Motion sickness affects many people. It can put a real damper on your day, especially if you’re on vacation with the family at Disneyland or enjoying a sunset cruise on the bay. Luckily, there are many natural remedies for motion sickness and most of these herbs are already in your cabinet or easily found at the grocery store.
Below are some of the most commonly used herbs for motion sickness.
1. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
It is the oils found in peppermint that create an overall soothing effect on the stomach and body. The scent of peppermint (or menthol) can sometimes be enough to scare away motion sickness. A drop of pure peppermint oil can be taken orally or added to your food/beverage. Peppermint tea is another great option.
2. Black Horehound (Ballota nigra)
Related to peppermint and also containing oils associated with the treatment of nervousness, black horehound is another excellent option, despite its interesting name. Add one to two teaspoons of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water, steep, strain, then sip.
3. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
There’s a reason why people tell you to drink ginger ale when you have an upset stomach or the flu. Ginger has been used for thousands of years to calm upset stomachs, and studies show it to be the most effective herb to calm motion sickness.
4. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
This perennial herb has active compounds that sedate the nervous system. This makes valerian effective for reducing anxiety that so often accompanies, and can increase, motion sickness. More potent fresh rather than dried, this root should be taken before travel.
5. Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)
Often enjoyed when one is feeling under the weather, chamomile is soothing and effective for multiple uses. The active ingredients in chamomile, sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, coumarins and phenolic acids, act to reduce anxiety and nervousness. Because it is so gentle and easy to consume, chamomile is also an excellent option for children.
6. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
Cinnamon is an effective medicinal herb for motion sickness. It is also used to alleviate the symptoms associated with many digestive disorders including nausea. Powdered cinnamon can be mixed with honey or added it to hot milk to stop nausea and vomiting.
7. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Known for its effectiveness in treating upset stomachs, fennel may also be effective for motion sickness. You can snack on fresh fennel seeds (about 20-30) to combat the nausea, or it can be taken in capsule form (no more than 400 mg per day). Fennel is an easy to consume and convenient option to keep readily at hand when the motion sickness hits.
7. Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
Aniseed is another great option to relieve nausea that is easy to keep at hand. You can brew aniseed and water to enjoy it as a tea, or you can sprinkle aniseed on your meal (usually a vegetable) to enjoy it that way.
Motion sickness is no fun for anyone, but incorporating some of these herbs into your treatment will help alleviate the nausea and discomfort. There are no major side effects associated with any of these herbs, but as always, mention the use of any new substances to your doctor.