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13 Crazy Tricks People Swear By for Motion Sickness


They say life isn’t just about the destination, but about the journey. But for some — that journey is met with a very real struggle: motion sickness.

For the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, many of us will be traveling for some time out-of-town, but if you’re one of the 80 percent of people who’ve experienced motion sickness, you know that travel can sometimes come with dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting when your equilibrium is disturbed by constant motion.

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Some people have been prone to motion sickness all their lives — feeling queasy every time they’re on a plane, in a boat or the back seat of a car. Others may have only experienced it a few times, perhaps while trying to read or write while in motion. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there are natural solutions that may be able to help you enjoy the journey to your destination.

Here are some natural remedies to try instead of taking diphenhydramine or scopolamine, which are the standard treatments for easing the symptoms associated with motion sickness:

1. Eat or Drink Something with Ginger

2003 study published in the American Journal of Physiology — Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, found that pre-treatment with 1,000 and 2,000 mg of ginger significantly reduced the nausea, tachygastria and plasma vasopressin associated with motion sickness. You can drink ginger ale, eat ginger candy or take the spice in capsule form.

2. Keep Some Protein On Hand

An empty stomach can worsen the condition, so be sure to drink plenty of water, have a small meal before embarking on a trip, and have healthy snacks on hand. Contrary to what most people think, a protein-dense snack is a better option than crackers, according to motion sickness expert Robert M, Stern, Ph.D. He noted, “It used to be thought that things like crackers were best [for car sickness], but from our work we have decided that protein would be even better.” The best option is to bring a scoop of protein powder in a shaker bottle that you can mix with water if you feel the sickness coming on.

3. Motion Sickness Bracelets

Studies on the effectiveness of nausea-relieving wristbands show mixed results. Still, many people seem to swear by them so they’re certainly worth a try. Position the plastic bump two inches above your inner wrist crease in the middle of the arm. This point is used in acupuncture and acupressure to relieve nausea.

4. Sitting in the Right Spot

If a member of the family is prone to motion sickness, he or she should sit in the front seat of the car on a road trip. When flying, experts advise sitting over the wing rather than in the front or rear of the plane.

5. Slow, Deep Breaths

One study found that taking slow, deep breaths helped reduce symptoms of motion sickness.These breathing exercises will reduce the anxiety that is associated with motion sickness.

TODAY asked viewers to share what they do to prevent or alleviate the problem. If these measures worked for them, perhaps they’ll work for you. Below are a few of their intriguing responses:

6. Sniff Lemons

Today viewer Stephanie C. responded by saying that she has had good success with a lemon trick suggested by her Venezuelan nanny. Cut up a lemon and put it in a plastic bag. Every time you feel nauseated, open the bag and sniff the lemons.

7. Sniff Rubbing Alcohol

According to another respondent, the scent of rubbing alcohol works well. She keeps single to-go wipes in the car.

8. Get Some Fresh Air

Kathy B. swears by cracking a window in the car when her daughter feels queasy. The fresh air seems to help.

10. Try Aromatherapy

Another helpful go-to remedy is aromatherapy. One way to ease symptoms is by putting peppermint or lemon oil on a cotton ball in a plastic bag, and taking a sniff during a long-car ride. Peppermint oil can also help relieve headaches, which some travelers experience on long rides. And if your sickness is coupled with stress, there are many aromatherapy oils that help with anxiety, as well.

11. Experiment with Music and Other Distractions

Scientists at McGill University in Montreal examined the effects of music on the brain and found that it can help relieve anxiety by reducing your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Since stress is often associated with long trips or voyages, then it may be a good idea to listen to music while on a plane, train or boat-ride. Some parents play movies on iPads for their children. Such distractions can take the mind off the discomfort.

12. Drink Carbonated Drinks

Bubbly drinks help reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness for some people. Taking a sip slowly might quell the queasiness during a long commute.

13. Put a Paper Bag in Your Pants? Yup.

An unidentified viewer said that she often got carsick as a child. She relays how her mother would have her put a folded brown paper bag inside the waistband of her pants. Although she admits this sounds strange, it proved to be effective.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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