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Sea Sickness

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 22, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Sea Sickness


Some people experience discomfort while travelling on a ship. Initially they experience nausea frequently followed by vomiting and dehydration. Though this is not a chronic illness and goes off once the passenger is off boat but it may cause other problems like low blood pressure. The person may also experience sweating, cold feet, tiredness and discoloration. For some people the mere stepping of foot on boat though it may be a dry dock without any water may also cause sea sickness accompanied by a feeling of nausea and vomiting.


Basically the sea sickness is caused when the central nervous system receives confusing messages from other parts of the body mainly those which controlmovement, balance and coordination. The eyes visualize where the body is with respect to time and space while the inner ear is the main organ that maintains balance while walking. The other muscles and joint sensory organs sense where the body parts are in relation to each other. Sea sickness is form of motion sickness. This occurs when the inner ear especially the semicircular canals are stimulated too much due to excessive motion. For people who suffer from sea sickness, only little motion can trigger this over-stimulation. Also when the brain gets illogical or confusing signals from eyes, ears, muscles, limbs and other sensory organs, it can result in sea sickness.

Signs and Symptoms

The prominent symptom of sea sickness is basic discomfort on being in a moving boat or ship. The person initially starts feeling nausea, which can be extreme too. This may result in vomiting which again can be too frequent to stop. As a result the person feels dizzy and too tired. There is also cold sweating of limbs. The color of the skin starts to fade and become pallor.

Treatment Options

The allopathic medications do not treat sea sickness but some over the counter medications can help to minimize the symptoms. Dramamine is usually used to overcome mildsymptoms. For extreme discomfort from sea sickness, the doctor may advice scopolamine patches and tablets. Though this medication can control the symptoms but has many side effects like dizziness, drowsiness and may also affect the ability to see clearly temporarily. Also a person may experience short term memory loss and increased confusion.

Holistic Treatments

Some herbal, homeopathic, natural and home remedies and provide effective and safe treatment for sea sickness. Herbs like Zingiberofficinalis (Ginger) and Menthapiperita (Mint) not only help in digestion but also give relief from feelings of nausea and vomiting. They freshen up the mind, digestive tract and breathe. Kalium phosphate, Cocculus and Pulsatilla vulgaris are some homeopathic medicines that are known to calm down and relax nervous system and soothe digestive system especially while the body is in continuous motion or is travelling. These help to prevent the symptoms of seas sickness too. Moreover such remedies also do not have any kinds of side effects.

Apart from taking these preventive and curative measures and ensuring to keep them with you while on travel, there are some additional measures that can be taken to get relief. The person should try to be in open spaces on the deck rather than in a cabin. Also when nauseating feelings tend to occur, sit, close your eyes and practice deep breathing. This will help to overcome the symptoms.

Read also: Hyperactivity in Adults

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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