Effective Natural Remedies for Curing Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness.

Motion sickness is categorized by a feeling of discomfort accompanied by dizziness and nausea. This feeling occurs when the sense of equilibrium and balance is disturbed due to constant motion. Motion sickness is common, and about one in three people can get motion sickness, according to research(1).

Anyone can get motion sickness, and the symptoms vary from person to person. The method of travel is also a trigger for motion sickness, for instance, some people may get motion sickness when traveling in a car, while others may get it when traveling in an airplane or ship.

Why Do You Get Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness happens when the nervous system receives conflicting messages, such as when reading a book in the back of a car, your body registers motion, but the eyes strain to stay fixed on the words. All five of the sensory organs contribute to motion sickness, but a problem in the inner ear, which is the body’s balance system, can be the leading cause of motion sickness.

There is a difference in what you see, and how your ear perceives it when there is constant motion. Pure optokinetic motion sickness is caused when a person is standing still, but their eyes are rotating, that is due to a disturbance in the visual stimuli.

What Are the Symptoms of Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Some people might also experience headaches. Different people experience motion sickness in different ways. While it may take very little, such as brisk walking and running, for some to get motion sickness, others have a higher threshold and get motion sickness while traveling in a bus or car for a long time.

Seasickness is also a type of motion sickness which occurs when traveling by any form of water transport. Almost everyone experiences seasickness the first few times when they travel in a boat, and for some, the symptoms might reduce or go away once the body gets used to this form of travel.

Who Tends to Get Motion Sickness?

Anyone can get motion sickness, and there are no fixed criteria for motion sickness to occur. Motion sickness occurs when your mind and body are not in the same equilibrium, such as on an airplane, you feel like you are moving, but your eyes tell your brain that you’re not moving, or vice versa, like after a sea voyage, even on land, your body will still be used to the movement of the sea.

Pregnant women and children are more prone to motion sickness, but they can outgrow it, according to Medicine Plus(2).

How can Natural Remedies Help Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is very common, and there is no sure way to get rid of motion sickness permanently. But, the condition is self-treatable and taking preventive measures can help reduce the impact of traveling on your body. There are different types of natural home remedies and over the counter medications that you can take before any journey.

    1. Home Remedies
    2. Foods
    3. Herbs
    4. Essential Oils
    5. Supplements

Every person will eventually experience motion sickness if they are exposed to motion for a long time, but some have a higher threshold than others.

CURE 1: Manage Motion Sickness with Home Remedies

Motion sickness is harmless and doesn’t require a medical diagnosis. It can be treated with some home remedies for motion sickness.

1. Cold Water

Benefits of Drinking Cold Water
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Coldwater can help curb the feeling of nausea since it doesn’t have any odour and can refresh the mind. Carbonated drinks like seltzer can also help relieve the feeling of motion sickness.

How to use?

Take slow sips of a glass of cold water when you start feeling dizzy or get motion sickness.

How much to use?

Drink one full glass of any carbonated drink or cold water.

2. Breathing Exercises

Why is it effective?

When you get motion sickness, behavioural and psychological methods can help alleviate the symptoms. Diaphragmatic breathing is one such technique that activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for inducing calmness in the body. Breathing from your diaphragm can help to get rid of motion sickness.

How to use?

Lie down on your back with one hand on your heart and other just below your ribcage. Now when you breathe to see if the hand on your heart moves or not, if it doesn’t, that means you are breathing from your diaphragm.

How much to use?

Use this technique whenever you feel motion sickness until the sensation abates.

3. Meditation

meditation
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Meditation will help calm your mind and control your breathing, which will relieve nausea and dizziness. But, the primary reason meditation helps is that you need to close your eyes, which means you are closing one of your senses, thus bringing back equilibrium.

How to use?

Meditation requires you to sit in a calm, quiet place, and close your eyes. Now regulate your breathing, focus on one thought or phrase, and clear your mind of anything else.

