Don't Mind Me While I Throw Up - The BEST Ways to Cure Motion Sickness

Hi, my name is Shelley, and I suffer from EMSD.
Extreme. Motion. Sickness. Disorder.

motion sickness cure
Me on a road trip to CA, after losing my lunch on the side of the road #glamorous

Okay, so that's not really a medical term, and while some of you are rolling your eyes or giggling, there will be a handful of you who TOTALLY understand the seriousness of this stupid problem. 

Motion is sensed by the brain through three different pathways of the nervous system that send signals coming from the inner ear (sensing motion, acceleration, and gravity), the eyes (vision), and the deeper tissues of the body surface (proprioceptors)
When the body is moved intentionally, for example, when we walk, the input from all three pathways is coordinated by our brain. When there is unintentional movement of the body, as occurs during motion when driving in a car, the brain is not coordinating the input, and there is thought to be discoordination or conflict among the input from the three pathways. It is hypothesized that the conflict among the inputs is responsible for motion sickness.  - source

Riding as a passenger in ANY vehicle

Killer headache
Stomach turning
... and typically, vomit.

(ew gross. why am I even reading this weirdo girls blog who's talking about throw up?)

It's cool, I just thought the same thing... but I feel like this NEEDS to be talked about. No matter how UNglamorous a topic it is. 

BECAUSE IT SUCKS! And because it's a freakin' annoying, real-life issue that I've had to deal with for as long as I can remember. And if I have strong feelings about it, then I KNOW someone else does too, so I thought, why not share what helps ME to shake MY extreme motion sickness!? Maybe it could help someone else.

This post came about because while on my cruise a while back, I was deathly sick for the first 2 days. It was awful and I wish I would have started with a few of these treatments sooner, because once I had some stuff in my system, I was about 99% better and could enjoy myself. 

1 - Dramamine is a miracle worker... but make sure you get the LESS DROWSY kind, or you'll be out like a light! The original formula puts you right to sleep. Some people say they still had some sluggishness when taking the less drowsy formula, but I didn't have that problem at all. 
Bonine is said to be a big helper too, much like Dramamine, but I've never tried it. If you've taken both, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how they compare!
* I only take this if I'm actually going on a road trip, plane or boat. Never just "because".

2DigestZen from doTERRA is amazing! It works for a laundry list of things, and is totally safe to use on kids and pets! In fact, I just learned this year that my body doesn't digest cabbage well... like, at all, and one day I was dealing with shooting pain in my stomach after eating an Asian salad that was basically all made of cabbage. I came home, filled up an empty capsule with 5 drops of Digestzen, swallowed it, and in a matter of about 30 minutes, I had ZERO pain.
I have no idea how it all works, I just know it does. I'm not a crazy oil lady, but my sister is, ha! and she sells me the stuff she knows I'll like and need, so if you have questions about them or want any oils for yourself, feel free to talk to her... because I'm no help past this point. lol!

3 & 4 - These are probably the LEAST effective methods for me, but they do work for some people, and I've tried them, so I thought I'd include them as well. The ginger gum... or just gum in general, has a really effective way of helping ease the nauseous feeling when it comes on after you realize you're experiencing motion sickness. I think hard candy is just as effective though. There's something about redirecting the "I want to throw up" mindset, to "Hey, I've got a flavored treat in my mouth... so that means I can't puke"  that makes you feel a little better. 
The bands - meh. I tried them on my cruise, and could never tell if THEY were actually working, or if it was more the Dramamine. Some people swore by them though... so maybe for certain individuals they work well.

Obviously I'm just a normal person who has zero medical knowledge beyond what I know works for ME and my symptoms, when it comes to motion sickness... so make sure you read ALL directions on medications before you take them, especially if you're pregnant or giving them to younger kids. 

