Seven Natural Ways to Prevent Motion Sickness
Do you get motion sickness? How about your child? There are worse things of course, but in the moment there is nothing worse than vomiting on an airplane. Almost everyone who flies a lot experiences motion sickness—at least the nausea part of it—at some point. I really hate to use medications unless absolutely necessary, especially for my children, so I like to try every natural remedy first before using something like Dramamine. Today I’ll share with you seven natural ways to prevent or treat motion sickness so you can be prepared and hopefully prevent it from happening to you or your children. At the end of this post I also share a few flight attendant tricks to help you feel better during motion sickness even if you didn’t pack any of the items on this list. I welcome your tips and tricks in the comments below.
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There was a Myth Busters episode on motion sickness. They built a spinning machine, blindfolded the unlucky subject, and spun him until he vomited. Then they tested popular motion sickness remedies and spun him again. The only thing that worked for him (other than Dramamine, which made him completely loopy and drowsy) was ginger. You can get ginger in many forms, including child-friendly flavors. I personally do not care for ginger at all, so I move on to the other remedies for myself or take the Ginger Tablets you can swallow. Here are a few options of ginger products that you might enjoy:
- Ginger Rescue Chewable Tablets for Children—We tried these and they have a very strong ginger flavor, so they were too “spicy” for my kids. But with the highest ginger active compounds of any brand, they are some of the most likely to work well. They are worth trying at the current low price of $5.49 with Amazon Subscribe & Save (you can cancel your recurring orders or change frequency of shipping).
- Gin-Gins Chewy Ginger Candy—My mother says these are the best ginger chews she’s ever tried. Both tasty and effective for nausea. These are individually wrapped so it is really easy to toss a few in your purse, backpack, and diaper bag to have on hand at any time.
- Natural Ginger Tummy Drops—All natural and gluten-free these ginger drops have great online reviews. These are also individually wrapped, so great for travel. They make these in peppermint flavor too, so if, like me, you are not a fan of ginger, the peppermint ones should also help with motion sickness.
- Queasy Naturals Chews—I have not tried these and they don’t have many reviews, but they caught my eye because one review said they are just like Starbursts Chewy Candy. My eight year old daughter, Ella loves Starbursts, so I know she would like these (although not the ginger ones for her). These come in Sour Lemon, Ginger, and Cherry Flavor.
- Gravol Natural Source—There are several different formulas of Gravol, some containing medicines. Gravol Natural Source contains only Ginger Root. For ages six and up, Gravol Tablets are easy to swallow and contain 20 mg of certified organic ginger.
- Ginger Simply Gum—This will not be as effective as regular ginger root, but it does contain ginger oil, which should help a little with the nausea.
The first thing I use for myself and for my kids is Hyland’s Motion Sickness Tablets. The tablets have no taste, they quickly dissolve under your tongue, and they really seem to help. My daughter Ella gets motion sickness if we are in the car for more than 30 minutes and on winding roads. I give these tablets to her before we start the drive and she when she takes them she rarely feels nauseated. The nice thing about these is you can continue to take them as needed throughout the flight and there are virtually no side effects. These are good for ages six and up.
This is a good one to have on hand. Although these Queasy Pops Lollipops are marketed for pregnancy induced nausea, they will help with any nausea. Lollipops or sour candy provide a nice distraction from that icky feeling your child is experiencing. The only problem with these lollipops is that only half of the flavors are kid-friendly. My kids will not eat the peppermint, ginger, or cinnamon ones, but they like the mango, sour raspberry, and green apple ones. I keep the others for myself. I like to always have a few regular lollipops (like these Yum Earth Organic Pops) in my travel bag for a treat or distraction any time. Regular lollipops will help reduce nausea a little, but the Queasy Pops also have essential oils that help eliminate motion sickness. (Lollipop travel tip here.)
4. Eat Smart
- Eliminate Dairy: Flight Attendant Mom Martha shared with me that when she flew with her toddler regularly, he was vomiting on every flight. She tried eliminating dairy on travel days, and it worked! He didn’t experience motion sickness any more after that.
- Hydrate: The times that I have experienced motion sickness have also been when I was thirsty. Be sure to hydrate with water before and during activities where you might get motion sickness. If you’re already feeling nauseated be sure to just drink a little bit at a time.
- Eat Carbohydrates: Just like when a pregnant mother’s nausea is reduced by consuming dry crackers, carbohydrates like crackers, cereal bars, pretzels, etc. might help reduce feeling of motion sickness. I have found eating a bit of protein and carbohydrates before travel really helps ward off motion sickness.
Sea-Bands are wrist bands that have a little button which you place on a certain point on your wrist. It is meant to put pressure on an acupressure point that helps reduce nausea. These come in both adult and kid sizes and are so lightweight they are easy to pack in your carry-on bag “just in case”.
6. Essential Oils
There are several essential oils that are said to help relieve nausea. I have not tried these myself. Lemon and peppermint are promoted as good oils for nausea. There are also several blends available, including this one with ginger, lavender, peppermint, and spearmint. I like this aromatherapy inhaler which contains oils of ginger, peppermint, and orange. Keep in mind that to some children, the smell of peppermint actually feels like burning. You might want to try it at home first. Lemon oil would be a good option for young children, or for those sensitive to peppermint. To use, just put a dab on a tissue and hold it up to your face to breathe in.
I asked my flight crew today if they had any tips to add here. Flight Attendant J. Muir told me a trick her mother has used ever since she was a kid: take small sips of Coca-Cola. Apparently the cola syrup in small doses can act as an anti-nausea medication. Even the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was advised to drink flat Coca-Cola to combat morning sickness. It is best to consume the Cola at room temperature, as flat as possible (pour about half a cup and let it sit for a while so the bubbles go down before sipping a little at a time).
If you didn’t pack any of the above recommendations, some flight attendant tricks to help reduce nausea:
- If there is an air vent above your seat, turn the air toward your face.
- Put a cold wet paper towel on your forehead or neck.
- Take light sips of Ginger Ale.
- Chew or suck on ice cubes.
- Suck on any hard candy or chew gum.
- Avoid trying to read or watch video during turbulence.
- Take a few small bites of any food. (Sometimes motion sickness is made worse with hunger.)
Do you have any natural motion sickness remedies to add? Have you tried any of these and found them to be useful (or not)? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Or you can comment on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page. I’m posting travel tips here at CloudSurfingKids.com every Tuesday. If there is a topic you’d like me to address, or a question you have about flying, let me know!
Happy Cloud Surfing!!!