How much to use?

Meditation can be done at any time and can help to get rid of motion sickness quickly.

4. Distraction Techniques

Why is it effective?

Distracting yourself from the symptoms of motion sickness can actually help to get rid of them.

How to use?

Try listening to soft, soothing music, or engaging in conversation to keep your mind away from the motion.

How much to use?

Distraction techniques can work anytime you get motion sickness.

5. Acupressure For Motion Sickness

Why is it effective?

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine which targets the pain points in your body and curbs the problem by applying pressure to these pain points. Invest in an acupressure band for motion sickness that you can use while travelling.

How to use?

PC6 is the common acupressure point for relieving motion sickness, which is situated below the wrist on the inner forearm.

How much to use?

The acupressure band can be worn for the duration of your travel, or you can apply pressure to the point yourself whenever you feel motion sickness.

6. Yoga

Yoga for Bloating

Why is it effective?

If you are traveling on the sea, seasickness, and motion sickness can be a persistent problem. Practicing yoga regularly in such a case can help reduce motion sickness.

How to use?

Tree pose:

Stand straight and raise your arms above your head. Now fold one leg and place it over the other so that your foot is flat against your thigh.

Corpse pose:

Lie flat on your stomach and place your palms flat next to your chest. Now lift your torso and hold for six to eight seconds.

How much to use?

Practice yoga whenever you feel the symptoms of motion sickness.

Motion sickness doesn’t require professional diagnosis and usually resolves on its own.

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CURE 2: Foods to Get Rid of Motion Sickness

Foods can actually help to keep nausea away and are an effective way to stop motion sickness. Here are some foods that can help when you experience motion sickness.

1. Crackers

Why is it effective?

Saltine crackers have been known to ease nausea, and they can help to reduce nausea induced by motion sickness, too. This is because they are easy to digest and are not greasy.

How to use?

Nibble on crackers while traveling to prevent motion sickness.

How much to use?

Generally, one to two crackers is sufficient to keep motion sickness away.

2. Teas

Why is it effective?

Sipping on herbal teas is another great way to get rid of nausea and dizziness. They help soothe the stomach and also refresh the mind.

How to use?

The best herbal teas for motion sickness are chamomile and peppermint. Sip a cup of any of these when you feel motion sickness.

How much to use?

One cup of herbal tea is enough to soothe motion sickness.

3. Bread

Bread
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

People tend to feel more nauseous on an empty stomach, and foods like bread are absorbent and do not have any odour. It has been proven that bread or toast can alleviate nausea and reduce motion sickness, according to a study by PubMed Central(3).

How to use?

Nibble on a piece of toast whenever you start feeling nauseous.

How much to use?

One or two slices of bread or toast can help to stop motion sickness.

4. Lemon Water

Why is it effective?

The citrus in lemon will help to settle your stomach, and the refreshing properties of lemon will help refresh your mind and reduce dizziness caused by motion sickness.

How to use?

Mix one lemon in a glass of water and add in a pinch of salt. Drink it whenever you feel motion sick.

How much to use?

A glass of fresh lemon water should be taken whenever you feel motion sickness.

5. Broths

Why is it effective?

A common home remedy and comfort food when you have a fever or headache is a bowl of chicken soup or chicken broth. But, a broth can also help to prevent motion sickness. Also, fluids are better tolerated by your stomach when you feel motion sick.

How to use?

Try to drink a cup of broth 30-40 minutes before travelling.

How much to use?

You can take one cup of broth before travelling or when you start feeling nauseous.

6. Banana

Bananas
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

When you are feeling sick due to motion sickness, certain foods can make the condition worse. Also, your body can’t tolerate large quantities of foods at such time, so eating something that can replenish your energy and also provide essential nutrients to your body. Banana is rich in potassium, magnesium and can increase your energy levels.

How to use?

Eat one banana whenever you feel the effects of motion sickness.

