The Natural Remedy For Sea Sickness You Can Get For Free On A Cruise

It's a worst-case scenario. You plan for months for a cruise, pack your vacation clothes carefully, and secure the best cabin you can. Then the ship starts to move, and boom, you're seasick. Cruise ships are very large and, therefore, more stable than other vessels, but it can still happen. You can opt for a cabin in the center of the ship and lower down to lower your risk of seasickness or, as InsureMyTrip suggests, go outside and keep your eyes on the horizon. But everyone's body is different. 

What can you do once you're on board and away from grocery stores and your regular meal style? As it turns out, there is an item that you can get for free on many cruise ships that can really help knock out the nausea, headache, and dizziness that come from motion sickness. Let's take a look at what this item is and what to do if you can't get it for any reason.

Spice is nice

The magical item in question is none other than the humble ginger root. It contains gingerol, which Johns Hopkins explains helps regulate how quickly food moves through the body. Sucking on ginger or making tea with it can help with nausea, bloating, and motion sickness. According to Mount Sinai, it's a traditional remedy that has been shown to work in some studies. Other studies don't show an improvement, but it's a largely safe remedy often suggested for those who are pregnant or experiencing chemotherapy-caused nausea. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence on social media — and probably from your grandma, too. It's worth trying this on land first if you feel ill in a car, for instance, so you know how your own body responds. Keep in mind that ginger can increase bleeding risk with certain blood thinners, so check with your doctor to see if it will interact with any preexisting conditions or medications you take.

Travel Channel says that many cruise lines like Norwegian, Holland America, and Princess will have ginger in their restaurants and are likely to give it to you for free. But even if you get charged, ginger isn't exactly the most expensive item in the grocery store. You can also come prepared with some candied ginger or ginger chews in your luggage.

Alternative remedies

While it's unlikely that a large cruise ship will be out of ginger, it can happen. What can you try if ginger is scarce? There are a few other remedies for motion sickness that might work for you. Peppermint has long been used as a folk remedy for nausea as well — it calms stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, according to Mount Sinai, leading to quicker digestion. While peppermint tea is pretty easy to find, merely smelling peppermint can help make motion sickness more tolerable. Even sniffing something like a tin of Altoids mints already in your purse or spritzing your bed sheets with peppermint spray can calm it down a bit. 

Mount Sinai has a few other ideas that take a little preparation. Working on biofeedback training can help you relax, which can improve symptoms a bit. You can also try to slow down your breathing by taking deep breaths in your belly using your diaphragm. This isn't backed by a definitive study, and more research is needed, but the practice has been said to help calm down some of the stress you might be feeling. When all else fails, over-the-counter medications like Bonine, Dramamine, or patches for motion sickness can help but don't rely on the cruise's gift shop or infirmary, which can be expensive. It's a good idea to pack these from the get-go.