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Does just the mere thought of riding in a car for several hours make you sick to your stomach? This feeling occurs when motion causes the eyes, the sensory nerves, and a part of the ears to send conflicting signals to the brain. Experts find that motion sickness may be partially psychological, stemming from a fear of the trip or from traveling in general. The good news is that the physical manifestations of motion sickness can be prevented quite successfully with a few natural supplements when taken in advance of an upcoming trip.
• Charcoal tablets — Take two to three capsules an hour before departure to soak up acids that may cause stomach upset. Be sure to take them separately from other medications and supplements.
• Ginger — Several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have found that one gram of ginger is effective at reducing the symptoms associated with motion sickness. Take 1000 mg every three hours beginning one hour before traveling.
• Magnesium — Take 500 mg before a trip to steady the nerves.
• Peppermint — Peppermint calms a nervous stomach by mildly depressing the GI tract. Even a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue or a peppermint candy may be of benefit.
• Vitamin B-6 — Take 100 mg before a trip and 100 mg two hours later to prevent nausea.
If you find yourself unprepared and the manifestations of motion sickness start to roll in on you, the following actions may help dispel or lessen them to a manageable degree.
• Get fresh air as quickly as possible. Roll down the window in the car or open the overhead vent on an airplane.
• Sit still and breathe deeply for one minute. Limit or eliminate visual input to a brain that is already confused by the motion. Lie down and close your eyes if possible.
• Massage the corresponding reflexology point on your hand, located on the underside of the ring finger from the tip of the finger to the second knuckle.
• Suck on a lemon or lime during the trip whenever queasiness strikes.
• Snack on whole grain crackers to soak up stomach acid, and drink sugar-free, carbonated sodas. (Remember mom giving you 7-Up when you had an upset stomach?)
• By all means avoid sugary, salty, fried and dairy foods during the trip, since they are well known to cause digestive disturbances.