How much to use?

Generally, one banana is sufficient to get your body the required nutrients and get something in your stomach.

7. Applesauce

Why is it effective?

Applesauce is a part of the popular BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet from those suffering from nausea. This ingredient can also help reduce the effects of motion sickness by helping to alleviate nausea.

How to use?

Take unsweetened applesauce with toast or as it is.

How much to use?

Half a cup of applesauce is enough to help reduce nausea, especially motion sickness in children.

8. Rice

Why is it effective?

Starch is a good choice when it comes to battling motion sickness. Rice is a source of starch, and your stomach can tolerate bland, colorless, and odorless food when fighting motion sickness.

How to use?

Take a bowl of rice with salt and a little curd to get rid of motion sickness.

How much to use?

A bowl of rice can serve as a full meal that you can take before travelling.

Anyone can get motion sickness, but it usually occurs in children over the age of two, and most outgrow it.

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CURE 3: Herbs to Cure Motion Sickness

Motion sickness has been affecting people for a long time, and herbs are the most effective form of traditional medicine when it comes to treating motion sickness.

1. Ginger

ginger
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Ginger has been used for centuries to heal stomach problems, including nausea. This root has its origin in Southeast Asia. Eating ginger has been known to reduce nausea caused by motion sickness.

How to use?

You can take ginger tea as a way to cure motion sickness or chew on fresh ginger root.

How much to use?

An inch of the ginger root should be enough.

2. Licorice Root Lozenges

Why is it effective?

Licorice root lozenges have been used to treat indigestion and nausea. It can also help reduce motion sickness.

How to use?

The root is available as a crushed powder or a stick that you can chew on when you feel motion sickness.

How much to use?

The dosage instructions given on the packet should be followed, since the potency of the root changes from brand to brand.

3. Mint Leaves

Why is it effective?

Mint leaves have a variety of health benefits, including treating nausea. They have a fresh smell that can rejuvenate your senses and bring calmness, thus reducing the effects of motion sickness.

How to use?

Add crushed mint leaves and add them to a glass of water and let it stay for ten minutes. Now drink this water.

How much to use?

Two to three mint leaves at a time can help to reduce motion sickness.

4. Cloves

Benefits of cloves
Image: ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

This Ayurvedic remedy helps alleviate your nausea by calming your stomach.

How to use?

Keep a stick of clove under your tongue to absorb the benefits directly into your bloodstream.

How much to use?

For a short journey, you can chew on one clove stick for the entire duration of the journey, and for longer journeys, put a stick in your mouth whenever you feel motion sickness and spit it out once its taste goes away.

5. Cardamom

Why is it effective?

Just like cloves, cardamom can also help fight nausea and dizziness. Green cardamom stimulates your taste buds because of its minty-sweet taste.

How to use?

Chew on cardamom when you experience motion sickness.

How much to use?

One to two cardamom pods is enough to stop motion sickness.

6. Nutmeg Seeds

Why is it effective?

Nutmeg seeds reduce the discomfort associated with motion sickness and also help calm your stomach.

How to use?

Add crushed nutmeg seeds to a glass of water and drink it to curb motion sickness.

How much to use?

One glass of nutmeg infused water can help relieve motion sickness.

There are various prescription medications that prevent the onset of the symptoms of motion sickness.

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CURE 4: Essential Oils to Treat Motion Sickness

Essential oils are the best form of aromatherapy. These oils are known to soothe your senses and help alleviate discomfort. Below are some popular essential oils for motion sickness.

1. Lemon Oil

Lemon Oil
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Lemon oil contains vitamin c and helps fight the antioxidants in your body. It can also help refresh your senses and reduce the effects of motion sickness.

How to use?

Mix lemon oil with a carrier oil and massage it on your neck and tummy. You can also inhale the oil directly.

How much to use?

Mix three to four drops of lemon oil in a carrier oil to get rid of motion sickness.

