Seasickness – Carsickness: Prevention and Cure
Having crossed the Atlantic ocean nine times in all kinds of weather, and made many tours on other oceans and seas, taking care of many seasick and carsick patients, I feel competent to speak on the subject.
The troubles under discussion are very complex, developing a multiplicity of symptom, all brought about by changed conditions of stability. Whether a disturbance in the semicircular canals, or a state of anemia of the brain is present, or both, are mooted questions, as also how far the symptoms are due to sympathetic nerve impulse conductions, or to upsetting of the cerebellum as a sensomotor regulator. I shall not discuss these questions. It is, however, perfectly plain that a deranged digestive apparatus is not primary factor in the vast majority of cases, for the patients usually start on their journeys in a well condition, and be they ever so sick on the trip, the moment they get off the boat or other vehicle, they do not suffer any more, except perhaps of weakness.
The best initial advice for prevention is not to change the mode of eating or drinking to which they have become accustomed, unless a special reason demands it. Food should be taken when hungry, but the enticing meals should not lead to stuffing. Bowel movements should be regulated in the usual manner. Plenty of exercise is always to be recommended, but
never to the degree of fatigue. On board ship many amusements are provided to keep from thinking of seasickness. Fresh air and deep breathing are of paramount importance. If
disturbing conditions arise, the patient should, if possible, recline with eyes closed, and preferably in the middle of the ship or other vehicle. A preventive much used on ships, and
sold on practically every larger passenger, boat, is Mothersil, but the manufacturer has not divulged his formula, which must be deplored, for it is a boon to a large, number-of travelers
who may be subject to the maladies is question. In spite of the manufacturer’s claim” that: the preparation is perfectly harmless, we should know the ingredients in order. to prescribe
Homoeopathy offers a number of positive preventives, and I have found Cocculus 30th to be in the first rank, if given as our Dr. W. W. Sherwood of Sonta Monica recommends, 3 to 4 doses daily three to four days before embarcation. Other preventive remedies may be demanded, but Cocculus has always been my sheet anchor.
The cure of the sickness demands a choice from many remedies, but the following list, taken from an article by Dr. A. Zwieg, published in the Biologische Heilkunts, will take
care of most of our cases.
Antimonium crudum was recommended by Kent for constant. sea-sickness, sensation of lump in the stomach, as if overloaded, especially if nothing has been eaten. Vomiting of
mucus or food without relief, much retching, tongue coated white.
Apomorphia, best given in trituration, is not only a prophylactic, but indicated in most of the really bad cases accompanied by profuse perspiration.
Aranea diadema 6 has symptoms aggravated by dampness, head feels stupid with headache, is better in the fresh air and from smoking, sensation of weight in stomach and intestines, feeling of weakness in those organs, chilliness and sensation of swelling of affected parts.
Arsenicum album has the well known desire for cold things with vomiting after partaking of them. Yet, patient desire to be warm, is restless, full of anxiety, has great prostration
with watery diarrhcea and general aggravation after midnight.
Borax has aggravation from downward motion with sensation as if everything would come up.
Bryonia is also here worse from motion, and has symptoms of deranged intestinal tract with constipation.
Calcarea oxalic is recommended for stomach symptoms nervous origin.
Cocculus has empty feeling in head, vertigo, nausea, especially when looking at the water, aggravation from riding backwards, or from swinging; patient feels “awfully sick” and..
can not move. Feels like fainting; face deathly pale.
Colchicum feels best when lying still; smell of cooked food causes nausea and vomiting.
Cystisus 4 is similar to apomorphia, both acting on the central r nervous system producing symptoms similar to seasickness.
Glonoinum 6 should be given, if instead of vomiting severe headache is present.
Hyoscyamus 12 every 3 hours was successful, according to Hartung, in 72 patients on seven sea voyages. On one of these trips only three passengers, who had taken it, were free from mal de mer, while even old seamen brought offers to Neptune. A cardinal symptom is : the patient cannot lie down, is better from sitting up.
Ipecacuanha is well known for this ailment.
Natrum muriaticum is also well known in its symptomatoloty similar to seasickness.
Petroleum patients are continually sick with nausea minus vomiting, they have headache, vertigo, diarrhea, roaring in ears, aversion against cooked food, and they “ feel so weak “.
Pulsatilla cases feel best in the open air in spite of general chilliness, are not thirsty, feel worse evenings, have stitching headaches in occiput, complain of bitter taste with vomiting, are worse from broths and after the evening meal. Should always be remembered, if pregnancy is present.
Sepia characteristics are: nausea and vomiting are worst: in the morning before breakfast, all forenoon, from smell and sight of cooked food and from rinsing mouth. Constipation and uterine trouble are often present, face is pale and jaundiced. Disturbed circulation.
Staphysagria is good complement to Cocculus.
Source : The Homoeopathic Bulleten
Seasickness – Carsickness: Prevention and Cure