Treating Motion Sickness

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I used to get so terribly car sick as a kid. It didn't help that we six kids all sat in the back of a windowless van (you know, those old Dodge vans from the 70s?) and my step-dad smoked cigars. Ugh. To think of it makes me feel green again.

I don't get as car sick as I used to, unless I read a book (or a map) as a passenger. One of the kids gets awfully car sick, though, This makes travel not so fun sometimes. The poor kid.

I've tried having him press the nerve in the wrist (it has seemed to work for me) but it hasn't helped him. I won't give him drugs like Dramamine. I was reading some blog-- maybe an Asian cooking blog-- and someone mentioned using ginger for motion sickness. I'd never thought of that! I know that real ginger beer helps stomach ailments and settles nauseau. So I did a little digging and found that ginger tea and sucking ginger candies have been known to help treat motion sickness!

Whether on a ship, in a car or on an airplane, most people have experienced the miseries of motion sickness. While the cause is always the same — conflicting sensory signals going to the brain — the list of potential remedies is vast. One of the oldest, ginger, is among those backed by the most evidence; several studies have found it effective against nausea from seasickness and other conditions.

A study in the journal Lancet involved 36 people highly susceptible to motion sickness. The researchers had the subjects take either two capsules of powdered ginger, an antinausea medication or a placebo, and then, 20 minutes later, spin on a motorized chair for up to six minutes. Taking ginger delayed the onset of sickness about twice as long as taking the medication. The study also found that half the subjects who took ginger lasted the full six minutes, compared with none of those given the placebo or the medication.

I also found this at Yahoo Health and this at Both have some good information. I'm going to get some ginger candy or tea, and we'll test it out. We have a longer car trip coming up this month, so stay tuned for details!

8 remarks
Mrs. W said...

Are we related?

I've spent a lifetime getting motion sick in all types of vehicles/transportation. It's gotten a bit better over the years (I can now read in an airplane and occasionally a car), but it there nonetheless.

Living and travelling overseas necessitated my becoming less car-sick sensitive. Taxi drivers in other countries can be downright barf-inducing.

I've always found ginger to be helpful. If ginger isn't available, any food that you can 'munch' on, but I prefer ginger. Ginger ale, ginger beer, gingersnaps, ginger candies, and I LOVE the candied ginger (sugar coated and spicy). You can get it in the bulk bins at Peter's Cornuccopia at a reasonable price to try it out.

Now that I can't have sweet things, I look to fresh ginger--a slice added to any diet soda does the trick.

10:45 PM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

I don't know if we're related, but we could be! If you turn my "M" upside down, ya get a "W." And we are both Mrs., so who knows? ;)

Ahh, I haven't been in Peter's; I'll have to scout it out. I haven't bought ginger yet, but I will.

Thanks for the tip on a slice of ginger in soda. My son will love you!

11:20 PM  
Mrs. W said...

My pleasure--hope it works for y'all!

8:11 AM  
Kim said...

I have a small amount of motion sickness myself but thankfully it's not that bad. I hope the ginger works for your son.

Thanks for stopping by my site.

7:36 AM  
Tee said...

I get all kinds of motion sickness - cars, airplanes, boats, carnival rides --- even some 3D video games. LOL.

I also was nauseous for the majority of both pregnancies. I tried EVERY med and home remedy in the book.

Fresh ginger or ginger candy (made with real ginger - not like ginger ale) helped a little. Mint helps a little bit, too.

My Mom used to give me Dramamine on long car rides - though I see you don't want to use that... Also, there is something you can buy that works REALLY well (and it's so tasty) - Cola syrup. Look for that. It's real good stuff.

2:53 PM  
Mrs. W said...

There actually are some good brands of ginger ale that actually use ginger. Just FYI. :)

3:10 PM  
Mrs Mecomber said...

Hi, Kim! I hope so, too.

Tee, I'd never heard of cola syrup. Do regular grocery stores carry it? I wonder what it is about cola syrup that helps? You sound like you have quite a bit of experience with motion sickness, so I'll take your advice to heart.

Mrs. W, do you know what brands these are? I haven't seen any sodas that have actual ginger in them, only the Saranac ginger beer. I'd actually guzzle the Saranac all day long-- it's so good-- but it's very expensive, so we use is sparingly.

Thanks for the advice, ladies!

6:27 PM  
Mrs. W said...

Red Rock ginger ale is my favorite. Quite spicy--I would get it in GA all the time.

Goya ginger beer contains ginger oil, and that's available locally. Not sure how much saranac is, but you can get the individual glass goya bottles for under 50 cents each in my P&C if I remember correctly, and about a dollar for the 2 liter.

Another trick is to add a slice of fresh ginger to whatever cheapie soda you like.

6:33 PM  

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