08 July, 2011
Alternatives to Dramamine
Motion sickness, that feeling of being overcome by nausea and vomiting during a ride in a vehicle, can develop quickly or progressively over time in almost anyone who takes trips by car, boat or plane. Marketed products like Dramamine offer relief with antihistamine-related medicines that cause excessive sleepiness in addition to side effects like dry mouth. For people who repeatedly experience motion sickness symptoms, Dramamine alternatives can be found in herbal, dietary and acupressure treatments.
Ginger root oils have been used to control nausea from myriad sources, including that associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy and viral illnesses like the stomach flu. Doses of ginger root powders, capsules and liquids have been identified for many types of nausea based on folk and clinical experiences. According to the Doctor's Book of Home Remedies, ginger root capsules are better than Dramamine at preventing nausea from motion sickness. Although definitive studies were not yet available in June 2010, ginger does appear to prevent and relieve nausea, compared with Dramamine, whose use only prevents motion sickness symptoms.
Sipping sugary liquids like concentrated cola syrup minimizes the motion sickness symptoms of nausea and vomiting after they have developed by soothing the stomach with carbohydrates. Similar relief occurs when marketed cola syrup is replaced with regular carbonated cola products or with homemade sugar water by mixing and heating 1/4 cup water with 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
Pressure bands around the wrist rely on Chinese acupressure techniques to relieve existing motion sickness symptoms immediately when they develop. This acupressure method relies on the concept that motion sickness is ultimately caused by an improper reaction of the body's balance system between the ear and eye. Acupressure bands on the inner wrists are intended to reset an imbalance, improve body wellness and reduce nausea symptoms. Although these bands are a popular non-drug remedy, a 2004 study by Dr. K.E. Miller and Dr. E.R. Muth in the March 2004 issue of the Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine journal reported no differences between two types of pressure bands and a placebo, non-pressure point band in 77 users who received instructions for proper pressure band use. As of June 2010, no consistent data are available to clinically support the medical use of acupressure bands for motion sickness.
- MotherNature.com: Doctor's Book of Home Remedies: Motion Sickness
- Efficacy of Acupressure and Acustimulation Bands for the Prevention of Motion Sickness. K.E. Miller, E.R. Muth; Aviat Space Environ Med, March 2004
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Alternative Medicine: Ginger
- Maksym Narodenko/iStock/Getty Images