For Comparison’s Sake: Seasickness Remedies

These three methods are proven to work with varying effectiveness, if they’re done right.

Once seasickness strikes, the best cure is finding terra firma. But there are ways to prevent the “green wave” from happening — about 5,000 ways if you believe everything you hear about garlic, neck braces and herbs. The three methods here are proven to work with varying effectiveness, if they’re done right.

What it is: Dramamine is an antihistamine with the technical name Dimenhydrinate and can be found in pill, chewable tablet and nondrowsy form. $6 for 12 pills.

How it works: It’s actually a sedative that affects the central nervous system to calm you down during motion sickness.


How well it works: Don’t take it as you’re pulling away from the dock. That’s too late. Some will say to pop it at least a half-hour beforehand. Even that could be too late. Savvy boaters take one the night before a trip, sleep off the drowsiness that comes with it, and then take a second pill in the morning to acclimate the body. Try the nondrowsy if you take the helm (and don’t take one before bedtime).

What it is: ReliefBand is a battery-operated device that looks like a watch and is worn with two bronze electrodes on the inside of your wrist. $130.

How it works: Slather a little Conductivity Gel on the inside of your wrist and slide on the ReliefBand. It electrically stimulates the median nerve, which sends signals to your stomach to calm down.


How well it works: Some people swear by ReliefBand and say it’s well worth the price, and don’t mind the needed Conductivity Gel. Others claim Sea Bands, $10 wristbands with plastic acupressure balls, do the same thing for much less money. We’ve seen ReliefBands work miracles on people who seem down for the count. The Sea Bands work for some, not for others. Have a backup plan.

Lavender Oil
What it is: Lavender oil is an aromatic liquid derived from the flowers of lavender plants. It supposedly has calming properties and is known for its use in aromatherapy. $12 for a 4-ounce bottle.

How it works: Proponents rub lavender oil on the neck, chest, belly button and behind the ears, or even put a drop on the tongue in belief that it relaxes the body and soothes the nerves.


How well it works: We’ve seen it work during a mild case of the greens in 2- to 4-foot swells on the Great Lakes. If you believe it works, then keep trying it. (A lot of charter captains believe psychology has a big impact on seasickness, even before the boat leaves the harbor.) The allergy prone should avoid the potent sensory overload of lavender oil or else spend the cruise in a sneezing fit.