Friday, June 1, 2012

PHARMACY FRIDAY - Ginger vs Dramamine

We are heading into that time of year where some people like to do lots of traveling, or maybe just a little bit of traveling. But with any amount traveling often comes motion sickness.

Throughout my childhood, we made many car trips through the summers to Pennsylvania to visit family, along with many other places just for fun and relaxation.  I always go car sick and it seemed that the older I got, the worse it got.  I LOVED the traveling, but I HATED the motion sickness! It made the trips absolutely miserable! So, at a very early age I had to start taking Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) to make it through these trips. I never was sure which was worse.... the motion sickness or the side effects of the Dramamine. It made me feel lethargic, super sleepy, and just plain yucky. I adored getting to see all the beautiful scenery on our many trips to PA, but once I had to start taking Dramamine, I didn't get to see much of that part of the trip as it kept me knocked out and I slept through most of the drives. But if I skipped taking it, I was so sick I still missed seeing everything along the way.

As I moved into adulthood, I started hearing some not-so-good (even scary) things about Dramamine.  Of course, I learned about the drowsiness and dizziness real quick on my own. This is not only frustrating, but very dangerous if you are going to be driving any part of the trip. It also killed my appetite and made my mouth dry... not something you want to deal with when you are traveling and looking forward to trying new foods.

Upon further research I also learned that it can cause an array of other problems. It can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, which was what I was trying to stop in the first place! It may cause dry eyes and blurred vision, which is also something I don't want to deal with when traveling. The fact that it can cause rapid heartbeat is scary!

If you purchase the non-drowsy formula, more side effects are added into the mix. It can cause agitation and excitability, react badly with certain antibiotics, and more.

So I set out to search for something to remedy my motion sickness that had far less side effects and , preferably was natural. The best thing that I found was right in my kitchen cabinet.... GINGER! I have tried it in several forms with great results. I have made it into tea (hot or cold), sweetened with honey, and it works great! I have also used candied ginger and ginger ale with great results. Candied Ginger is good, but you can eat too much sugar really fast with it. Ginger Ale works excellent, but, there again, on a long trip, you can consume far too much sugar, along with all that carbonation and other chemicals. But if you choose Ginger ale, make sure it is made with actual ginger and not just flavored.

Although you can also take powdered ginger in capsule form what works best for me is to to begin sipping on some Ginger Tea or Ginger Ale (I let it get a little flat) about 30 minutes before I begin my trip. I then take it with me and sip it slowly throughout my travel, whether it is 45 minutes or a couple of days of riding. As long as I am sipping it all along the way, I never get car sick! Oh, how I wish I had known about this all those years ago! It gives me total motion sickness relief with absolutely no side effects. This natural method is so much safer for your body. As long as I have my Ginger Tea or Ginger Ale along with me, I never get car sick and I can completely enjoy the ride! 

What do you use to effectively combat motion sickness?

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