Feeling light-headed? A bit woozy or off-balance? If you’re traveling in a car, boat, or plane, it’s probably motion sickness. But sometimes dizziness, also commonly called vertigo, becomes a lingering or recurrent problem. Regardless of the cause, natural remedies can bring relief.
Unsteadiness or faintness.
A feeling that the room is spinning or that you’re whirling in space, sometimes accompanied by ringing in the ears.
When to Call Your Doctor
If dizziness is accompanied by numbness, rapid heartbeat, fainting or a feeling of faintness, or blurred vision; if it affects your ability to speak.
If dizziness comes on suddenly, especially if accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
If dizzy spells increase in frequency or persist.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is
The terms “dizziness” and vertigo are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Dizziness simply refers to a feeling of unsteadiness or faintness, whereas vertigo usually involves a more serious disorientation, as if the world were spinning around you. (If you’ve ever been in a high place and felt as if you were falling, you’ve experienced vertigo.) Unfortunately, for some people, dizziness can persist and become disabling.
What Causes It
Ordinary motion sickness — the queasy, light-headed feeling that comes while traveling — is by far the most common cause of dizziness. The problem arises when the eyes, which try to focus on constantly moving scenery, and the inner ear, which helps orient the body to movement, send conflicting signals to the brain. The result is a confusing, whirling sensation, often accompanied by nausea.
How Supplements Can Help
A centuries-old remedy for delicate stomachs,ginger can act relatively quickly — even within minutes — to combat the dizziness and nausea associated with motion sickness or mild vertigo. In some tests, the herb has proved more effective — and longer lasting — than over-the-counter remedies. Moreover, ginger produces few of the side effects of conventional medications, such as drowsiness or blurred vision.
What Else You Can Do
Stop reading or staring at a computer screen if you begin to feel sick while in a moving car, train, or boat. Instead, face forward and focus on a fixed point, such as the distant scenery or the horizon, to keep your body and eyes simultaneously oriented to the movement.
Opt for the front seat when riding in a car; at sea, stay amidship; and when flying, sit above the wing, where there is the least amount of motion.
Motion sickness is best treated before symptoms start. If you are prone to it, take ginger at least two hours before your departure — and every four hours thereafter.
Dosage: 100 mg standardized extract every 4 hours as needed.
Comments: Or try fresh gingerroot (1/4- to 1/2-inch slice), ginger tea (1/2 tsp. gingerroot per cup of hot water), or powdered ginger (1 gram)-all taken 3 times a day. Ginger ale (8-ounce glass 3 times a day) can be equally effective if made with real ginger.
Dosage: 80 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to have at least 24% flavone glycosides.
Dosage: 50 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: 200 mg daily over long term can cause nerve damage.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs(Reader’s Digest)