Herbs to Ease Travel Sickness
There are many herbs that can help to soothe the symptoms of travel sickness, such as catnip, liquorice or valerian. These can be taken as teas, tinctures or even as travel sweets.
- Ginger – The tuberous rhizome (rootstalk) of ginger contains gingerios, which calm and soothe the stomach. Ginger can be taken as a herbal decoction, tincture or as a sugar coated sweet before and during a journey. Oriental sailors have chewed fresh ginger root to combat seasickness for centuries. Its effectiveness has been confirming through numerous clinical trials. Ginger has long been used to treat nausea.
- Valerian – This tall, perennial herb often grows wild alongside river banks in Europe. Extracts of valerian root are rich in valepotriates, which act to sedate the nervous system. It can reduce the fears of travel that can trigger motion sickness. An infusion or tincture of the fresh root is more potent than using the dried root. Valerian can also aid sleep useful for long journeys.
- Catnip – Related to peppermint catnip is a mild herb and is particularly suited to use for children. Its active components are iridoids, tannins and volatile oils, which act to gently soothe and sedate the stomach and nerves. Catnip can be taken as an infusion before long journeys. Catnip has a pleasant taste and gentle action that make it suitable for ailing children.
- Peppermint – This familiar garden herb is an effective remedy for travel sickness. Its pungent, peppery leaves have volatile oils to balance gastro-intestinal activity and calm the stomach. Create a dry inhalation for a journey by adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a handkerchief. Peppermint’s volatile oils can help relax your stomach.
- Black Horehound – This perennial herb with pretty, purple flowers is believed to present nausea associated with travel sickness. It is related to peppermint and is rich in active compounds diterpenoids, saponins and volatile oils, which help settle the nerves. Take it as a tincture or as a herbal infusion. An infusion of dried black horehound can help prevent motion sickness.
- Liquorice Root – Liquorice root can be taken as an infusion, as a tincture or as a decoction. It has a potent anti-inflammatory effect, soothing the mucus membranes of the stomach and rescuing the fatigue often associated with long journeys. You should avoid taking liquorice if you are pregnant, diabetic or suffer from hypertension. Take liquorice root to soothe your stomach, or chew liquorice sweets.
- Chamomile – As well as easing the discomfort of a hangover, this herb can be used to counter the effects of travel sickness. Chamonile’s active ingredients include sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, coumarins and phenolic acids. When making a chamomile infusion it is best to use the German variety of the herb’s flowerhead as opposed to the Roman variety : German chamomile has a milder flavour and lacks bitterness.
Recipe for Ginger and Cayenne Tea
Include making a herbal remedy for motion sickness as part of your preparations before a long journey. The recipe below is easy to prepare and uses everyday ingredients you should find in your kitchen cupboard.
- Grate 2cm fresh ginger root into a heat resistant glass jug.
- Add a dash of ground cayenne pepper.
- Pour on boiling water and steep for around five minutes.
- Strain off the liquid and sip a cup half an hour before your journey. You can take the remaining liquid in a thermos flask.
- The spicy remedy should taste quite palatable, but sweeten with honey if desired.