresh minty breath when you arrive at your destination, you'll also calm your queasiness. And if you're traveling with little ones, try placing 1 drop peppermint oil on their tongues before the trip. It may quash the queasies.

Tea. Sip on some warm tea if you start feeling sick. Warm beverages tend to be easier on a nauseated tummy than a tall glass of cold water. Go for the decaf brew; caffeinated drinks aren't a good idea for unstable stomachs.

Home Remedies From the Freezer

Ice. Sucking on some ice chips may help calm your stomach and help divert your attention from your unsettled tummy.

Home Remedies From the Refrigerator

Apple juice. Drink a glass of apple juice with your pre-travel low-fat meal. Giving your body a bit of sugar with fluids before you start your journey should help you down the road. And if you start feeling ill, sipping (not gulping) some juice may help you feel better. Almost any non-citrus juice will do. Citrus juice irritates an already unstable stomach.

Whether it's from a plane, train, or automobile, motion sickness can be crippling to those affected by it. Use the home remedies outlined in this article to help get rid of that queasy feeling before it begins.

For more information about remedying stomach problems, try the following links:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.