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Everything You Need To Know About Seasickness

Seasickness is something that affects many of us but it is far from being a modern day problem. People have been experiencing this for as long as humans have been travelling on the waves, with cases going back as far as the ancient empires of China, India and Greece. It plagues first time cruisers as much as it affects seasoned sailors, and until relatively recently there have only been speculative cures.

Admiral Nelson

Anyone who does suffer from seasickness is in great company though. Famous names such as Christopher Columbus, Admiral Nelson and even Charles Darwin have all reported similar problems when stepping aboard a ship, with many of them having to simply grin and bear it every time.

Seasickness even played an important role in the English navy’s victory over the infamous Spanish Armada in 1588. Their leader, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, was somewhat of an inexperienced sailor and it was reported that his chronic seasickness, among other things, helped secure an against-all-odds victory for England.

The reason for seasickness is that the visual image you are relaying to your brain doesn’t marry up to the feeling that the rest of your body is experiencing. The body, in a state of alarm, then ceases all activities in progress; including the act of digestion. There have been many theories over the years on how you can combat the feeling of nausea that occurs, but some have been far more elaborate than others.

In 1868 a man by the name of Sir Henry Bessemer invented a ship’s cabin which would be kept level throughout the voyage via the use of hydraulics. This would counteract the movement of the vessel and ensure that the passengers would remain motionless and not suffer from seasickness. Sadly, the SS Bessemer sustained damage during its trial and a subsequent voyage, during which the cabin was not used, led to investors losing confidence and the company being liquidated.

Other Cures From The Past


Nearly all the preventative measures used in the past involved consuming things that were thought to stop seasickness from occurring. These included:

• Eating plenty of ginger; be it the root, ginger bread or ginger pills.

• Cooking a fish that has come from the stomach of another fish with pepper and then eating it just as you step aboard.

• Consuming, by way of a teaspoon every ten minutes, a mixture of egg yolks and brandy.

• Eating rice and horseradish soup with a side of red herrings and sardines.

• Making a hole in a bread roll with your finger, pouring Tabasco sauce in said hole, and then eating the whole thing as quickly as possible.

• Rubbing your nostrils with a blend of grinded wormwood and fleabane (a family of plants).

Further measures involved the taking of drugs such as opium, cocaine and even chloroform, with the thought that nobody would be concerned with the oncoming effects of seasickness if they were either intoxicated or completely unconscious.

Luckily we have developed far more reliable and tested cures in recent times that have allowed people to overcome their ocean based troubles. It was purely by accident that antihistamine was discovered to be a useful cure for motion sickness. In fact, Dramamine was given to a pregnant woman to help combat her hives and it ended up stopping her car sickness.

Seasickness Wristband

Nowadays seasickness tablets can be bought over the counter and are prescribed by doctors regularly. There are also patches, wristbands and injections that can help when travelling on long voyages; giving cruisers and other seafaring personnel some much needed peace of mind.

For anyone not wanting to take any medication or for those who still experience minor symptoms, it is advised to book a cabin as close to the ship’s middle as possible, head out on deck for some fresh air, and concentrate your vision on the horizon.

Increased medication and a greater understanding of seasickness has allowed more and more people to enjoy holidays like the ocean cruises that Fred.\ has available. You can travel to exciting places such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean without fear of being overcome with nausea.