Motion Sickness: Home Remedies and Prevention Tips

What is Motion Sickness?
Motion Sickness

Prevention Tips & Home Remedies for Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common problem faced by most people while travelling by bus, car, train, airplane and boats. It starts with restlessness and later leads to dizziness, nausea and vomiting. It is otherwise known as travel sickness or kinetosis in scientific terms. Motion sickness can be seen in perfectly healthy individuals. There is no age restriction for this condition. But as per a research, it is proven that women are more prone to motion sickness than men. Children usually till the age of two years do not get motion sickness. It may develop as they gradually grow. Almost 33% people are prone to motion sickness even in very mild circumstances and 66% people are vulnerable in severe circumstances like travelling by car or a boat.


What Causes Motion Sickness?

When the brain receives conflicting messages from the body, inner ear and eyes, it leads to motion sickness. For example if you are travelling in a closed vehicle, as the eyes do not see the motion, they send signals to the brain that your body is still. But your inner ear will send the signal that the body is in motion. Because of these conflicting messages brain understands that either the eye or ear is hallucinating and later confirms that the disturbance is due to intake of poison. To eliminate the poison from the body, the brain signals the stomach to vomit.


Types of Motion Sickness

There are several types of motion sickness. They can be categorized as:

»  When the motion is felt but not seen: car, air and sea sickness are examples of this category

»  When the motion is seen but not felt: watching a film or video

»  When the motion is seen and felt but they both do not communicate: movement in a centrifuge or gravity simulated environment.


Whatever may be the type of motion sickness the person undergoing has to face the same conditions like nausea, dizziness and vomiting.


How to Prevent Motion Sickness? General Precautions & Tips:

In order to overcome motion sickness, there are certain precautions to be followed:

  • If you are travelling in a car or a bus, sit in the front seat.
  • Do not read or look at things in your lap. Gaze outside the window.
  • Keep your head still by leaning on to the seat.
  • Do not smoke while travelling.
  • If the vehicle is air conditioned, see that the air vents face your face.
  • If it is a long distance travel, try to get a nap. When your eyes are closed you don’t see anything which removes the cause of motion sickness.
  • Eat light food before travelling. Avoid oily and spicy food. You should avoid dairy and salty foods.


Help From Natural Products: Home Remedies for Motion Sickness

»  Ginger for Motion Sickness: Ginger is one of the most effective home remedies for motion sickness. For nausea, ginger extract works very well (read more about the benefits of ginger). You can have this extract along with a tea spoon of honey (health benefits of honey) or keeping a slice of ginger in mouth while travelling also proves effective to cope with travel sickness.

»  Peppermint for Motion Sickness:  Peppermint also proves to be effective in dealing with motion sickness. Prepare and drink a peppermint tea before your travel.

»  Lemon for Motion Sickness: The smell of lemon gives relief when one feels nauseated. It is better to keep a lemon and keep inhaling the smell while travelling. Drinking a glass of lemon water also works well. (Read more about the benefits of drinking lemon water)

Here you can find some more tips and home remedies for motion sickness.


Alternate Remedies for Motion Sickness
  • Acupuncture and acupressure also help to relieve symptoms of motion sickness. In several stores, one can find wrist bands which have buttons for applying pressure on the acupressure points.
  • In homeopathy there are several medicines like Borax, Nuxvomica, Sepia and Tabacum. A trained homeopath can give proper medicine for motion sickness.
  • Breathing techniques also can be incorporated to alleviate symptoms of motion sickness. Slow and deep breaths lead to comparatively fewer symptoms. Quick and short breaths worsen the condition. More research has to be done in this aspect. Slow breathing helps in lowering anxiety symptoms.
  • Another simple method for getting relief from mild motion sickness is to chew a gum. Chewing a gum or just chewing helps to maintain balance between vision and balance.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy was used in a study of pilots who had motion sickness. Motion sickness was artificially created by tilting a chair, to make the pilots slowly habituated to motion. Gradually the intensity of motion was increased. They got used to the motion and the symptoms reduced. Similar therapy can be used by normal people who have motion sickness.


Although there are over the counter medicines also available, they have to be taken under doctor’s guidance. Any medicine reduces the symptoms only to certain extent. The person who undergoes motion sickness has to judge his capacity and plan for travel. It is better to take the necessary precautions before travel.

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