2. Peppermint Oil

Why is it effective?

Mint is a popular remedy for treating motion sickness, and peppermint oil has the same benefits. It contains menthol that will help relieve nausea and refresh your senses.

How to use?

You can inhale the oil directly or put it in your diffuser.

How much to use?

One to two drops of peppermint oil can be added to your diffuser to stop motion sickness.

3. Lavender Oil

Why is it effective?

Lavender oil has many soothing properties. The oil can also help alleviate the discomfort caused by motion sickness and help fight dizziness.

How to use?

Put a few drops of lavender oil in your car diffuser so you can get its effects for the duration of your journey. Or you could apply the oil on your neck and head.

How much to use?

Three to four drops of oil can be applied topically.

4. Frankincense Oil

frankincense essential oil benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Why is it effective?

Frankincense oil has therapeutic qualities that have restorative effects on your nerves. This is also a healing oil that is used to solve many digestive problems and reduce nausea.

How to use?

Mux frankincense oil with a carrier oil and massage it onto your skin when you feel motion sick.

How much to use?

Apply one to two drops of this oil on your skin whenever you get motion sickness.

5. Clary Sage Oil

Why is it effective?

Clary sage is a Mediterranean plant and the oil extracted from the clary sage plant has a clean and refreshing scent. It is used as an antidepressant, and its calming properties also help relieve headaches. Clary sage oil is also known for reducing stomach cramps and digestion problems.

How to use?

Add two to three drops of the oil in an 8 oz. bottle of water and spritz it on your face whenever you feel motion sickness.

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How much to use?

Two to three drops of the oil can help to stop motion sickness.

6. Ginger Oil

Why is it effective?

Ginger, in any form, can effectively treat nausea and motion sickness. Ginger oil is extracted from the ginger root and has zingiberene, a chemical compound that reduces the effects of motion sickness.

How to use Ginger for motion sickness?

Sip on cold water or soda mixed with one or two drops of ginger oil to fight against motion sickness.

How much to use?

One to two drops of ginger oil in a bottle of water is enough.

7. Spearmint Oil

Spearmint essential oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Spearmint is the purer version of peppermint and has the same healing qualities for motion sickness as peppermint oil.

How to use?

Apply spearmint on the motion sickness pressure points, or if you feel too nauseous, you can apply it on your tummy.

How much to use?

Take one to two drops of spearmint oil and massage it onto your skin.

8. Fennel Oil

Why is it effective?

Fennel oil is popularly used as a digestive aid. This oil can also help to curb nausea since it relaxes your inner stomach muscles.

How to use?

Mix fennel oil with a carrier oil and massage it over your tummy.

How much to use?

Take one to two drops of fennel oil and a similar quantity of carrier oil to massage on your skin.

9. Grapefruit Oil

Why is it effective?

This citrus oil is derived from the healthy grapefruit. Grapefruit oil can treat nausea by detoxifying the body, thus helping you fight motion sickness.

How to use?

Inhale the oil or add it into your diffuser.

How much to use?

Three to four drops of grapefruit oil in your diffuser will help reduce motion sickness.

10. Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil1-min
Image: Shutterstock

Why is it effective?

Bergamont is a common ingredient in many herbal teas.  It has a fresh scent that can instantly rejuvenate your mind and reduce nausea and dizziness.

How to use?

Bergamont should be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin.

How much to use?

Apply two to three drops of this oil whenever you feel motion sickness.

11. Chamomile Oil

Why is it effective?

Just like chamomile tea, this oil also has restorative properties and can help reduce motion sickness. It is also stronger than chamomile tea since it is extracted directly from the chamomile flower. Chamomile has sedative properties that will aid in reducing your headache, too.

How to use?

Inhale the oil directly or put in your diffuser to get its benefits for the duration of your journey.

How much to use?

To your diffuser add two to three drops of oil, this will last for a short journey. You can add more every few hours if you will be travelling long distances.

