Drop the Dramamine: 8 Natural Car Sickness Remedies
BY CHRISTIE BRYDON
We all love a good road trip, but it’s hard to enjoy the sights of the open road if you’re feeling queasy from car sickness. Some passengers feel iffy even during short rides.
The reason we get dizzy in the car all comes down to a biological miscommunication. Your eyes are seeing moving objects, but your sense of balance (as determined by your inner ear) tells you that you’re sitting still. Their disagreement leads to the head-spinning, stomach-churching symptoms of car sickness.
Nausea and dizziness can be increased if you’re taking medications for certain ailments, but conversely, there are medications that can help quell the symptoms. However, side effects (like drowsiness—not gonna work if you’re the driver) can make it appealing to skip the antihistamines and go for a natural approach.
So how can you go along for the ride? Try these simple remedies to cure car sickness.
Being in the driver’s seat helps you stay balanced (and you get to control the music.) Photo courtesy of iStock/NicoElNino
Volunteer to drive.
Being in the driver’s seat gives you a better sense of motion perception, so you’re less likely to feel that sensory confusion. Not only will you be more connected to the movements of the car, you’ll be able to anticipate changes of speed and stops before they happen.
Your passenger outlook is bright when you focus on the stable horizon. Photo courtesy of iStock/deimagine
Look at the horizon.
If you’re in the passenger’s seat, try locking in on a relatively stable point in the distance. Keeping your head upright and facing forward helps soothe a headache, while the horizon gives you something unchanging to look at.
Ward off a headache by staying hydrated—without sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. Photo courtesy of iStock/annebaek
…but avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Those can make you restless, upset your stomach, and dehydrate. Sip on water, coconut water, or decaf iced tea instead.
Chew on this: ginger can relieve a queasy stomach. Try Gin Gins chews. Photo courtesy of The Ginger People
Sounds like something your hippie aunt would recommend, but she’s got a point. Scents like mint and lavender are shown to soothe headaches, and ingesting ginger has been a natural nausea remedy for centuries. Rub a couple drops of peppermint or lavender oil onto your temples or a washcloth, or chew on Gin Gins candies for a zesty kick.
Sea-Bands use the power of acupressure on your wrists to help keep you calm on the road. Photo courtesy of Sea-Bands
We won’t get into the specifics of energy and “chi” here, but the alternative medicine practice of acupressure can be an easy and effective solution. When you’re feeling off, press your thumb on the spot two inches below your wrist. If you’re driving, or just want to keep your hands free, try an acupressure wristband like Sea-Bands.
Crack open a window to keep the fresh air coming—but keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle. Photo courtesy of iStock/freemixer
Heat can enhance symptoms, so open the window to let in fresh air and wake you up when you’re feeling groggy. If the open window is too loud, try putting some water on a paper towel or washcloth and placing it on your forehead.
Sometimes, the best parts of a car ride are the parts outside the car. Photo courtesy of iStock/Lorraine Boogich
Pull over for some terra firma.
Say what? It means “solid ground”—as in, get your feet back on land every once in a while to reorient yourself. Make pit stops just to stretch and walk around a bit until your senses are all realigned.