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No Patches, Pills, or Tablets: Seven Natural Seasickness Remedies

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

Just because you're embarking on polar sea travel doesn't mean you need to spend the whole voyage leaning over the rail. If you're anticipating rough waters, here are some steps you can take to alleviate or even eliminate your symptoms.

Regions: Antarctica, Arctic

Natural tips for combating seasickness

Seasickness is a common issue that affects many of our passengers, which is why we sell motion sickness medication on our vessels and recommend guests bring their own. But what if you'd rather avoid drugs in favor of more natural treatments?

Well, it turns out there are plenty of motion sickness remedies at your disposal. 

1. Eat right, light, and include ginger to avoid motion sickness

The most important thing is to stay hydrated. Even if you do have to - ahem - refund your lunch, being dehydrated will make that so much worse.

Also, don't eat heavy foods or anything that typically upsets your system, even just a little. Foods that may lead to the slightest discomfort on land can precipitate an avalanche of seasickness while on the water.

A chunky, half-digested avalanche even the fish won't touch.

Instead, eat a small portion of something bland and preferably high in protein, like peanut butter and crackers, until your stomach is stable. Many people swear by ginger in any form, as tea or candy or in a tablet, as well as peppermint.

2. Leave out the booze to alleviate the seasickness 

A dry martini may settle your nerves, but it won't settle your stomach if the sea gets bumpy.

Alcohol also dehydrates you, which not only exacerbates the effects of motion sickness, but is one of the chief reasons hangovers make you feel like a tumble-dried gym sock that skipped the wash. We recommend avoiding the booze until your stomach's up for it.

3. Try acupressure wristbands 

Many seafaring travelers find the best way to naturally avoid seasickness is to literally put pressure on it. Acupressure wristbands or travel acupuncture needles, neither of which are painful, can be lifesavers. 

These items not only treat motion sickness, but they can even be useful against anxiety, headaches, and other maladies.

4. Watch the horizon (a longstanding seasickness cure) and keep your face cool

These age-old motion sickness remedies, often tied together, will probably be your best bet. Keeping your eyes locked on the horizon will eventually get the message to your brain that the world itself isn't swinging back and forth.

And being outside with the bracing wind on your face will help too. At the very least, you'll have a better chance of seeing the polar wildlife there. 

5. Remember: less agitation = less regurgitation

Sometimes it's all about location, location, location.

If seasickness is threatening to overtake you, get to the part of the ship where you'll experience the least motion. Less motion means less disagreement between your eyes and ears. We recommend the center of the ship and the lowest possible deck.

6. Keep clear of other seasick passengers

If you're a sympathetic sort of person, you may feel inclined to help your fellow passengers with their motion sickness - especially if you know them personally and/or they're sharing your cabin. But this can do more harm than good.

Seasickness can be catchy, kind of like yawning. And the smell won't do you any favors either.

7. If all else fails, ask the ship doctor for motion sickness meds

Okay, so this clearly isn't another natural seasickness remedy.

But if all the tips we've mentioned don't help, it's time to avail yourself of modern science. Don't worry, motion sickness meds are safe and effective and always at your disposal during your voyage. Meds like scopolamine are among our favorites, and though some may make you drowsy, that's a whole lot better than an ongoing need to hork.

Motion sickness is a major hurdle for many people, and for some it's enough to put them off the idea of an Arctic trip or Antarctica cruise altogether. But it does't have to be that way. 

Taking care of seasickness early with a few natural remedies (and being open to medicinal help if those remedies don't work) will help keep your polar adventure happy and your food in your stomach, where it belongs.

Seasickness tips straight from the ship doctor

One of the ailments our ship doctors are most familiar with is seasickness, so who better to offer expert advice on how to keep the queasiness away while you sail with us? Here is our longtime ship doctor Ninette van Es to give you her most tried-and-true seasickness remedies.

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