While some people feel motion sickness only for a few minutes, some also experience its effects hours of days after the trip.

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CURE 5: Supplements for Motion Sickness

If you travel often and need a long-term solution to motion sickness, supplements are a great help.

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 Benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Vitamin B 6 is used to treat nausea and anxiety. Increasing vitamin B6 in your body can also help to prevent motion sickness.

How to use?

Vitamin B6 supplements should be taken in pill form with a meal.

How much to use?

The suggested daily dose is 100 mg for adults.

2. Magnesium

Why is it effective?

Low serotonin level in the brain can lead to motion sickness, and consuming magnesium and increase your serotonin levels.

How to use?

Magnesium supplements can be taken at any time but check the dose with your physician.

How much to use?

Consult your physician for the right dose or follow the dosage information on the packet.

3. Vitamin B12

Why is it effective?

Taking vitamin B12 can reduce vomiting caused by motion sickness. This vitamin also improves your overall health since it helps the growth of healthy cells.

How to use?

Vitamin B12 can be taken in pill form at any time of the day.

How much to use?

The recommended daily intake of B12 is 25 mg.

4. Vitamin C

vitamin c
Image:ShutterStock

Why is it effective?

Vitamin C contains antioxidants that can help reduce dizziness by helping fight free radicals and improving the flow of oxygen to your brain.

How to use?

Vitamin C supplements are a chewy pill that can be taken at any time.

How much to use?

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 65 mcg.

The symptoms of motion sickness can be prevented, but there is no specific cure for this condition.

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Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness

While you cannot cure motion sickness, there are certain preventive measures that can help you get rid of motion sickness temporarily.

1. Take the Driver’s Seat

If you can, make sure that you are the one driving the vehicle when traveling. The person driving is less likely to get motion sickness than any passenger. This is because the driver controls the movements of the motor, and their brain knows the movement before the body makes it, which will help curb motion sickness.

2. Sit in the Central Area of the Vehicle

Generally, the middle area of the vehicle experiences the least motion, so try to sit in the middle seat if you experience motion sickness. If you’re traveling in a public transport or a ship, try to isolate yourself from others who get motion sickness, since hearing others talk about it of seeing them ill can trigger your motion sickness.

3. Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon

It does not matter what mode of transport you choose to travel in, make sure you sit in the direction the vehicle is going into since backward motion is more likely to cause motion sickness than forwarding motion.

4. Eat Something Before Travelling

The best way to prevent motion sickness and curb nausea is by eating something before you travel. Try to have a meal one hour before traveling. Also, make sure to leave some time between eating and the actual time of travel, so that your food gets time to settle in the stomach. Avoid oily and greasy foods to prevent nausea and eat healthily.

5. Try to Talk Yourself out of It

Talking yourself out of something is called verbal placebo, and this technique is very effective when it comes to getting rid of motion sickness, according to a study by the Americal Psychological Association(4). Simultaneously, practice breathing exercises to help alleviate your nausea.

Motion sickness can occur when traveling by plane, car, or sea. It is a common problem and can be treated at home with natural remedies. But, if you get severe motion sickness, it is advisable to consult your doctor for prescription medicine that can be taken before a journey to get motion sickness relief.


FAQs

1. What causes motion sickness?

A disturbance can be caused in the inner ear due to repeated motion; this causes motion sickness. Any other movement in the inner ear can also cause motion sickness.

2. How to cure motion sickness permanently?

There is no cure for motion sickness, but you can prevent its symptoms by making a few adjustments when travelling and with natural remedies for motion sickness.

3. How long does motion sickness last?

Generally, the symptoms of motion sickness go away in four hours after the motion is stopped, according to a study by Seattle Children’s(5).

4. How to stop motion sickness after it starts?

Taking precautions and medications can help get rid of motion sickness as soon as it starts. There are also various essential oils and herbs that can help relieve motion sickness.

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