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Non-Medical Treatments for Travel Sickness

1. Ginger is considered effective for curbing travel sickness. The recommended recipe is to peel and grate 1″ of fresh ginger root, add a cup of boiling water, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Strain, add a teaspoon of honey and drink the solution (if you can face it!) half an hour before traveling. For long journeys, a flask could be taken or small pieces of crystalized ginger can also help. These remedies are also prescribed by naturopaths for morning sickness in pregnancy. Ginger is said to interrupt the signals sent from the stomach to the brain, thus preventing anything from happening. Ginger soft drinks and even ginger cookies have been reported to calm the nausea of travel sickness.

2. There are a number of homeopathic remedies or formulas specifically designed to eliminate motion sickness. Check with your local natural or organic health food store or in the homeopathic section of your drug store. Homeopathics are non-prescription remedies with no known side effects.

3. There is some interest in the idea of using acupressure, via ‘Sea Bands’ (elastic wrist bands with a plastic nodule) used on the Nei-Kuan point of the wrist. As an alternative to buying the bands, press your thumb to the inside of your forearm, about two inches up from the wrist crease and between the two tendons (however, it could be quite an effort to maintain this pressure consistently throughout a long journey!).

4. Since travel sickness is caused by a mismatch of signals between the eyes and inner ear, it is helpful to reduce these by focusing on a distant object such as the horizon when traveling by sea or well into the distance when traveling by car – and avoid reading or focusing on close objects at all cost! Small children usually cannot see over the front seats to look through the windscreen at distant objects or the horizon so a ‘booster’ cushion to raise their height can be a very worthwhile investment. Games – such as counting the number of, say, red cars can help distract young children and ensure they look at distant objects.

5. Recovery from travel sickness can be hastened by fluid replacement at the end of the journey.

Sources: Life Extension Foundation; Linda Dean, Gut Reaction.

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