I was a parent’s worst nightmare as a child. I was the extreme definition of a ‘motion sickness.’ Swinging on swings, merry-go-rounds, even teeter-totters would send me into a fit of salivation and nausea. Car rides? Yeah – not pretty. Even a drive around the corner to the store was an adventure.
My parents pretty much had to drug me to get me from point A to point B. I could manage short drives if I sat in the front seat and looked straight ahead, perfectly silent and not moving a muscle. But anything that took longer than 15 minutes? Bring on the motion sickness and bring on the pills.
Our move from Washington to California was intense. I literally barfed for 14 hours straight. Even on this crazy strong narcotic which was supposed to knock me out and end my suffering. Oh yeah – our Beagle barked the entire time too. My poor parents.
Fast forward years later and I was traveling around Europe with a barf bag in one hand and all kinds of pills in the other. You can imagine what happened when I ended up on a three day cruise in the midst of one of the worst storms imaginable. I almost just threw myself overboard. I am not kidding. I'm really not.
For people like me, motion sickness interferes with life.
You feel like you drag everyone down because you feel awful, you can’t do anything that will make you sick, and worse yet – you don’t want to be barfing in front of everyone thus ruining their good time.
Motion sickness has several causes. Mine happened to be inner ear related so there wasn’t a whole lot my parents could do other than to drug me (at least that was what they were told at the time). Sad really. But over the years, I have learned a whole lot about motion sickness and how to relieve it naturally. Luckily, my daughter isn’t prone to the misery I dealt with as a child. Although the one time she did get car sick, it made me panicky because I honestly did not want to go through what my parents did.
First and foremost, prevention tactics are essential when it comes to motion sickness!
This is pretty much common sense type things such as:
- Do not feed your child a heavy meal or give him/her too much to drink. Avoid junky foods and spicy foods.
- If your child is going to be cooped up (like in a car) try to keep the olfactory stimuli to a minimum. This means avoid perfumes, deodorizers, and things like that. In addition, if it is possible, keep your child facing forward looking straight ahead. No reading, drawing, etc…
- You can also give your child a piece of ginger to suck on, a few drops of a ginger tincture, or some ginger tea. Ginger is very soothing to the stomach and taking it beforehand can sometimes lesson the blow.
If motion sickness begins to set in, there are 7 fantastic natural remedies to help ease the symptoms or basically make them disappear if the case of motion sickness isn’t extreme.
Coconut Oil – forget that bad-for-you jar of antacids or Dramamine! The anti-microbial acids in the coconut oil will help ward off bacteria and parasites which cause stomach upset as well as soothe a stomach that is rolling for motion sickness. Honestly, my favorite brand to use for motion sickness specifically is Barlean's. For some reason, the coconut taste is milder, it settles better in the tummy, and since it is in a plastic jar, it travels safely and without leaking. I have tried other brands and I can assure you, I won't cheat on Barleans again!
Ginger – I know I already mentioned it but it is worth repeating.
Hops – yes, the hops that is a key ingredient in beer brewing. Hops are amazing as a natural sedative and work quickly to relax the stomach muscles.
Red Raspberry – another calming herbs that works particularly when vomiting is present. This is my favorite brand.
St. John’s Wort – this herb is used for nervousness typically but can also be effective for a stomach that is churning away without any other accompanying symptoms. This is a nice version in tincture form.
Peppermint – this is one of the most versatile herbs for upset stomachs. You can have your child chew the leaves, drink a tea, take a tincture, or even chew some natural peppermint gum (last choice).
Cardamom – a little known about herb that can really settle down all the effects of motion sickness. A bit of cardamom tea, cold, can work wonders! This is my daughter's favorite brand of cardamon tea.
Essential oils can also be really helpful to have on hand to help ease the woes of a child in the throes of motion sickness! My favorite motion sickness blend is:
- 10 drops ginger
- 4 drops peppermint
- 2 drops eucalyptus
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (Barlean's of course) or sweet almond oil
Mix everything together in small bowl and rub on your child’s back, stomach, and feet before the activity that causes motion sickness begins.
If you prefer to purchase a pre-made blend, this one is awesome!
Have your battled motion sickness? What natural approaches worked for you?