Since childhood I’ve struggled with motion sickness. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a car, airplane, boat, train or on a roller coaster, I will become nauseated within a matter of moments. Thankfully, there are over-the-counter medications that keep this kind of nausea at bay, but when I was diagnosed with an intolerance to corn in my early adult years, not just the food on my plate had to change, but my medications as well. This is because many medications use corn starch as their base, and even that tiny amount left me horribly ill. After discovering this, I began to look for alternatives to use on adventures with my husband.
What Is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness happens when our inner ear senses motion that is incongruent with how we are visualizing it (i.e. how the road signs fly by our car window, or the gentle swaying of a boat, or the ever-so-slight turn of an airplane). When we sense motion differently than we’re seeing it, it can cause a sense of unease in our bodies. This sense of unease can turn into dizziness, nausea, sweating and vomiting.
To help relieve this sense of unease I use a combination of holistic and homeopathic remedies which I take throughout my travels.
One of my favorite remedies for motion sickness is ginger. This spicy root can stop and prevent nausea, and it also alleviates dizziness. You can drink it as a tea, but I prefer to eat it in crystallized chews when I’m traveling. Eating some before my travels begin and then after any meals while still in motion has been incredibly beneficial for me.
Chamomile and Spearmint Teas
I drink chamomile and spearmint as a blend, but they can be used separately if preferred. I use them throughout travel as chamomile can stop vomiting, alleviate nausea and relax the body, while spearmint can prevent and relieve dizziness and assists in digestion (an important factor when traveling). I will either bring pre-stuffed teabags with the loose-leaf herbs, or purchase a few boxes of pure chamomile and pure spearmint to use while traveling.
Hyland’s Homeopathic: Motion Sickness
This is the first homeopathic remedy I’ve taken that really worked well for me. I felt immediate and long-term relief after each dose and enjoyed how it tasted (it is a sublingual tablet that becomes sweet as it dissolves). In a single trip I used it on long drives, ferries, rollercoasters and, finally, the plane ride home, all with great success.
When in doubt use the pressure points on your wrists to alleviate motion sickness. I did this while on a plane since I couldn’t have my hot teas on hand, and trying to ingest anything (even ginger) had me gagging. You can buy wristbands that do this for you at most pharmacies, but you can easily apply the pressure yourself when in a bind.
The Stress Factor
Traveling is stressful for many, and this stress and anxiety can put a person at risk for experiencing motion sickness. Thankfully, there a few simple remedies to help relax the body and alleviate stress.
Lavender is known for its calming properties, so rubbing a bit of lavender salve into your palms, your chest or around your temples can go a long way to help you relax.
Note: Persons with scent induced headaches or olfactory sensitivities might find lavender too aromatic, and therefore a trigger. Test this remedy at home before using while traveling.
Lemon Balm Tincture
Keeping a tincture of lemon balm on hand is a must for anyone who experiences panic attacks, depression or other nervous tendencies, as it has antidepressant properties and is a nervous system tonic. Taking some before travel begins, and then more should symptoms reemerge, can help relax the body and prevent stress induced motion sickness.
Note: Before use, consult a medical professional or herbalist and always follow dosages specific to the purchased bottle as ratios of herb to alcohol may change depending on the source.
Historical Remedies: Homeopathic Calm Drops
Calm drops do just as they claim. They are a homeopathic remedy in the form of a lozenge that assists in calming the mind and, in turn, the body. When the feelings of stress and anxiety begin to creep up or overcome you, popping one of these in your mouth may bring a much needed sense of calm.
Finding the right combination of holistic and homeopathic remedies is incredibly personal, and not everyone will have the same reaction or response. Try them out to find what works best for you.
Do you have any remedies that have worked well for you? Leave a comment below to share your favorites!
With a background in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a minor in English, L. Diane is currently studying at Prairie Wise Herbal School in Leavenworth, KS with a goal of becoming a Master Herbalist. She is an avid gardener and a maker of tinctures, teas and baked goods. An aspiring author, as well, she weaves tales of fantasy, along with scarves, baby and pet blankets, and shawls on her table loom.