I hope this helps someone... and when you see ME driving and Cason sitting shotgun next time in our car, it's not because I LOVE driving so much, but it's mostly to save him the annoyance of me having to stop halfway through wherever we're going, to hurl on the side of the road. #notawesome. LOL



  1. That post just arrived on time! My husband is in the same case, we flew out of town a week ago, Dramamine doesn't work at all, he can take a lot, nothing helps. Flying across the country was a real nightmare! My mom is in the same case and made us realize that now motion sickness is increased with the stress of being sick. She uses stress relief medicine before any trips and it actually works!! We're flying out tomorrow and we forgot this medicine, but I gave him homeopathy stress relief medicine so hopefully it will work!!

    1. Interesting! I've never heard of using stress relief medication.
      I hope things go well with your hubby!

  2. I too suffer from motion sickness, mainly from being a boat in the middle of the ocean. Not on the lake suprisingly. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is going to sound crazy but this thing called the relief band has always really worked for me! It can be used after the symptoms start and just really helps keep motion sickness at bay. Just know people will think you are crazy if you describe what it does and it can feel a little uncomfortable at times!


  4. I too have major motion sickness with flights and driving (and I'm terrified to try a cruise because of it)… When we took a trip a few years ago to St. Lucia with an entire day of crazy travel and really winding roads there I had gotten the patch from my dr. ahead of time. IT.WAS.AWESOME! I am serious, you have to get it. I can't even take non drowsy dramamine without falling asleep and so this patch worked miracles. You put it on your skin by your neck/ear and it lasts for several days…so much easier than pills. The only big side effect I had was it affected my vision BUT ONLY because I didn't read the instructions and I touched my face after I put it on…you have to wash your hands after touching it. I think it's only prescription based, but it was worth the hassle to have an easier time with the constant travel. Let us know if you ever try it and succeed.

    1. I've heard about problems with site, but it seems like everyone loves them! Thanks so much!

  5. My car sickness is legend in my family. Now I've passed it on to my 7yo. I've learned I can't sleep if we're on curvy roads. Sleep makes it worse. On planes if I eat something healthy before flying, my sickness is much better. Thank you for these tips. Would the oil work for morning sickness do you think? My sister is so ill with her pregnancy. This is pinned.

    1. Yes! I've heard it helps with morning sickness! But you can ask my sister more! :)

  6. Hi Shelley - I've never posted a comment on a blog. Truly. Never, ever. I just had to say that I have EMSD too! Worst condition anyone could ever imagine. Fine one minute, flu x 100 the next. If you've not tried it, I highly recommend asking your Doc about the Transderm Scop patch. You have to have a Rx for it. It's the patch that cruisers often use. I've used it now for several years and LOVE it. The active ingredient is Scopolamine and it is worn behind the ear. The medication is time released to the body and so it can be worn for up to three days before applying another. The longest I've worn one was a full 24 hours but I had no problems. I literally have no motion sickness symptoms with it on, despite bumpy air travel, buses, trains and stop-and-go car travel. For long days of travel and motion, you'll swear by it. Good luck and God bless. You're darling!

    1. Oh goodness! This is great news!! I'll definitely look into it.
      Thanks for commenting - it means a lot!


    2. Major motion sickness so thanks for the advice. People think I'm crazy because I can't swing on the swings or a zillion other things. But none of my children have it - they all read books in the back seat no prob. Weird.....

  7. Haha... I have the same problem and can COMPLETELY sympathize. In fact I drove a large panel van for work today (for the very first time EVER) and learned that the horrible noise a panel van makes can also trigger motion sickness for me... when I'm driving. Never had that happen before! My father-in-law tried to spring an impromptu RV road trip on me once and thought I was joking when I told him about my motion sickness... well when we had to stop five minutes down the road to throw up he finally understood! Dramamine is the only thing that helps me... but even the non-drowsy kind knocks me right out. I will have to try some of these other remedies... worth a try right?!

  8. Ugh - I hate that you felt so bad in the beginning! We're taking the Princess Alaskan cruise later this month and I'm starting to panic about the motion sickness!

  9. I'm so glad you wrote this!!! Driving with Jen to Elevate I was SURE to be embarrassed or out like a light with the drowsy Dramamine. It takes me forever to get rid of the sick feeling even after being out of the car and done with the drive. I can't believe I didn't know there was a NON drowsy formula for Dramamine!


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