By Emma Colley, Homeopathy, UK
There’s nothing worse than being excited about going for a trip and then suffering with awful travel sickness… OK perhaps there’s worse things but it’s not a lot of fun. Do you stop travelling? Suffer through it? Or maybe you could look to deal with it on a deeper level. Homeopathy often offers that alternative and I’ve quite a few clients who now are no longer travel or motion sick – a great achievement for a happy traveller to help others be happy to travel.
On a personal note, our dog was horrendously travel sick – she would have saliva running down her mouth, vomit or sometimes even poo in the car. We did try to common travel sickness remedies – and no avail. Looking closer at who she is as a dog (the all important individualising aspect in homeopathy) we were able to sort it with 2 doses of the remedy. Success and happy us, happy dog. We’ve since been all over the country and previously she’d get sick travelling down the road 5 miles.
So without further ado - some remedies that may help:
Borax – Specifically for motion sickness that is worse for downward motion (those who are sick eg when a plane lands or boat dips/car going down steep hill – when they go down everything comes up). Generally feel better for fresh air.
Cocculus – For those who experience motion sickness with dizziness. Waves of nausea are accompanied by belching (in people a faint, empty feeling in the stomach and a metallic taste in the mouth). Nausea worse for smell and sight of food. Getting up makes dizziness and nausea worse, as does fresh air. They need to lie down to prevent vomiting. Feel anxious, dazed and confused.
Nux Vomica – motion sickness with irritability and impatience. Constant nausea and vomiting which can feel like food poisoning. Copious saliva with the nausea and painful retching, with difficulty vomiting. Want to lie down and feel better for doing so.
Petroleum – motion sickness that is worse for fresh air, less dizziness than cocculus. The nausea is accompanied by an accumulation of water (which isn’t saliva) in the mouth. Empty, hungry feeling in the stomach and a dull, heavy headache.
Phosphorus – may be clingy and unsure, possibly scared of loud noises. Excess of saliva and look really miserable whilst travelling in the car. **Our dog did so well with Phos after other travel sickness remedies failed as it matched her as a whole dog, not just the sickness symptoms. She’s a real ‘people’ dog and phos types love to be around people, in company, can be afraid of the dark, fireworks (is often given to those dogs who spend Bonfire Night cowering under the table) – this doesn’t all have to fit as she loves to watch fireworks!!
Staphysagria – very touchy, irritable and indignant when they’re travel sick. Don’t want to be touched or comforted. May have a colicky stomach ache but often no strong symptoms.
Tabacum – deathly nausea which is intermittent – like cocculus with weakness, profuse salivation and sweating. Face is white as a sheet and feel wretched. Nausea is better for fresh air (unlike cocculus) though may make them feel more dizzy, and, curiously they want to uncover the abdomen.
I would give a remedy for travel sickness 10 minutes or so before you were about to leave to undertake the journey. It may be you wish to give the remedy during the trip or on arrival if the individual is struggling. Re dosage, I'd use a 30C as a first option. It may be that you seek advice from a homeopathic practitioner and are prescribed a different potency to take, but in a home-help situation, a 30C is a good choice to go with.
If you’re struggling to differentiate between which remedy may most help (though do try as this is where the beauty of homeopathy really lies - matching the symptoms of the dis-ease with the remedy or medicine picture), then my feeling is the most commonly given travel sickness remedy is cocculus, followed by tabacum and petroleum. Trying these in this order may lead to a happy solution of the travel sickness. If symptoms still persist – there is hope but you may need to look further at the symptoms, try one of the other remedies or seek assistance from a homeopath (www.findahomeopath.org) – or if it’s animals that are struggling with travel sickness then get in touch with a homeopathic vet (http://www.bahvs.com/find-a-vet/).
With credit to Miranda Castro for most remedy descriptions, Phosphorus is my addition.
Some practical tips from Miranda follow. Her full article is here: http://www.homeopathycenter.org/homeopathy-today/motion-sickness-going-against-flow
The following are all tried and tested practical solutions for motion sickness.
Ginger—in any shape or form helps motion sickness although children tend not to like the taste. For those that do like it ginger tea, crystallized ginger or ginger cookies all work well. For those that don't like it, ginger "pearls" (Gingerall by Enzymatic Therapy are highly recommended) are the answer.
Fresh air—helps some people. Breathe evenly, deeply and slowly into the belly as the tendency is to tense up and breathe shallowly (depriving the body of much-needed oxygen) once the nausea gets bad.
Eat lightly—when traveling stick to small, light meals, both before and during the journey. Take some soda water to sip and some crackers to nibble on when the nausea starts up but before it gets bad. Caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods and large meals can all exacerbate motion sickness.
Wear comfortable clothing—especially on a long journey as tight clothes around the abdomen aggravate feelings of nausea.
Sit upright—and look straight ahead (at the horizon or a stationary object). Looking down (especially to read) or looking at passing views from the side of the car can both aggravate motion sickness. Or sit with your head leaning back on the seat rest and close your eyes.
Lie down—if you want to and are able to do so, with your eyes closed, and concentrate on breathing slowly and evenly.
Sit as close to the front as possible ... of cars and planes. Sitting in the driving seat helps those who are easily motion sick—as long as they are old enough to drive and possess a current driver's license!
Ask the driver of a car to drive as smoothly as possible—to stop and start gently, as jerky driving can make the most stalwart feel nauseous at times.
Make frequent stops (every hour or so for children) to stretch, get some fresh air and build up confidence in those who have a history of motion sickness.
Be calm and soothing when dealing with motion sick children—tension and anxiety can be contagious!
Use distractions—music and story tapes are good for children of all ages—and grown ups!
Good luck - and shout if I can help!
With best wishes,