How Does Ginger Soothe Motion Sickness?

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2007
Mar 6

Motion sickness is an unfortunate condition that affects a large number of people. Motion sickness can occur in any number of situations, such as on an airplane, in a car, on a boat, or on rides at an amusement park. For some people, motion sickness does not even require actual movement; Some people will experience motion sickness in response to perceived or anticipated movement. Motion sickness typically ends when the motion (or perception of motion) has ended.

Physically, motion sickness is caused when there is a conflict between the signals sent from the eyes, inner ear, and the rest of the body. Sometimes the conflict is subtle; for example, when one is inside the cabin of a ship, there may be no visual perception of motion, but the inner ear, which controls balance, detects the rocking of the boat. The symptoms of motion sickness can include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, increased salivation, headache, paleness of the skin, and cold sweats.

For some people who experience motion sickness, ginger is more effective than medications such as Dramamine. Ginger is an herb that has been used for centuries by the Chinese to reduce nausea. Other traditional uses of ginger include treating indigestion, morning sickness, hot flashes, and menstrual cramps. Ginger does not have the negative side effects that often accompany motion sickness medications, which can often result in a person not being able to enjoy the activity that triggers motion sickness in the first place. While there has been only a small amount of research on the effectiveness of ginger in overcoming motion sickness, the results are promising so far.

Ginger comes in a variety of formats. One of the most popular are Ginger capsules. These pills are made from ground ginger root. Ginger capsules are typically taken both prior to and during travel. You should always follow the label directions, but a good ballpark figure is to take 2 or 3 capsules about an hour before you leave, and then take one or two ginger capsules every three or four hours while you are traveling.

Many people enjoy the taste of ginger tea. You can purchase ginger tea bags, or you can make your own by boiling chopped, fresh, peeled ginger for a few minutes. Some people prefer to allow their ginger tea to cool and then drink it as iced tea.

Ginger is also available in a powder that can be added to a drink. Some people like to use ginger ale to sooth an upset stomach, although the actual amount of ginger in most ginger ales is often negligible.

There are some other basic things that a person can do to help avoid motion sickness. A general reduction in stress and anxiety levels will often help with motion sickness. Maintaining proper airflow will often help with odors that add to nausea. Many people have experienced success with distraction techniques (other than reading; reading can make motion sickness worse) that keep their minds occupied and away from motion sickness. Other people find that the use of a head rest or a neck pillow will minimize the movement of the head, and thereby reduce motion sickness. Having light meals and avoiding greasy foods and alcohol prior to travel may help with motion sickness, as will eating foods high in carbohydrates.