Natural Remedies for Seasickness: What Works and What Doesn't
Natural Remedies for Seasickness: What Works and What Doesn't

Discover natural remedies for seasickness that can help alleviate symptoms and make your sailing adventures more enjoyable.

Natural Remedies for Seasickness: What Works and What Doesn’t

Seasickness is a common ailment that affects many sailors and their families, especially those who are new to the sailing lifestyle. It can be a real challenge to overcome, but fortunately, there are many natural remedies available that can help alleviate the symptoms and make your time at sea more enjoyable. In this article, we will explore the various natural remedies for seasickness, discussing what works, what doesn’t, and how to best incorporate these remedies into your sailing adventures.

Understanding Seasickness

Before diving into the remedies, it’s important to understand what causes seasickness. Seasickness, also known as motion sickness, is a result of the body’s reaction to the motion of a boat on the water. The inner ear, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation, sends signals to the brain that conflict with what the eyes are seeing. This conflict can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Cold sweats
  • Fatigue

These symptoms can vary in severity and duration, and can be exacerbated by factors such as dehydration, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with seasickness is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the natural remedies available for combating seasickness.


Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting, and many sailors swear by its effectiveness in combating seasickness. The active compounds in ginger, called gingerols and shogaols, are thought to help reduce inflammation and improve the function of the digestive system, making it easier for the body to process the conflicting signals that cause seasickness.

What works: Consuming ginger in various forms, such as ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger candies, or even raw ginger, can help alleviate the symptoms of seasickness. It’s best to start consuming ginger before setting sail, as it can take some time for the active compounds to take effect.

What doesn’t: While ginger can be an effective remedy for some, it may not work for everyone. Additionally, consuming large amounts of ginger can cause side effects such as heartburn, diarrhea, and mouth irritation. It’s important to start with small amounts and monitor your body’s reaction before increasing your ginger intake.


Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to help balance the flow of energy, or “qi.” One acupressure point that is believed to help alleviate seasickness is the P6 point, also known as the “inner gate,” which is located on the inner forearm, about three finger-widths below the wrist.

What works: Applying pressure to the P6 point can help reduce nausea and vomiting associated with seasickness. You can do this by using your thumb or fingers to apply firm, steady pressure to the point for several minutes, or by wearing an acupressure wristband, which is designed to apply constant pressure to the P6 point.

What doesn’t: Acupressure may not be effective for everyone, and some people may find the pressure uncomfortable or even painful. Additionally, it’s important to remember that acupressure is not a cure-all, and should be used in conjunction with other seasickness remedies and prevention strategies.


Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to promote physical and emotional well-being. Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, lavender, and chamomile, have been found to help alleviate the symptoms of seasickness.

What works: Inhaling the scent of these essential oils can help reduce nausea and promote relaxation, making it easier to cope with the motion of the boat. You can use a diffuser to disperse the oils into the air, or simply inhale the scent directly from the bottle or a cotton ball.

What doesn’t: Aromatherapy may not be effective for everyone, and some people may be sensitive to the strong scents of essential oils. Additionally, it’s important to use high-quality, pure essential oils, as synthetic oils can cause irritation and may not provide the same benefits.

Staying Hydrated and Eating Light

Dehydration and an empty stomach can exacerbate the symptoms of seasickness, so it’s important to stay hydrated and eat light, easily digestible meals while at sea.

What works: Drinking plenty of water and consuming small, frequent meals can help keep your body in balance and reduce the severity of seasickness symptoms. Opt for foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates, such as crackers, bread, and rice, as these are easier for the body to digest.

What doesn’t: Consuming large, heavy meals or foods that are high in fat can make seasickness symptoms worse, as they take longer for the body to digest and can cause feelings of fullness and discomfort.

Focusing on the Horizon

One simple yet effective remedy for seasickness is to focus on a fixed point on the horizon. This can help your brain reconcile the conflicting signals it’s receiving from your eyes and inner ear, reducing the severity of symptoms.

What works: Find a spot on the horizon that is stable and focus on it for several minutes. This can be especially helpful when you’re feeling the first signs of seasickness, as it can help prevent the symptoms from escalating.

What doesn’t: Focusing on the horizon may not be effective for everyone, and it can be difficult to maintain focus when the boat is moving and the horizon is constantly changing. Additionally, this remedy may not be as effective in rough seas or during nighttime sailing.

In Conclusion

Seasickness can be a challenging aspect of the sailing lifestyle, but with the right combination of natural remedies and prevention strategies, it’s possible to minimize its impact on your adventures. Remember that everyone’s experience with seasickness is different, and it may take some trial and error to find the remedies that work best for you and your family. By staying proactive and incorporating these natural remedies into your sailing routine, you can enjoy the freedom and fulfillment that comes from exploring the open sea with your loved ones.