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Travel sickness remedies passed down from our grandmothers

Travel sickness
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Travel sickness remedies passed down from our grandmothers
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The holiday season is often synonymous with long car journeys, rough ferry crossings, or interminable bus journeys. So how can you avoid travel sickness? And how can it be treated naturally and effectively? If you often feel queasy when you take to the roads, the skies or the high seas, follow these recommendations. 

1. Put your trust in ginger

Ginger appears to be the best natural remedy for easing nausea, improving digestion and stopping vertigo. The World Health Organisation recognises it as being “clinically justified” in terms of combating multiple problems.

Granny’s tips: The night before and on the day of the trip, drink a cup of ginger infusion before each meal: boil the equivalent of one teaspoon of crushed ginger root and leave it to infuse for 10 minutes. To further reinforce the effects, chew on a slice of fresh ginger a half an hour before you set off.

If your children also get travel sick, give them ginger sweets instead, which are available in health stores. Give them two or three to suck on, around thirty minutes before your departure. Ginger chewing gum is another alternative, which is available from pharmacies.

2. Diffuse lemon essential oil

Certain essential oils are effective for relieving travel sickness. Lemon, mint and lemon balm are particularly well known for helping relax you during long journeys.

Granny’s tips: Inhale lemon, mint or lemon balm essential oil as soon as you start to feel unwell, or diffuse the oil in the car. You can do this by applying a few drops to a wooden clothes peg that you attach to the air vents. Sucking on a sugar cube to which you have added two to three drops of lemon or lemon balm essential oil can also prove effective.

3. Eat before you leave

Contrary to popular belief, hitting the road on an empty stomach will not help with nausea. In fact, stomach spasms and hypoglycemia increase the risk of feeling unwell.

Granny’s tips: A few hours before you leave, eat a light meal made up of solid foods such as starches, bananas or quiches. Avoid liquids. Remember to bring something to snack on during the journey (e.g., dry biscuits).

4. Stimulate sensitive points on your hands

poignet douleur médecine chinoise mal des transports
© AndreyPopov / iStock

Acupressure is a technique that comes from traditional Chinese medicine, and which dates back thousands of years. It can help prevent and soothe travel sickness. Stimulating certain sensitive points can help reduce any stress linked to travel sickness.

Granny’s tip: Find the “Main valley” point to stop anxiety, migraines and other headaches. It is situated between the thumb and the index finger. Put pressure on the area for a few moments, and you should quickly relax.

You can also apply pressure to the “Inner door” point, which is on the wrist. Find it and use your thumb to massage it for a few minutes. You will notice your nausea, indigestion, stomach problems and anxiety lifting away.

5. Get a good night’s sleep before heading off

It is essential that you sleep well before a long car journey. Fatigue tends to increase feelings of nausea.

Granny’s tips: You can turn to lavender essential oil if you have trouble sleeping the night before. Its relaxing properties will help you get rid of anxiety. Put two drops into a spoon of honey and breathe it in using an inhaler. Also have a look at our article on 10 natural sleeping pills.

6. Choose the ideal place in the vehicle

The goal is to limit head movements as much as possible, as these are what cause vertigo and nausea. In a car, support your head with a cushion and keep your gaze far out into the distance. If you can, sit in the front passenger seat, or better again, drive! Your attention will be fixed on the road, and your headaches and nausea will disappear.

Granny’s tips: Open the windows. Confined spaces will only accentuate the problem. If you are travelling on a boat, go onto the upper deck, and stay as far away as possible from the engine fumes.

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