Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Ginger and pericardium 6 (P6) acupuncture point.
Ginger: tea, ginger ale, candied ginger, capsules. P6: finger pressure or a band that presses a large bead into the point.
How it Works:
Ginger has a long history of use as a stomach settler, especially for nausea. Swedish researchers tested it on eight naval cadets in heavy seas. Compared with those who took a placebo, the ginger group experienced 72 percent less seasickness. It’s not clear how acupuncture works. New York researchers tested acupressure, an offshoot of acupuncture that presses on the points instead of needling them. The researchers fitted surgery patients with elastic wristbands with a bead that pressed either the P6 point or a placebo point. After surgery, the people using the P6 point experienced significantly less nausea and vomiting.
Ginger: for motion sickness, 1,000 mg capsule 30 minutes before travel. Or 1 standard can of ginger ale (just make sure it contains real ginger, not artificial flavor). Or a few slices of candied ginger. For morning sickness: 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh grated root per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes and drink up to 3 cups a day. P6: the point is located in the middle of the inner forearm, two and a half finger widths above the wrist crease. Press it with a finger, or buy an elastic band with a bead that presses the point for you (SeaBands, Travel Aides). Many pharmacies and health-food stores carry them.
Large amounts of ginger give some people heartburn.
For motion sickness, look at distant objects. In boats, stay midway between bow and stern for the least rocking.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit www.mcastleman.com .